Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Face Value

I want to rant about something but I'll have to start by writing a spoiler about Gossip Girl (for the person besides me who still watches it): so Blair is pregnant. I don't care about that storyline really, I know it's just to keep her linked to Chuck forever and ever. The part that irked me is that, when she was getting her wedding dress fitted the seamstress blew up her spot because she had gotten her measurements, but she noticed they had changed. That in and of itself isn't unrealistic (like I watch this show for its realism in the first place) but they lost me when she said, "let me guess, you're about six weeks along?" Bull. Shit. Many people, particularly those who aren't trying to get pregnant, don't even find out they're pregnant until after the fetus is considered six weeks. And if you start counting fetus weeks from the date of the start of your last menstrual period as anyone who has ever been pregnant does, it's actually been growing for closer to four weeks. Which is a baby blob roughly the size of a freckle. The point is, there's no way Blair has started packing on any weight.  It just reminded me that Hollywood thinks people are stupid, and that, truly, we are. Because if I'd never gotten pregnant, I'd never have realized that there's this myth of pregnancy that exists out there in the cultural ether.

The truth is, you don't start showing for months and months, especially in a first pregnancy. Hormonal fluctuations and cravings are greatly exaggerated, and the number of women whose water breaks spontaneously, let alone breaks before there is a single contraction, is extremely small. But as far as I knew, the movies and TV knew what they were talking about. There's no such thing as subtleties when it comes to the portrayal of one human gestating another. I know, I know, subtlety is not physical comedy's best friend, it's not the point. It's just amazing to me how in the dark I was about this aspect of owning a woman's body until it came my turn to put it to use (at a rather seasoned age, I might add) and people who never have or want kids will never know the truth about this. I don't know why that bothers me, but it does. A recent re-watch of Look Who's Talking actually prompted me to start writing a dissertation on all the ways it was messed up before I decided I needed to back away from that ledge.

I'm all for escapism, but it does make me wonder what other parts of life that get re-invented or glossed over by the fantasy machine. Like, do koalas exist? Come on, have YOU ever seen one? Even documentaries have to employ a certain amount of manipulation and truth-massaging in order to be compelling. But eh, when it comes down to it, maybe I don't really want to know. I do, but I don't. But I do.

Here's the amazing T-Rex, which is a thing I believe really happened in the 1970s and I'm just sad I didn't get to be a part of it.

No comments:

Post a Comment