An Open Letter To the Hollywood/Paparazzi/Magazine Types

To Whom It May Concern:

I was in the grocery check-out line this morning, and a headline of yours reported that Jennifer Aniston is pregnant.  You backed up this fine journalism by zooming in on a picture of her stomach, with a big yellow arrow pointing out her "baby bump". 


That is not a baby bump.  I’ve had cases of indigestion that led to a bigger "baby bump" than that. 

This is not the first time I’ve seen you speculate on a celebrity’s pregnancy based on the size of her belly.  May I kindly point out that evaluating such phenomenon in women who have paid staff to feed and exercise them might not be an accurate gauge?  If you’d like to step out of Hollywood into Real World America, you might find that {gasp!} women’s abs are rarely flat, and a more realistic gestational clue would be that she is barfing into flower beds or bursting into tears when she realizes she’s out of corn dogs. 

You’re welcome.

And by the way, lay off Jennifer Aniston.


Shannon, proud owner of a "baby bump" since 1992 

Posted in: Fun

103 thoughts on “An Open Letter To the Hollywood/Paparazzi/Magazine Types

  1. Jeni says:

    No joke!! Almost every woman on the planet has at least little bump of fat right below the belly button – anyone could say that’s a baby bump. How about we wait until someone announces a pregnancy to comment, like we do with the rest of polite society?

  2. Anna says:

    Man, no kidding. They accuse someone of having a “baby bump” if they so much as eat too much chips and salsa.
    If I were famous, not that I am not, they would think I was constantly four months pregnant.

  3. kelli says:

    Oh, this is SO TRUE. And the phrase “baby bump” drives me crazy anyway. It’s only a bump in Hollywood- for most people it’s more like a mountain.
    One of the magazines is reporting it’s twins.

  4. Melanie says:

    I’m coming out of my lurker status to say thank you for this post! The majority of women have a “baby bump” that does not constitute actually being pregnant. The media seriously needs to walk out into the “real world”.
    Keep up the great posts, Shannon! I love to visit you.

  5. Erin says:

    OMG! I had those exact same thoughts Tuesday morning while I was in line at the Wal-Mart! Poor Angelina – she just had twins for goodness sakes! Ditto on Jennifer Aniston as well.

  6. Kim H. says:

    It was probably just a ‘food baby’ – I love that line from Juno. I’m sure she could just have gas and get rid of the ‘baby bump’…so ridiculous!
    And I like you have been sporting the permanent baby bump since 1994!

  7. Janelle says:

    I’ve had a “hollywood baby bump” since I was 12. Didn’t have a baby until 28. Good thing I didn’t go into showbiz. While I was pregnant just the thought of corn dogs would have made me hurl in the bushes, though.

  8. Amy says:

    So true. I think if a photographer saw my “baby bump” they would say that I am definitely having twins and I’m not even pregnant!
    I love Jennifer Anniston, and the paps need to lay off of her. She is wonderful!

  9. Nicole @ Life in Progress says:

    Oh, this gave me a smile after an extremely rough morning. So thank you. I’m a huge fan of the “open letter” as a blog post genre. Just wrote my own to supermarket clerks. They always make me smile.
    By the way, I myself have had a “baby bump” since long before I actually had my first real baby bump.

  10. Princess Leia says:

    Heh…I seem to be the only one (so far) who actually has “christened” a flower pot on a public street while pregnant! If anyone was driving up Wisconsin Ave. across from the Bethesda Metro station just over two years ago at about 7 AM, you might have noticed a slightly green-tinged girl “smelling the flowers” in said pot.
    I like to think that I was fertilizing them.
    I was WAY sicker this time than that time, but was at home, so far fewer public embarrassments. But hey…at least the homeless guys were concerned when I puked into the trashcan at the Metro station.
    I had a friend who was obviously pregnant really throw some lady for a loop one time. They were in an elevator together and the nice old lady asked when she was due. Somehow my friend kept a straight face when she said she wasn’t pregnant. She let the horror creep over the lady’s face for a minute, then laughed and told her the due date. I could never manage to keep a straight face with that, but maybe the woman will think twice about asking the next time.
    I don’t care so much about the baby bump, but what gets rid of the ginormous baby-induced thighs?

  11. midwest mommy says:

    I will never ask a woman if she is pregnant even if it is obvious a baby is ready to fall out. I was student teaching and luckily I asked my cooperating teacher about the pregnant lady at school that is when she informed me no one was pregnant at school…thank god I didn’t go there. Ever since my lips are sealed.

  12. Gretchen says:

    Yeah, that whole paparazzi “baby bump”/Eva Longoria, Cheryl Burke, and others who are “fat” does just wonders for my 10 year old’s body image. No, I don’t subscribe to those publications, but she’s not blind. And BTW, I think JA is adorable, and she’d be cute 50 pounds heavier, too. She’s just got “it”.

  13. TRS says:

    Hate the term baby bump – eew.
    I’ve always been thin but in my twenties, I thought my tummy was fat.
    It wasn’t.
    Would have been nice to know that back then… but I never could get my tummy as flat as a movie star’s (didn’t try that hard) so if I had been on bump watch they would have SO declared me pregnant!
    Now, everything that used to be tight is loose – due to old age and lack of exercise (no kids – obvs) and I only look pregnant when I’m relaxed.
    Funny. Mr. Burns once told me I looked pregnant… when I relaxed my posture while styling my hair… I looked at his gut and said… “You know what? So do you.”

