Model Gigi Hadid has confirmed she’s expecting a baby with partner Zayn Malik on The Tongiht Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
On Wednesday, April 29, you may have seen your social media feeds flooded with exciting posts about the couple’s impending arrival.
Fans from around the world expressed their delight with pink and blue emojis, media outlets chronicled the pair’s relationship timeline, and fans speculated that Hadid’s recent 25th birthday party doubled as a gender reveal.
TMZ — who to be fair, is usually pretty spot on with its reporting — initially broke the story. Hadid was “20 weeks pregnant” and “both families were excited”.
When Hadid appeared (virtually) on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to confirm the couple’s exciting news, she said “Obviously, you know, we wish we could’ve announced it on our own terms, but we’re very excited and happy and grateful for everyone’s well wishes and support” she said.
“I’m trying [to be present for every part of it]. Especially during this time, it’s a nice silver lining to be able to be home and together and really experience it.”
It’s beautiful news.
The thing is, we need to be careful about the way we report on pregnancy.
While the news is a blissful reprieve from the doom and gloom of news during this global pandemic, the way the story broke is less than ideal. Hadid herself even expressed desire to announce the news herself.
She may have confirmed the news now, but what if there hadn’t actually been a pregnancy and the world had celebrated and speculated something that wasn’t true?
How would a 25-year-old woman feel about her fertility being thrown around like public fodder — the speculation, the “bump watch”, the anticipation and stress of having to announce a very personal thing that she wasn’t ready to announce?
We don’t like it happening in the “real world”, so what makes it OK for a celebrity? What is with celebrity pregnancy culture?! Why is it OK for us to make news about something that is so deeply personal?
It ia reminiscent of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s pregnancy announcement in October 2018, when Kensington Palace announced the news ahead of the couple’s royal tour of Australia and New Zealand, in order to get on the front foot and avoid speculation.
Imagine the pressure the celebrity must be under when it comes to announcing and then staying fit throughout their pregnancy. They’re put under a microscope, every step (or misstep) watched and judged.
OBGYN and fertility specialist Dr Alex Polyakov shares why it’s so important that we reevaluate the way this type of news is shared.
“This creates immense pressure on young women to look fabulous during pregnancy,” Dr Polyakov said. “Some women may eat a suboptimal diet to avoid getting ‘fat’ during pregnancy because of that. Young women need to be educated on the correct nutrient requirement during pregnancy to maintain healthy weight gain.”
Dr Polyakov also expressed concern about Gigi’s fans.
“Girls and women who have been following Gigi’s fashion style may now consider getting pregnant too,” he said.
“It is important though to send a message that having a baby is a big commitment and individual circumstances have to be considered.”
However, with all its issues, there is still a silver lining to celebrity pregnancy culture.
“When stars speak about fertility issues that they have experienced this brings positive exposure to the issue and draws women and couples to get fertility investigations if they are concerned,” Dr Polyakov said.
While we can’t stop the world’s “Zaygi” fans from going into baby meltdown, we can, of course, be mindful of the way we report such things.
And now that the news is out there, it’s, of course, a big congratulations to Gigi and Zayn. That is going to be one beautiful baby.
Dr Alex Polyakov is a highly qualified and experienced gynaecologist in East Melbourne who specialises in IVF treatments and infertility issues.
WATCH: Gigi Hadid’s interview with Jimmy Fallon.