Saturday, May 2, 2015

Interview: Kristi Gordon on Pregnancy and being in the Spotlight

Urbanbaby and Toddler Magazine had the pleasure to speak with Meteorologist and television personality Kristi Gordon, from Global News BC in Vancouver. As many may know Kristi is expecting her second child this spring, and has been the subject of some scrutiny and negative remarks from unkind viewers, in regards to her growing (and we think ‘beautiful’ baby belly). We have a chance to talk to Kristi about her pregnancy and letters from viewers who were criticizing her choice of clothing worn during pregnancy.

UBT: As someone [interviewer] who has also worked in the media while pregnant, I dealt with a lot of inappropriate comments and touching, among other things. Why do you think that being pregnant makes people think that you are “public property” (subject to other people’s opinions, comments etc.)?
KG: That’s a good question, I’m with you on that one. I’ve had people come up to me and touch my pregnant belly. There are some people who react strangely when it comes to pregnancy and babies. They make different voices when they talk to you, like when they talk to animals (she laughs). I find it awkward when someone touches my belly, yet I know there are people out there who love seeing a pregnant woman.

UBT: Being pregnant on camera appears to be creating a lot of commotion in the media channels, especially with mothers and pregnant women. Clearly they are rooting for you and for a pregnant woman’s right to express herself with the clothing she wears during pregnancy. How do you feel about all the support you have received?
KG: The support has been unbelievable. Just to be clear, when I talked about this email, we didn’t do it on television– it was during our “fun segment” called News Hour Plus that we do on the web. It’s a good way for our viewers to see our personalities.

So when I got the letter (which I have been getting more and more of as my belly has grown bigger), I thought: “I just have to talk about this.” We couldn’t let it go. I’m overwhelmed by the response.  If people go to my bio page on our website, they will find a link to email me – and it’s not that easy to find. And I’ve had over a thousand emails through that channel. We have been inundated with feedback in our general comments section and through tweets and Facebook. My message to the public was that as a confident person who is in the public eye, I found it interesting that here I was, lying in bed, thinking about how this [negative feedback] did actually affect me. It gave me a bit of perspective about when you joke with someone – whether it is about weight or anything – it still affects that other person.  So I’ve turned this [commotion] into a positive about how we treat each other.

UBT: How does your second pregnancy compare with your first? 
KG: They’re similar to a degree.  The main difference is my lifestyle – my ability to exercise and sleep now. The second pregnancy is so much harder. I work long hours. I’m gone until about 7:30 each night and for every hour I am at work, I try to spend that time with my son Jordan. With my second pregnancy, I’m not really able to find the time to exercise like before.

UB: What kind of advice do you have for any women out there who may feel self-conscious about their baby bump?
KG: First of all, everyone’s body is different and you never really know what your body is going to do during pregnancy. You may see pictures of another mom and think: “Oh she’s slim, so I’ll be slim” but you truly never know how your body will change. Everyone is so different.  Enjoy your pregnancy and your growing belly and cherish the time you have getting ready for baby to arrive.

UBT: If you knew the identity of the person who wrote the disturbing letter to you, what would you say to that individual?
KG: I would ask why he or she sent the letter. I have in the past responded via email to people who have sent me letters like that. I let them know that I read their letter and that it affected me. I work full-time with a child at home. I am going through a pregnancy, and do my best every day. I try to look my best and look appropriate, but I have a limited amount of funds. I don’t have someone dressing me or doing my hair. Local television is not glamourous. It’s not like the movies! I try to look as professional and as nice as possible with what I have to work with. The funny part is getting an email back from someone who says: “Oh I didn’t even know that you were going to read my letter/email” or “Oh I’m sorry, we actually really like you – I was just frustrated because of this or that [various reasons] ” I don’t know if that would be the case with this letter, because it seemed so deliberate. To the person who wrote the letter, I would like to say: “This is what I’m dealing with and I’m doing the best that I can”.

UBT: Having dealt with this experience, what would you like to teach your children about being kind to others without judgement? 
KG: I would absolutely have taught them this anyway and to be accepting of others, but I think I’ll do it to another level now. Always reassure them [my children] that even though sometimes a side joke seems harmless, actually it’s not. So be sensitive to other people’s feelings.

There are other pregnant women going through so much, whether it is their first or third pregnancy. And then there are single moms too. Many of them are doing way more than what I’m doing. All I can say is to take it easy on them! They’re doing the best they can. Just be kind! 

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