Make Yourself An F Off T Shirt

Life Design Action: Make Yourself An F Off T Shirt

Requires: A white T Shirt (long if you are pregnant) and some Sharpies (colours optional) and people you want to say F Off to

Does not require: Rational thought or self consciousness

This is one of those posts that I may look back upon and regret. It is the kind of post that I’m vaguely aware I’m writing in a reactionary sort of way. However, I feel it is necessary. See, I have begun receiving an unwelcome torrent of unsolicited bump remarks.

This is very frustrating.

What other time in your life do people – often people you don’t know very well – open a conversation with declarations about the size of your tummy? Or, worse still, feeling they have the right to come over and TOUCH your stomach and then look shocked when you say “yes, I’m now six months”?

It is as though we have somehow developed this weird cultural thing that involves women who are carrying babies having to suffer the hands of strangers stroking their abdomens and verbal summaries as to how they are looking 10 times a day. And the woman with bump has to smile politely through gritted teeth and nod and like a passive aggressive cow. OR they react and be accused of being hormonal.

So – this was a typical day for me last week:

Lady in the Post Office: “Gosh, you’re only six months pregnant? That bump is VERY small.”

Me (politely): “That’s strange. Everyone else is say it is big. My midwife says it is fine.”

Leave Post Office. Pop in and see mother. Ask for off-the-record mum advise, “Do you think this bump is small?”

Hear Mum’s partner choking in living room. He then calls out, “I thought QUITE the opposite. I was saying to your mum that its going to be a very big baby.”

Teeth grit slightly.

Go to Ads’ deli. Friend’s husband walks in. Slopes over, staring at bump (which he also saw yesterday and day before and day before that). “Jesus Bethan! When’s it DUE???”

“March,” I say, suddenly very self conscious. Pull cardigan over bump and fold arms. Feeling a cocktail of worries that involve, a) am I going to have to push small but considerable sized hippo out of vagina? b) have I got gestational diabetes and I am the size of a house but don’t know it ? c) Am I going to have a slip of control and punch this man in the nose, hence ruining my relationship with his fine better half?

Go and sit down in corner of deli to do some work, intermittently disturbed by people (mostly men) who once said “hi Bethan? How are you?” now peppering me with declarations like, “Bloody hell – you’re blooming!” “Six months? Is that all?” “You’re glowing (laughs). Actually it might be the red of the walls reflecting off your face that’s making you glow.”

Later I go to school and am greeting with, “Gosh – you’re showing now aren’t you?”

I would quite happily like to lean into their faces and say, “YES I AM. There is a baby in my stomach that now measures 35cm from the top of their head to the bottom of their spine. It Sticks Out.”

But I don’t. Because I’ve been good.

Until now.

Last night I lay in bed and considered my options.

Option 1 is basically not go out and see anyone until my baby is born and then do the whole “Kate Middleton”, shed the baby weight programme until my body becomes socially acceptable for people not to rudely comment on it.

Option 2 is to tell people to “be quiet” when they feel compelled to summarise my body for me.

Option 3 is to make myself a F Off T Shirt. Obviously it won’t say the actual words Fuck Off as that is offensive and might make lesser foul-mouthed people cross the road when they see me. Instead I am going to design a range of T shirts with slogans such as;

“Let’s not talk about the size of my bump. Let’s discuss the diameter of your nipple disks (compared to the national average).”

“This bump is six months old and the perfect size. Now lets discuss your age and the length of your penis!”

I am going to go and purchase my first set of T Shirts today! I have a lovely bag of Sharpies already – including a gorgeous gold and bronze set that my lovely Ames brought back from her recent trip to San Fran. If you have any inspired thoughts about other slogans I can add to this cutting-edge T Shirt collection please feel free to let loose in the comments.

The blunter the better.

Have a very gorgeous day!!

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14 thoughts on “Make Yourself An F Off T Shirt

  1. Mother Nature is doing her thing, I really don’t need your opinion, have a nice day!

    A bit long winded I know.
    Happy pregnancy, love you xxx

    • I like it Kelly. I like it a lot – and not too long winded at all. I feel that there may be a different t short for each sort of day/mood. Now I need to decide whether I would actually have the guts bump to wear these statement tops!! xx PS. Love you too!

  2. Ha! I hated the touching-thing as well. But comments regarding my size didn’t bother me that much – while I was still pregnant, that is. What is really making me grit my teeth are those comments NOW. The other day I had 5 different people asking me when the baby is due!!! And I have to admit this really scratches on my self esteem. I guess I have to become at least a little bit sporty in order to get rid of that residue-belly that stubbornly refuses to melt away on its own. Up until then I should think about an adapted version of the F Off Shirt. Something like: “Yes- my baby is 5 month old and I still have a belly. If you shut up just now there’s no need for apologetic grimaces afterwards and you can proceed counting calories while I get on with being a mum.” Something like that…

    • Janin – would you be needing your F Off shirt in German or English? If in German please send the translation and I am going to make you on. I LOVE your slogan. You’ve also inspired another shirt with “You may worship my bump, but if you touch it the charge is £33.00.” I know that feels slightly like one is prostituting ones bump, but hey! xxx PS. LOVE YOU!!!!!

      • It’s probably never too early to let them earn their own money… 😉 And the slogan is great! I am already curious to see the whole range of statement-shirts that will come out of this.
        As my slogan is quite long -even in English- I fear you might need the front AND the back of the shirt for the German version (yes- we do have long words…). So- English would work better. 😉
        But here’s another great idea: Have you ever thought about gorgeousness T-Shirts? Your illustrations are always so stunning – they’d look fabulous on a shirt as well…

      • I have been thinking about this today (strangely). Next year I’m looking to launch positive body image parenting/pregnancy products alongside a new GYOG site. Do you fancy taking on the German franchise? I don’t think your slogan is too big. We can make anything fit … As soon as T Shirts are done I will post pictures and then put yours in the post for you. Love you Munich Goddess xxx

  3. On the back of the T shirt “Make my day…..p.t.o.” on the front “Tell me how gorgeous I look and give my tummy a nice big squeeze”

  4. The bigger the bump, the longer the slogan can be! 😉
    And yeah – I’d love to do the German franchise. Have to slowly get my head around doing something creative/ productive once again and how to earn money in the future. Fingerprints taught me that a great idea alone is simply not enough and as much as I like to work outside the ratrace of an office, I am not really good when working all on my own. I need to share and discuss ideas, because otherwise I start lacking enthusiasm. And you would be the business partner of my dreams – you know that! Love you, always!

    • Hmm, I need to slowly unfold my head from around creative/productive stuff and mould it into some sort of Zen/Breast Feeding Goddess shape. Maybe we’ll meet each other half way … Fingerprints was an amazing experience and a brilliant idea, but like you say, something was missing from having it be the success that it should have been. I bet that in a few years you will look back and the key things you learnt about business, who YOU became in the process of that creation and what that then leads onto will show that everything turned out exactly as it should. One day our forces shall combine. Love you too xxx

  5. You’ve made my day….. in need of such a t-shirt today! ‘Touch/Comment at your own risk’….. (seriously considering doing this)

    • Haha, glad you liked them Sinead. I am now five days overdue and am looking at designing a new one that says “NO I HAVEN’T BLOODY HAD IT YET!” Ads, the other half, is also quite open to wearing one (obviously replacing I with SHE) xxx

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