Stock images rarely depict reality. I mean, who smiles while eating a salad without dressing or croutons? No one. Also, why does everyone wear white? Seriously, I can't wear white for longer than five minutes without spilling something on myself. Pregnancy stock images are the worst offenders. In fact, in my opinion, some pregnant woman stock photos need to be banned from the internet immediately.
The other day I realized only had one photo of myself while pregnant with my second child. Then I remembered why. My pregnancy was terrible. I had hyperemesis gravidarum, which meant I vomited for months on end. When that seemed to settle down, I started to swell until I was induced for preeclampsia at 37 weeks. I didn't want to remember my pregnancy, and the last thing I wanted was a photo of me miserable and unhappy. Still, I honestly regret it.
This time around, I made a point to take and pose for a ton of photos. I wanted to document every minute, from the bad days when I couldn't keep food down, to the last moments of calm before the storm. My husband captured images of my first moments with our son that I will cherish forever. I wanted to document what pregnancy was really like, not the way it is depicted in the media or in ridiculous stock photos.
Most pregnant people don't have perfectly smooth, round, airbrushed bellies with no visible stretch marks, veins, rashes, or dry skin. These images of perfection leave most pregnant people thinking they are doing it wrong. Another note worth making? Pregnant people have faces. We are not just pregnant torsos, or vessels to be objectified. When stock images do include faces, they usually are expressing one of three emotions: cheerful, sad, or angry. Which pisses me off, because most pregnant people feel a ton of emotions, and we totally don't need more images of irrational, angry women on the internet. Some seem to fetishize pregnant women in strange ways, either depicting a pregnant woman as the innocent angel or the devil in the bedroom, literally.
Honestly, most stock images leave me wondering if they've ever seen a pregnancy person in real life. They seriously should be banned. For real.