The fasionable friends were both on hand to support their designer pal, Rachel Zoe, as Zoe debuted her first bridal collection in L.A. (Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Rachel Zoe Collection )
Pregnant women often field personal questions from well-meaning strangers, but two queries in particular are getting people on social media riled up, thanks to Jessica Alba.
On Friday, Alba posted an Instagram GIF of her Dark Angel character Max Guevara kicking a shirtless man in the face, with the caption, “Ask me gender and due date one more time…”
Female fans empathized, posting comments such as “…Or my favorite was ‘are you nesting!?’ Um obviously I’m having a baby soon so I’m probably getting a few things ready,’” “For real! And don’t touch the belly!” and “Uhmmmm cause it’s personal and nobody’s business, perhaps?”
Personal questions are often rooted in a desire to connect on an intimate level, especially when asked by women who are moms themselves. They can also be a benign attempt to break the ice by acquaintances or strangers who falsely perceive a woman’s expecting body — a physical manifestation of a life stage — as an invitation to discussion.
“Pregnancy signals fertility and sexuality so it can create a sense of intimacy where none may exist,” Gail Saltz, MD, a psychiatrist and author of The Power of Different, tells Yahoo Beauty. “And since people naturally assume pregnancy is a happy event for all, many don’t hesitate to comment.”
While the question “Are you having a boy or a girl?” may seem harmless, for women grappling with gender disappointment — a common phenomenon in which women experience negative emotions while expecting a baby of a particular sex — it can create pressure to outwardly contend with a very private issue.
And for women who don’t subscribe to gender stereotypes, questions about a baby’s sex could spark unwanted assumptions about their unborn child. “Gender is a topic of fascination for many who believe that knowing a person’s sex will reveal everything else about their lives — will they be a baseball player or ballerina? — however, sex doesn’t necessarily dictate gender,” Christia Brown, a professor of developmental psychology and author of Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, tells Yahoo Beauty.
Likewise, asking a woman for her due date can pave the way for questions about her growing body, which she may not be comfortable with, especially if she’s feeling self-conscious about her appearance.
“Most questions do come from a happy, supportive place,” says Saltz, “so if pregnant women take offense, they can either choose not to answer or recognize that people around them are doing the best they can.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
- Identical twin sisters give birth hours apart — and it’s not that rare
- Serena Williams’s baby girl and the meaning behind her name
- Mom shares hilarious video hiding from ‘fancy’ moms at her daughter’s school bus stop