What Have I Done to Deserve This?

The stares. Some curious, some hard, some long, some downright rude. All directed at my burgeoning belly.

The common scenario – both of us are approaching each other from the opposite direction. From far, I observe the slightly lowered head. As we approach, I can clearly tell the eyes are fixed onto my middle, and the clogs in the mind churning. I stare back, but at the face. Just before we brush past each other, the other party suddenly feels someone staring and lock eyes with me, but being unable to hold my gaze, looks away sheepishly. Like someone caught in the act.

As I observe, 8 out of 10 starers are hard and rude ones. 10 out 10 of the starers are females. A trend I find weird.

Granted, other ladies when pregnant are uniquely pretty to look at. I am attracted to them too, and I like to guess how advanced they are into the pregnancy, or the gender of the baby based on the shape of the belly. But I do not give hostile stares; just appraising and curious ones.

So what is it about the belly that attracts such curiosity and even hostility? As fellow women, shouldn’t we share common evoluntionary traits, and hence empathy for the same gender? I guess I can conjure some reasons behind the hostility, but why am I made to feel I’m at fault?

I’m probably being ultra-sensitive about the whole staring issue, but can everyone leave my belly alone please…

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