A few months ago, online bullies attacked Australia fitness trainer and former Miss Universe finalist Chontel Duncan for posting an Instagram featuring two baby bellies: On the left is Chontel in her 21st week of pregnancy. On the right, the significantly shorter and more pregnant Natalie Smith:
"We worked out that we are four weeks apart, so our little ones will be the same age, same grade at school and potential best buds hehehehe….. Nat’s due start of March, and I’m due end of March.Each women carries different, and this most certainly doesn’t mean one is doing something wrong or not healthy, etc. We both have healthy growing babies, and we both have had incredible pregnancies so far, feeling amazing and full of energy.
While it’s true that every pregnant woman carries differently, many of Chontel’s more than 358,000 Instagram followers freaked out over the photo, accusing her of not looking pregnant and showing off.
"Jesus, I’m not even pregnant and have more of a belly than the one on the left hahaha … ?," one wrote. "I thought [Chontel] was [Natalie’s] trainer," another comment read.
Despite the backlash, Chontel recently posted another baby-belly comparison, this time posing next to a pregnant women with a smaller bump than hers, seemingly for scale. Chontel is 12 days away from her due date in this photo, while the woman on the left has 12 more weeks to go:
But the expectant trainer still can’t get a break. "Left looks normal," read one comment. Another: "I looked like that at nine weeks." Sick of fielding unsolicited critique about her body, Chontel responded to her haters in this post:
It’s hard to believe how cruel some of these comments can be… I may not read every comment, every article, every message, but for the ones I have briefly read, it just blows my mind that someone whom I do not know, whom I’ve never had any form of connection with, could have so much anger and hate towards me as I carry my first child. I’ve spent many years looking after my health and the health of others to the best of my ability, and now I am continuing to focus on my health – but more importantly, the health of my unborn child under the strict instructions of the best health professionals – and openly share my journey. What’s sad is how sheltered so many are on what is and what isn’t healthy… Regardless, I am so confident in the team that support my journey and so in tune with my body that it does not discourage me and make me feel the need to sit down, stuff a burger down my throat, become bed ridden, and live in a bubble. What they are so shocked about is just a fraction of what is so normal to me. It’s safe to say there are people out there that underestimate the female body.
"What’s sad is how sheltered so many are on what is and what isn’t healthy," wrote Chontel, who’s been keeping up with her high-intensity workouts throughout her 39-week pregnancy, documenting her continuing fitness journey on Instagram. She’s even managed to maintain the definition in her abs:
FWIW, most experts agree it’s not just safe to continue working out when you’re pregnant – it’s healthy. So here’s to hoping Chontel’s bullies tone it down ASAP – because no one needs that kind of stress.