Courtesy of Jenni Muehlenbruch

8 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Call Me "Beautiful" When I'm Pregnant

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Segovia Amil said, "True beauty is not of the body or the face, no — it is a thing of the soul — of fire and air, breath and spirit, something brave and unafraid." I would argue that true beauty is not of the pregnant belly, either. I'm not saying pregnant women aren't glorious. They are, but whether someone thinks so shouldn't matter. So, honestly, there are more than a few reasons you shouldn't call me "beautiful" when I'm pregnant. No, really.

I'm not saying I don't appreciate a nice compliment. I'd just prefer that it have something to do with an attribute other than my looks. When I was pregnant my appearance was all people could seem to talk about, though, and especially how much better I looked with a little weight on me. All that made me feel was that I wasn't beautiful before I decided to grow a human being inside my body. And perfect strangers telling me how beautiful I looked? Well, that just made me uncomfortable.

What I really appreciated was people like my husband, who sent me a stunning bouquet and told me what a fighter I was, and my sister, who burst into tears when she saw my baby bump — not because I was so beautiful but because that was her "daughter-niece" in there.

If you think I'm beautiful when I'm pregnant, that's cool. Just know that it's all the same to me and for the following reasons:

Because Pregnancy Isn't About Being Pretty

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Pregnancy is a beautiful thing, to be sure, but make no mistake: it's not about being beautiful. It's about growing a human being inside of yourself, and usually that process isn't pretty at all. There's nothing beautiful about hemorrhoids, swollen ankles, and chronic back pain. But frankly, pretty doesn't matter. What's important is the health and security of mom and the baby-to-be.

Because I'm Growing Life

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Beauty is irrelevant when you're in the midst of something as life-changing as pregnancy. This is the miracle of life, people. I could look like pregnant Blake Lively or a beached whale, and I would still be f*cking beautiful.

Because I'm Just Trying Not To Throw Up

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Thanks for the compliment, but I need to go or I'm going to projectile vomit all over your Coach bag. I'm way more interested in finding a receptacle for my puke than I am in hearing how gorgeous you think I am.

Because This Is Actually Sweat

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That glow you keep referring to? Yeah, it's actually extreme perspiration. It might look beautiful on the edges of my face, but believe me, it is really unpleasant in my crotch.

Because I Think I'm Beautiful

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There's only one opinion that matters here, and it's mine. I can look past the bags under my eyes and the skin stretched tight over my belly and see the real beauty (could be I'm distracted by my amazing boobs, though). That means more than anyone's approval on a day I happened to wear makeup and put on a dress.

Because Societal Standards Of Beauty Suck

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Why, why are pregnancy beauty tips a thing? It's like the whole nine months you're expected to hide what's changing about your body (the parts that make other people uneasy, at least). So, slap on the eye serum and cocoa butter so no one knows you're tired and have stretch marks.

Fight the power, ladies. You don't have to be beautiful when you're ensuring the future of the human race, or any other time for that matter. Beauty isn't the toll you pay to exist in this world.

Because My Self-Esteem Is Not Based On The Opinions Of Random Strangers

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Did I say I don't care if you think I'm beautiful when I'm pregnant? I meant I don't care what you think. Full stop.

Because I'm Going To Be A Kickass Mom Regardless

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Someone thinking you're beautiful when pregnant isn't scientifically correlated with your parenting ability. Shocking, I know. At the end of the day, physical beauty is inconsequential. It's about who you are on the inside. I don't know about you but raising confident, loving, compassionate kids is way more important to me than being the pretty pregnant lady.