Influencer Danae Mercer is sharing an important message about commenting on women's bodies.
On Tuesday, the self-love advocate shared a video comparing what she looks like when she's bloated to that of a pregnant woman. Mercer explained that the difference often goes undetected, and urged her followers to refrain from asking if a woman is pregnant.
"Bloating vs baby," she began in the caption. "Or stop asking women if they’re pregnant because these questions are so loaded and so complex."
Mercer went on to use Natalie Portman as an example of the unwanted comments women regularly receive about their bodies.
"Natalie Portman called out a tabloid recently for doing the same. It posted a pic of her in workout kit. ‘Pregnant!’ the tabloid declared, pointing to her tummy. ‘So I’m not pregnant,’ she responded. But apparently, it’s still ok to comment on a woman’s body shape?" she penned.
Mercer also admitted that she's been subject to similar comments in the past and they make her uncomfortable.
"Even when it comes from a kind place, it feels so loaded. Because there’s body judgment wrapped in somewhere," she wrote. "So unless you are a close friend — a dear friend speaking in a safe space, leave that question out of the conversation."
Fans thanked the influencer for speaking up about the issue and for her effort to "normalize bloating."
"Thank you for sharing this. We really need to normalize bloating because why do I always feel the need to hide it? Or excuse myself to my friends or partners or family when I'm not looking my thinnest so they don't assume I'm pregnant or letting myself go," one person commented.
"I've developed an aversion to some kinds of clothes because of these questions," another wrote. "I was straight out of high school when people offered me a seat on the public bus because I was wearing a flowy dress. A few years later, a friend told me another dress made me look like I was pregnant."
"These kinds of questions and remarks make me feel horrible, because despite not having plans of having a baby, I have some trauma related to the subject. People could just mind their own business instead of talking about our bodies," someone else added.
"Exactly! Thank you for speaking up," commented another Instagram user.