You’re not supposed to hate people.
Like, in real life.
But when it comes to celebrities, all bets are off. You can be as snarky and ungenerous as you want. (Isn’t that what celebrities are there for? To be the punching bags on which to take out our insecurities and aggression?)
Which is why, when I saw the headline, “SNOOKI IS PREGNANT!!” on the cover of People magazine at the Barnes and Noble checkout counter, I managed an eye roll to the cashier and sarcastically remarked, “That just shouldn’t even be legal.”
Inside, though, I wasn’t snarking at all. Instead, I was startled to feel a familiar, heavy sadness…
My husband and I experienced a late and traumatic pregnancy loss two and a half years ago. This loss was followed by a year and a half of trying and failing to get pregnant again. Seeing as there’s a newsstand on practically every corner in New York City, each new celebrity pregnancy headline since then has felt like an unavoidable stab in the gut.
J. Lo, Mariah, Padma, Penelope, Pink. Every glowing, sun-glassed, baby-bumped front cover hurled my own inability to conceive back into my face. In my mind, the headlines may as well have read:
Getting pregnant is easy!
Any bimbo with a uterus can do it!
Everyone else can have a healthy baby and you can’t!
I just couldn’t shake the image of train after train leaving the station, happy lives hurtling forward… and me left on the platform over and over again.
My response during this time to “in-real-life” pregnancy announcements were mixed. They all stung to some degree, but somehow you just can’t let yourself hate your cousins, your friends, your co-workers… But I could and did let myself hate Amanda Peet and Alicia Keys.
My son was born six and a half months ago, and I’ve spent every moment since his birth feeling grateful and blessed. Yet somehow that headline in Barnes and Noble took me straight back to the daily grief I carried for all of those months. Maybe there’s a part of me that will always feel angry and sad whenever I hear about some new celebrity pregnancy. I hope not.
Either way, I’m going to try not to spend any more energy hating fertile famous people. Instead, I’ll try to let my feelings serve as a reminder to tread gently through this world, cognizant that one person’s happy news may trigger another’s unseen pain.
Thanks, Snooki, for giving me a chance to think through all that. And really, I wish you the best.