Jodie Turner-Smith’s not about to let anyone shame her pregnant body
Written by Kayleigh Dray
Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.
The Queen & Slim star “gives zero fucks about your disdain for pregnant women’s bodies”, thank you very much.
Jodie Turner-Smith – along with her Queen & Slim co-star Daniel Kaluuya – sat down on BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show on Friday (31 January) to talk about the movie.
“It’s really about two people and who they become because of the trauma and because of the connection between them,” she said of Melina Matsoukas’ debut feature film, which tells the story of a first date that goes terribly wrong when a police officer is accidentally shot.
Rather than focusing on what Turner-Smith had to say, however, the show’s viewers decided to hone in on her outfit – a chic all-black ensemble, featuring a cropped halter-neck top and caped trousers – instead. Because, if there’s one thing they’ve learned from The Handmaid’s Tale, it’s that pregnant women should always shroud themselves in shapeless habits when out in public.
“I don’t need to see your bump on a talk show thanks,” wrote one. “There’s something to be said for being quietly proud of the miracle growing inside you. Thanks but no thanks for your visual display.”
“I really don’t get why Jodie has her stomach out,” seethed another.
And still one more, this time refusing to even do Turner-Smith the respect of referring to her by name, called for “the pregnant woman” to “cover up”.
Turner-Smith soon took note of all the trolls crawling out from underneath their bridges. And, being the social media queen that she is, the actor took to Twitter to respond directly to them, too.
“[Jodie Turner-Smith] gives zero fucks about your disdain for pregnant women’s bodies on British television,” she wrote, alongside a full-length photograph of her outfit in all its glory.
Naturally, Turner-Smith’s fans were well and truly here for her clap-back: the actor’s tweet has been shared 1.1k times and liked by 13.5k people – and the numbers are growing by the hour.
“PREACH!” wrote one fan in response.
“Avenge us, Queen!” added another, alongside a string of heart-shaped emojis.
And another, noting that one of the aforementioned trolls had slunk back into Turner-Smith’s feed to reiterate their “own view” that she should cover up, decided to tackle them head on.
“She literally told you she gives no fucks what you think of seeing her pregnant body on TV,” they asked, calling them out directly. “How was she unclear?”
Look, we get it: we’ve been conditioned to believe that women’s bodies are a source of shame. That pregnant bellies – particularly those of non-white women (see the media’s ridiculously OTT response to Meghan Markle simply touching her clothed bump if you don’t believe us) – should be kept hidden. But the year is 2020, and women should never be slammed for enjoying and celebrating their bodies: we need more body confidence, not less.
As Annie Ridout – founder of parenting magazine The Early Hour – previously told Stylist: “We need to follow the pregnant woman’s lead. If she’s comfortable showing off her bump – great. If she wants to experience her pregnancy in private, and keep it off social media, this should also be fine.
“It’s important to support women on this journey towards becoming mothers – without criticism, and certainly without judgement.”
Hear, hear! Or, to quote my grandma for the millionth time, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. We have more than enough hate on social media as it is, and, let’s face it, Turner-Smith has far more important things to do (such as, for example, hilariously live-tweeting the Baftas in their entirety) than respond to the likes of anyone who doesn’t agree with me.
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