What Jennifer Garner’s Everlasting Baby Bump Means for Women

Tabloids are always speculating whether or not a celebrity is pregnant. How many times has it been falsely reported that Jennifer Aniston is expecting a child? The actress is fit yet anytime she eats a cheeseburger news breaks that she has a bun in the oven. The same goes for Jennifer Garner. The “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” star has three children already but rumors swirl regularly that baby number four with husband Ben Affleck is on the way. While on the “Ellen DeGeneres Show” on Monday, Garner silenced the theories. “Supposedly…you have a baby bump,” the talk show host prodded.

“I get congratulated all the time by people that I know, saying, ‘I hear you’re pregnant!’ You know, this one woman who had babysat for us said, ‘OMG! I can’t wait for baby No. 4!’ and I thought, ‘What is going on?’ So I asked around and apparently I have a baby bump. And I’m here to tell you that I do—I do!” But before popping bottles to celebrate a new Garner-Affleck offspring, the mom explains that just because she has a baby bump doesn’t mean that she’s pregnant. “I am not pregnant, but I have had three kids and there is a bump,“ she explained. "From now on ladies, I will have a bump. And it will be my baby bump. And let’s just all settle in and get used to it. It’s not going anywhere. I have a bump. Its name is Violet, Sam, Sera.”

In a world where stick-thin Kendall Jenner is fat-shamed, a size 6 is considered plus-size, “Fitness Mom” and Caroline Berg Erkisen set the very unrealistic standard for post-baby bodies, and celebrities pose on the covers of magazines in bikinis mere weeks after giving birth, Garner’s message is empowering and inspiring. “Before, during and after pregnancy, mothers receive countless messages that tell them that their bodies need to reflect their pre-baby appearance,” body image expert Dr. Robyn Silverman tells Yahoo Style. “Mothers are directly or indirectly told that this standard should be achieved almost immediately following the birth of a child and without fail, by the time that child is 1-year-old.”

Silverman, the author of “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession is Messing Up Our Girls & How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It,” says that women hearing Garner speak confidently about her body can influence the idealistic norm and help shift perceptions. “Garner’s public remark about embracing her permanent baby bump tells women that she is proud of who she is, what her body has accomplished and what her baby bump means to her,” she says. “Hopefully, by hearing her matter-of-fact declaration, other women will be more apt to embrace their forever baby bump too.”