  14. knit_tgz says:

    I have always been overweight (I am not obese, but I am heavy and have some fat areas) but I didn’t use to have a belly pouch until my mid-20s. (I just had HUGE hips and bottom). Around 25, my body decided that as I would not get pregnant like my body wished, it would punish me with a spare tire under my belly button which bloats amazingly on the first day of my period. Day in which I get very queasy and sometimes even barf. SO if you see me with my belly bloated and barfing, do not, I repeat, do not ask me if I am pregnant. You do not want to feel The_Wrath_of_Period_Day.
    TRS: Hugs. I really appreciated you having written what many singles in their 30s (like me) feel.

  15. MamaHenClucks says:

    And just this morning while I was at the checkout, I see they have moved on to Angelina Jolie and are pointing out her new baby bump.
    Um, hello? She just had TWINS. She has a permanent baby bump.

  16. Amblin says:

    ROFL! So funny and yet so very true!!
    I saw that same photo and thought to myself “If that is a baby bump, then I am having quadruplets” (and I’m not even pregnant…just leftover “bump” from 4 pregnancies and 4 c-sections)

  17. Mrs. Pear says:

    Well said!
    Gee, if bellies not being flat is a sign of pregnancy, I really gotta talk to my husband we might be expecting triplets! 🙂 (Just kidding, our daughter is 9 weeks old!)
    And thanks for the laugh, I really needed it today – why can be seen at my blog.

  18. Edi says:

    How about the fact that they felt they needed to point it out with an arrow!
    And really – who cares if she is pregnant? I think there is a lot more important things going on in the world than whether or not someone is pregnant…

  19. Michelle says:

    So funny. When I saw that picture, I thought her baby bump looked just like my current one – from my son born a year ago.

  20. Staci says:

    THANK YOU! I saw the same magazine and squinted- hello? I think that is called SKIN.
    I wish they’d lay off on all the celebs. It’s like stalking.. only published.. and we pay them.

  21. Devin says:

    Oh my word. I am just enjoying this blog more and more and MORE everyday!
    Amen to this! This poor woman. I feel sorry for her if she ever does become a mother. I can’t imagine the scrutiny she will receive!
    Devin–baby bump owner since 2003

  22. Rose says:

    I’ve had a baby bump for as long as I can remember! Which isn’t that far back, the mind is the first to go! No, I take that back, the flat, tight , tummy is the first to go. That’s why I have a baby bump! ( I also have 8 grandkids)

  23. Shannon says:

    Celebrities are unfortunately held to rigid belly standards.
    I am one of those people (don’t hate me! I hear my metabolism will slow as I age) that was flat belly skinny and now that I have a little baby belly (at 16 weeks pregnant), I went and bought a shirt today that says “baby” on it. Most people I am around are tactful enough not to assume until you reach obviously 8-9 months pregnant proportions.

  24. Steffj89 says:

    i am currently 7 1/2 mos preg but at 4 mos preg i looked like a beached whale…not sure where the media gets thier idea of what a preg woman should look like? i mean seriously i look more preg now than angelina did the day before she delivered the twins…

  25. Gwyn says:

    I saw the same picture and laughed too. My stomach wasn’t even that flat before my first child. Now after 4, the remaining post-baby four flab looks like I am perpetually 4 months pregnant!!!

  26. Marianne says:

    I saw the same magazine cover this week. I actually took a step closer and squinted to where the arrow pointed.
    Um…nope. She doesn’t even have a “late night Taco Bell snack” bump.
    You wonder what the Hollywood media might do if they saw a “real” preggers woman. One — like I did — who looks like she’s shoplifting a watermelon.

  27. Betsy says:

    Even though I already have 3 kids, most days I fear that my “baby belly” is caused by the triplets that I love oh so much… they are named Pasta, Bread and Potato! 🙂
    And, I just don’t care enough to stop eating them! If loving them is wrong, I don’t want to be right!!
    I’m just thankful that I don’t have people hiding in the bushes, trying to take pictures of me when I’m having a “plump” moment…

  28. Amber says:

    You crack me up, again!
    On a totally unrelated note…every time you talk about Sonic I would throw a fit that I was missing out. Guess whose city is the first in her entire state to get a Sonic? Mine, yes mine! Hooray! I have been stalking the location and it looks almost done!

  29. Tara says:

    AMEN! I’m looking about 5 months along. And my baby is 20 months old! 🙂 Four c-sections will do that to a girl…that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 🙂

  30. Becoming Me says:

    I loved this!! I always feel irritated when reading these type of headlines. What gets me is that they’ll have something like “Jennifer’s Baby Bump” right above “Poor Kelly Ripa is anorexic and only weighs 80 lbs.”

  31. Grateful for Grace says:

    Oh, man!! I saw the exact one you’re talking about (well, ok, I can’t read your mind… but I’m pretty sure) and I was like, “Are you kidding me?? I would love to have my stomach look like that! That is no baby bump. You people are freaks and I feel badly that so many women are so keenly observed by you!!!”

  32. says:

    Preach on! When you were expecting Adam, you asked me how long it would take you to get back to a flat stomach. I told you that so far it had taken me 25 years! Just recently our oldest granddaughter asked me if I have a baby in my tummy!!!

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