When I caught a glimpse of the photo of a seven months pregnant Stacey Solomon puffing away on a cigarette on the front of a down-market Sunday rag while shopping, I admit I was really disappointed in her. I thought that she would be the last person I would see doing something like that, that she would more considerate of her unborn child’s health than some other celebrities. However after seeing the way the whole issue blew up across the media and of course on the internet, I did start to feel sorry for her.
At this point if I was writing this on twitter or FB I would probably get at least one person screaming “OH MY GOD HOW CAN YOU FEEL SORRY FOR HER SHE IS HARMING HER BABY THE SELFISH BITCH!” at me or maybe far worse than that. As is often the case when commenting on situations like this in a reasonable manner, it’s hard to say anything without the odd person immediately thinking you’re defending the behaviour of the person in question (these individuals often don’t actually read the thing as much as see the first sentence and immediately react).
Let me make it clear:
I do not condone Stacey’s actions. What she is doing is stupid and is potentially harmful to both herself and her unborn child.
HOWEVER, I believe that a lot of the flack she has received since those photos were made public has been uncalled for and could also cause harm to her child (newsflash twittermob and tabloids, stress is not good for pregnant women either).
I have little time for the people who say “it’s her life, her body and she can do whatever she likes with it” – yes it is true that it is her body and at any other time she can put what she wants inside it. But when you’re pregnant, it’s not just your body you’re looking after. That said, I don’t think that anyone who for example, has the odd glass of wine while up the duff is immediately evil for doing so. The way people have pilloried Stacey, you’d think that she was up there with Hitler and Bin Laden. Say what you want about the fact that she was caught fagging it in public, but she didn’t ask for someone to photograph her.
What also irked me about the whole reaction from some people, is their attitude to smoking – or rather towards quitting the habit (make no mistake, it is a disgusting habit and you’d be better off not starting it in the first place). The way some people talk about it, it’s as if they think that someone, pregnant women in particular, are able to stop just like that. Truth is, smoking is a hard habit to break and it’s harder for some than it is for others. I regularly deal with people who want to quit as part of my job and it’s not uncommon to come across someone on their third, fourth or even fifth attempt. On this I do have some sympathy for Stacey. I don’t think the fact that she continues to indulge in the habit is a big “fuck you I won’t do what you tell me” to those who advise that you shouldn’t, or to the general view that it’s wrong to. I don’t believe that she has not attempted to quit during the course of her pregnancy and she most definitely is not the first woman to smoke while pregnant, nor will she be the last. Feel free to disagree with me, but I don’t think that a woman with a bump is automatically a bad mother if they have a fag now and again.