by Valentina Loaiza //
Earlier last month, I encountered a video of ¡Despierta América! host, Francisca Lachapel, responding to criticisms about her pregnancy. In a ten-minute video posted on her Instagram as an “IGTV,” teary-eyed Lachapel expressed her frustration and sadness after constantly seeing negative comments and messages about changes to her weight and
It’s a no-brainer that these aspects of her image have been impacted by her pregnancy, which she goes into further detail about in her video. Nonetheless, viewers and acquaintances have taken it upon themselves to claim that pregnancy doesn’t suit her because she’s “gained weight” and “dresses like an old lady.” She explained that her dressing style has changed, adapting to her changing body and making an effort to feel as comfortable as possible. Despite the insensitive comments, Lachapel has made it very clear that pregnancy has been the most beautiful phase of her life and acknowledges the existence of the “perfect” pregnancy label, a label she feels she’s far from. “Every woman carries their child differently” and with that, Lachapel reassures the public that she feels beautiful and wouldn’t change anything about her pregnancy.
With the pressure put forth on body image by the Spanish-speaking media, and the media in general, Lachapel is only one of many women publicly scrutinized during, or as a result of pregnancy. Alejandra Espinoza, another host on Univision, shared with Lachapel on an Instagram live that she had also been cyberbullied after giving birth to her first child. Espinoza’s experience was different in many ways. In 2015, Espinoza gave birth to her first child after going through three miscarriages in the past. Viewers have been accompanying Espinoza since 2007 after her coronation in Univision’s beauty pageant, Nuestra Belleza Latina. She shared her pregnancy with the public from beginning to end, but her newborn fell victim to many criticisms because of his appearance. Showering a new mother with harsh comments about her newborn is outright despicable.
It’s about time we all recognize that pregnancies are unique to each person. The harsh criticism towards pregnant public figures is uncalled for, insensitive, and illogical. For example, when I Google, “What to wear during pregnancy?” there are extensive results encouraging women to wear comfortable clothes including, maxi dresses, loose shirts, gowns, tunics, and wraparounds. Of course, for television hosts like Lachapel, maintaining an “attractive” physical appearance is an essential part of their jobs. I just hope that pregnant bodies continue to be empowered and addressed as something natural rather than something that needs to be scrutinized.