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The pregnancy of “Skinny Moms” for Sale!: Representations of Celebrity Moms’ Pregnancies in Korean Online Media
Unformatted Document Text:  “Skinny Moms” - 14 thin and beautiful pregnancy; i.e., a slim figure with the stomach only slightly sticking out. As seen in the media coverage of stars‟ pregnancies, now the ideal pregnant body is just the same as the non-pregnant body except for a baby bump. Women exposed to celebrities‟ pictures in which they show off thin arms, legs, and a slight baby bump are highly likely to want that kind of body shape during pregnancy. The fact that taking a pregnancy picture like a celebrity has become in vogue among ordinary mothers in Korea and they are concerned about their weights during pregnancy demonstrates that the skinny mom discourse has influenced real moms. The expansion of thin body idealization into pregnancy may have an adverse impact on a mother and a fetus. Not only women with a history of, or pre-existing eating disorders, but also women who have never had an eating disturbance may experience such symptoms in the post- partum period. It is attributed to “the stress of motherhood and the corresponding body changes” (Gibson, 2008). Also, Gibson argued that media images of thin celebrity moms may prompt unhealthy attitudes and behaviors among mothers. In Korea, a recent report indicated that the ratio of low birthweight infants has been increasing over the past 15 years. Average birth weight of newborn infants also has been decreasing. It is speculated that pregnancy at an advanced age and pregnant women‟s weight management are the main reasons (Choi, 2009). Bishop (2009) also argued that recent trend to see the post-partum body as abnormal has caused “psychological, physical, and economic difficulties” to real mothers (p. 138). Second, celebrities‟ pregnancies are being simply glamorized. Difficulties involved in pregnancy are not shown in skinny mom discourses because all those celebrities are thrilled with the joy of being a mother and do their job perfectly. Being able to be a skinny mom is attributed to genetics, breastfeeding, and ordinary exercise, while celebrities‟ advantages are disregarded or intentionally omitted. From this perspective, a slim body during or after pregnancy is what every

Authors: Chae, Jiyoung.
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“Skinny Moms” - 14   
thin  and  beautiful  pregnancy;  i.e.,  a  slim  figure  with  the  stomach  only  slightly  sticking  out.  As 
seen in the media coverage of stars‟ pregnancies, now the ideal pregnant body is just the same as 
the non-pregnant body except for a baby bump. Women exposed to celebrities‟ pictures in which 
they show off thin arms, legs, and a slight baby bump are highly likely to want that kind of body 
shape  during  pregnancy.  The  fact  that  taking  a  pregnancy  picture  like  a  celebrity  has  become  in 
vogue  among  ordinary  mothers  in  Korea  and  they  are  concerned  about  their  weights  during 
pregnancy demonstrates that the skinny mom discourse has influenced real moms.   
The expansion of thin body idealization into pregnancy may have an adverse impact on a 
mother  and  a  fetus.  Not  only  women  with  a  history  of,  or  pre-existing  eating  disorders,  but  also 
women  who  have  never  had  an  eating  disturbance  may  experience  such  symptoms  in  the  post-
partum period. It is attributed to “the stress of motherhood and the corresponding body changes” 
(Gibson,  2008).  Also,  Gibson  argued  that  media  images  of  thin  celebrity  moms  may  prompt 
unhealthy attitudes and behaviors among mothers. In Korea, a recent report indicated that the ratio 
of  low  birthweight  infants  has  been  increasing  over  the  past  15  years.  Average  birth  weight  of 
newborn infants also has been decreasing. It is speculated that pregnancy at an advanced age and 
pregnant  women‟s  weight  management  are  the  main  reasons  (Choi,  2009).  Bishop  (2009)  also 
argued  that  recent  trend  to  see  the  post-partum  body  as  abnormal  has  caused  “psychological, 
physical, and economic difficulties” to real mothers (p. 138).   
Second,  celebrities‟  pregnancies  are  being  simply  glamorized.  Difficulties  involved  in 
pregnancy are not shown in skinny mom discourses because all those celebrities are thrilled with 
the joy of being a mother and do their job perfectly. Being able to be a skinny mom is attributed to 
genetics,  breastfeeding,  and  ordinary  exercise,  while  celebrities‟  advantages  are  disregarded  or 
intentionally omitted. From this perspective, a slim body during or after pregnancy is what every 

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