What We Can Learn From Saab Magalona's Body-Shaming Experience
Saab Magalona, daughter of legendary Filipino rapper Francis Magalona and sister to Maxene, Elmo, and Frank, is pregnant with twins (a boy and a girl!). As her baby bump grows, her body also adjusts to the pregnancy, just as it should. As a proudly and happily pregnant woman, a radiant Saab sees nothing wrong with that.
And neither should anyone.
While this should be obvious enough to most, the 29-year-old felt the need to wield the power of social media to firmly, yet calmly, remind everyone of the universal experiences of pregnancy.
Saab took to Instagram to tell the story of her encounter with a female acquaintance whose first reaction to seeing her was to say she had put on weight, and how she handled it:
Yesterday somebody greeted me with “Ay, naging chubby ka na!” and it took so much for me not to snap at her. Calmed down and after 5mins I told her, “You know, you really shouldn’t tell people — especially pregnant women — that they’ve gotten fat. It’s very mean.” I explained to her that we have no choice but to gain weight (recommended 35-45lbs for twin moms like me) for the safety of our babies and we’re already feeling self-conscious about it. I’m glad I controlled myself even with the hormones because I trust that most people don’t intend to be mean. They’re just pretty dense and that’s their version of chikahan or bonding. She apologized profusely and even sent me a text message hours later thanking me for educating her about being more sensitive. I hope God can give me more patience not to bite people’s heads off hehe ?????? EDIT: I just want to clarify that she said it with a frown and with a disappointed tone. Mind you, she’s the one who told me “sana ganyan ka lang, wag ka nang tumaba” when I first met her and she learned of my pregnancy about 3 months ago.??
Kudos to Saab for talking about it with graciousness! Weight gain for women, pregnant or otherwise, is a hot button in itself so we take off our hats to Saab for choosing the high road on this one. We're sure it couldn't have been easy to keep her cool, but he she set a great example in this story. Expecting mothers can pick up a tip from Saab's calm response, while those with pregnant women in their lives can be more aware of the effect of their words. Thank you, Saab!
Let it be known that pregnant women are not fat, or chubby, or malaman (plump). They are just that: pregnant.
Both new and experienced mommies are not oblivious to the fact that they inevitably pack on a pound or two or — or more accurately, 30 or 40 — and the process does make them feel self-conscious. What they hang on to is knowing that they're bringing life into this world, and that outweighs any insecurities that arise during the 9-month wait for their bundle of joy to arrive.
A better thing to do is support our expecting friends and relatives, perhaps by helping them eat healthily during and after the pregnancy and inviting them to post-natal work outs. It's great for them, and for you, too!
After all, pregnancy in itself is about putting the needs and health of others before yours — specifically, your child's. And if gaining fuller cheeks and a bouncier bum is what it takes, it's all worth it.