It’s A Shame It Took Seeing Cardi B.’s Baby Bump For Me To Be Happy About Her Pregnancy
Yesterday, I had to sheepishly tell my sister that I was a bit ashamed of the way I initially reacted to Cardi B.’s pregnancy.
When the rumors first began swirling, my first reaction was “nooo.” I thought about her career path and what a baby might do to slow that down. But more than anything, the idea of her carrying Offset’s child when their relationship seems to be so unstable was at the heart of my disappointment. By her own Twitter account, the two have had a couple of break-up-to-make-up moments not to mention there’s footage of his infidelity.
The whole thing reminded me of Future and Ciara…except with those two, there were no rumors of infidelity at the time. We just knew Future had a gang of kids—like Offset. In this case, the situation seemed bleaker because Cardi’s career is astronomical leaps away from where Ciara’s was at the time.
The timing and the person… off. As my cousin said this weekend, his name is fitting because he offsets careers.
But then, after a long and exhausting day, I received a text from a friend stating that Cardi revealed her baby bump during her “Saturday Night Live” performance. I immediately hopped on Twitter to see the image. And at the sight of her gleaming in all white, her stomach poked out in that signature roundness, I smiled. Naturally, she looked amazing. Then again, it’s hard to look at a woman about to bring life into this world and think solely about the “unfortunate” circumstances. As far as we know, the two are in love with one another. And that love resulted in this baby, then that should be enough for us outsiders.
Even when I think about all the hell that Future and Ciara went through with one another, at the end of the day, Ciara has a beautiful and brilliant child who I’m sure she wouldn’t trade for anything in this world or the next.
My reaction reminded me of the reason why actress Kyla Pratt decided she wanted to keep her pregnancy a secret.
After her daughter was born, she said,
“I just feel like that was something personal that I wanted to experience and enjoy myself. Especially with the social media nowadays, people are easily able to reach you and easily able to say what they want to say without any consequences. And when you’re pregnant, you’re hormonal, you have a lot of things going on. My fear was somebody saying something, and it really affecting me when it doesn’t really matter.
So when I announced I had a daughter, we got a lot of backlash, but I didn’t care. I had my baby. But when you’re pregnant, you don’t know what somebody’s gonna say or what’s gonna affect you or how you’re gonna feel. And I just felt like that was just something personal that… I loved my pregnancy! Every moment! I wasn’t hiding! You thought I was sitting in the house with the shades drawn? Like, no! I went to Disneyland eight months pregnant. I had a HUGE baby shower. I just had people around me who respect me and understand where I was coming from.”
It reminded me of the possible reasons singer Brandy felt the need to lie about the circumstances that led up to her pregnancy. There’s a lot of judgment out there, obviously from myself included, and Brandy knew that a child star and role model for a lot of young, Black girls, an unwed pregnancy would have been a scandal.
For as much as I’ve championed Cardi being herself, living her life on her terms, I have to admit perhaps, respectability politics were influencing my initial assessment of her pregnancy. It’s entirely possible that a decision I wouldn’t make for my own life may have been the perfect one for Cardi’s. And I think the general lesson is it’s better for us to give women the space to do that, without interjecting our negativity into it.
It saddens me that Cardi felt she had to keep her pregnancy a secret because she knew people would speak negatively about the life she was carrying.
The video of her backstage, after her SNL performance proclaiming her freedom, was both beautiful and touching and a bit hard to watch as one of those people whose attitudes contributed to Cardi feeling like she needed to live in hiding.
Outside of waiting past the first trimester, she shouldn’t have felt pressured by anyone to hide such a blessing.
Plus, for those who are concerned about her career, fellow rapper and mother Maimouna Youssef is embarking on a project to promote women who are excelling in their careers while simultaneously raising children.
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I obhor how anti-womb and anti life the entertainment industry is. Whenever a woman decides to give life to another human, literally the most amazing act of Godly creation she can ever take part in, people feel the need to belittle her. No matter how much that woman has already accomplished, they'll say it's career suicide. They'll say it's not a good time. It's never a good time for them to have to stop viewing us as sexual objects & pimping us for money. And please understand this post is not about comparing Cardi B to Ms.Hill at all. I've seen women on all levels go through this. Lots of important people told me I'd never amount to anything if I had my child. So glad I didn't listen to them. As a creative person the best thing you can do for your creativity is have experiences that deepen your perspective on life and grow you as a person and becoming a parent for the first time will definitely do that. A lot of women will lose their recording contracts for getting pregnant because they are seen as less valuable and a damaged product. When it should be the other way around. Becoming a mother should make you more valuable not less. A lot of women artists in the 40s-90s even hid their children and had other family members raise them just to protect this false image of being young, untouched and available forever in the public eye. And that's if they weren't pressured into abortions. Im speaking what i know yall. You literally get flack for doing the one thing humans are put here to do, reproduce the species. You really find out who your true friends and supporters are though when you have a baby. You'll see who jumps ship and who stays on. Ok im off my soapbox. But I have a whole project on motherhood coming soon. Please tag an amazing artist mom who's doing her thing with her babies on her hips and back. We give birth over here! @ajablack @kindredthewife @yahzarah @missjillscott @erykahbadu @radigya @therealjaymills @steelebeautiful78 @jurneebell @ms__laurynhill @iamcardib @beyonce @Teyanataylor @pjalwayswrite #motherhood #cardib #snl #babybump #beyonce #LaurynHill #jurneebell #teyanataylor #livingyourbestlife @nianiaandrews
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Ok so let's try this again since in my last post, some people were too caught up whether Cardi Bs album was fire or trash to realize that i wasn't speaking about her music at all, and I def wasn't comparing her to Lauryn Hill by any means. I was speaking about the scrutiny women face on all levels in the entertainment industry when they decide to give birth. Here is @jurneebell at 8 months pregnant playing the most incredible superhero named #Rosalee who has escaped slavery, (now shot and bloody) on a show called #Underground that I wish with every bone in me would have another season. She's been accomplished since she was like 5 years old or something and still delt with anti-womb scrutiny in the business when she decided to give birth. Read her post below. #putsomerespectonmywomb word to PJ. #RepostSave @jurneebell with @repostsaveapp ・・・ They say resilience is a muscle. We aren't born with an endless amount of it. This was Rosalee's revenant. Honestly, this ep 3 stretched me beyond anything I ever thought I could do. Some of my most proudest work. So many tell you when you're an actress not to get pregnant…as if it's career suicide. But God has bigger plans than that. I reject the notion that as a woman I must choose career over my personal life. I'm an artist, and my life informs my art. Feeds it. It mean so much to pay tribute to that warrior, mama bear spirit in all the Rosalee's that have come before me. To be used as a vessel to tell the story of our strength and our struggle to.. just. Be. Human. But at 8 months pregnant, I wouldn't have been able to tell this story without my amazing support team. In between takes, my baby daddy @josiahbell would feed me and take care of me. While @debimakeup applied the fake blood and dirt and checked on me. @mishatrillxxl would bring me endless water bottles and @shinybootz was my fierce leader I trusted so. And my amazing midwife @gracefullbirth kept mommy and baby healthy and strong. S/o to #tierreTurner and #KelseyTurner our amazing stunt team that kept us safe. Grateful to do what I love. #teamUs #undergroundwgn …oh and Hunter is a G. He rode with mommy the whole way ☺️
It’s more than possible. And in the words of Susie Carmichael, “A baby is a gift from a bob.” Always.