When the news about Kylie Jenner's pregnancy broke last week, it came close to breaking the internet in a way only her big sister's naked, oily rump has previously managed. The headlines screamed: "Kim Didn't Respond Well at First!"; "It's a Girl!"; "Caitlyn Jenner WAS told about Kylie's pregnancy..." and all manner of other things. Within days, and in a fit of bonafide baby fever, US Weekly announced that Kylie's half-sister Khloe was also with child.
The most interesting thing to note about all of this is that the pregnancy, and the people around Kylie, are at the center of these stories -- not Kylie herself. It's almost as if, as her pregnancy has become real to the public, she has been rendered invisible. And, as a lot of pregnant women will tell you, this is a remarkably commonplace occurrence for even non-famous moms-to-be in America (and probably in a lot of other places too), thanks to a culture that often places more importance on the lives of unborn children than it does on their mothers'.
Somehow, being pregnant can objectify women even further than an average un-pregnant day. While strangers don't typically walk up to other strangers on the street and touch them without asking, a quick Google search finds a multitude of women desperately asking the internet how to stop strangers from touching their pregnant bellies. Back in 2013, a woman who chose to remain anonymous, wrote for XO Jane: "Somehow by carrying a child within it, my belly has become public property."
This erasure of self by others, common for many pregnant women, is writ even larger for the famous ones like Kylie Jenner. America adores celebrities and, even more than that, it adores babies. When these two things successfully combine, the country can become utterly insatiable. Non-famous women may have to suffer through having their bellies touched by strangers, but celebrities have to deal with every facet of their pregnancies being dissected by the whole world, around the clock, as if they are unfeeling incubators.