By: Ashlyn Robinette
Late October, supermodel Emily Ratajkowski revealed her pregnancy with Vogue. She and her husband, Sebastian Bear-McClaurd, are expecting a baby soon. The question everyone is dying to know… Is it a boy or a girl?
To Ratajkowski and her husband Sebastian Bear-McClard, gender goes beyond genitalia as they say, “we won’t know the gender until our child is 18 and then they’ll let us know then.” In her pregnancy reveal video titled, “who will you be?” Ratajkowski shows off her new body and shares thoughts about her future child. In the voiceover, we hear Ratajkowski state, “we are waiting for you, wondering who you will be.”
Later on, she reminisces about observing pedestrians one day, wondering if one of those strangers would be her child. She lists the strange changes happening to her body and how it is all connected to her unborn baby and how beautiful that is. The video closes with Ratajkowski saying, “I cannot wait to see who you will be.”
Ratajkowski wants to force as few gender stereotypes on her baby as possible, and instead focus on who her child will be. In her essay on pregnancy and gender, Ratajkowski writes:
“Whatever genitalia our child might be born with: the truth that we ultimately have no idea who—rather than what—is growing inside my belly. Who will this person be? What kind of person will we become parents to? How will they change our lives and who we are?”
Rather than worrying about gender reveal parties and the different expectations society has for boys and girls, Ratajkowski just hopes that her child “can determine their own place in the world.”
Simultaneously, Ratajkowski understands that “they will, no matter what, be faced with the undeniable constraints and constructions of gender before they can speak or, hell, even be born.”
This is because everyone has opinions on what ought to be expected from boys and girls. People make claims and generalizations about how a certain gender should dress or behave, what kind of things they should and shouldn’t like, and how they develop. Ratajkowski even had people tell her that her pregnancy itself would be affected by the gender of her child.
Many children have gendered life experiences. This bothers Ratajkowski as she doesn’t, “like that we force gender-based preconceptions onto people, let alone babies,” and wants her and her husband to be parents who allow their child to show themself to them. On Instagram, Ratajkowski has fully embraced pregnancy and getting to know her new body, caressing her bump in all of her posts and stories since announcing her pregnancy, ready for whoever this new person will be.
Ratajkowski’s latest comment about her baby sums it all up:
“I don’t try to envision a pink or blue blanket in my arms. I’m too humbled to have any false notions of control. I’m completely and undeniably helpless when it comes to almost everything surrounding my pregnancy: how my body will change, who my child will be. But I’m surprisingly unbothered. Instead of feeling afraid, I feel a new sense of peace. I’m already learning from this person inside my body. I’m full of wonder.”
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