While a woman was attending a yoga class with her friend, the instructor approached them and inquired about their medical conditions before participating in the class. She then glanced down at the woman’s stomach and asked how far along she was.
The woman is not nor has she ever been pregnant.
The woman says that she has a ‘belly,’ which prompted her yoga teacher to ask the inappropriate question, assuming that she was pregnant.
Sarah (@sarahinyellow) is a body image coach who participates in workout classes, including yoga. However, one particular incident during one of her classes left her feeling “mortified.”
In a TikTok video that has been viewed over 2 million times, Sarah revealed that her yoga instructor asked “how far along” in her pregnancy she was after she looked down at her stomach and assumed that she was expecting.
After Sarah informed the instructor that she was not pregnant, she claimed that her instructor was horrified and extremely apologetic. “I was like, ‘It’s okay, some bodies just look like this,’” Sarah assured her instructor. However, the instructor’s assumption stuck with her throughout the class, making it difficult for her to focus.
“I was really frustrated with her during the class because it really interrupted my practice,” Sarah admits. “I caught myself throughout the class continuing to think about it, having some negative body thoughts, noticing what my body looked like in the big mirror.” She began to feel especially self-conscious. “I was counting up, ‘How many times did you workout this week? How many times did you surf? How many times did you do yoga? How many times did you have healthy or unhealthy foods?’”
Eventually, Sarah came to the important realization that the negative inner thoughts would only make her doubt herself and her body.
She also added that she is not angry with her yoga instructor, but rather at societal expectations imposed on women. “I’m just mad at the beauty standards and all of these things that make us feel like there has to be an explanation for why you have a belly, and if it’s not because of pregnancy or a health condition, then it’s something you should be ashamed of,” she said.
Photo: TikTok / @sarahinyellow
“I take care of my mental and physical wellness really well and this is still what my body looks like, and that’s okay. I have a belly, and that’s all right.”
Sarah shared a photo of the outfit she was wearing to the yoga class, confessing that she was initially heavily debating if she would ever wear it again. Now, she said that she will “not overthink” it and continue to do everything she can to take care of herself. “Now if you need me, me and the baby are hungry so we’re gonna go honor some cravings without guilt,” Sarah joked.
In a follow-up video, Sarah documented herself surfing with a friend and shared an important message with viewers. “Yesterday someone publicly assumed I was pregnant and it was mortifying,” she wrote in the text overlay of the video. “Today, I’m still showing up in my body unapologetically & living my best life. This is what my body looks like when I’m happy & healthy. No explanation needed.”
Other TikTok users thanked Sarah for her significant reminder and praised her for embracing her physical appearance. “Thank you for sharing! This has happened too many times and now I actually am trying to get pregnant so it stings a little more than it used to,” one user commented.
“It was great of you to put this experience out there to share. You look so good, not pregnant. You are beautiful!” another wrote.
“I’m a fellow belly-having gal and I struggle with this so much, but seeing other people with my body type gives me comfort,” a woman added.
Others revealed their own experiences of strangers making assumptions about their bodies, asking them how far along in their “pregnancies” they were. “I get this all the time because I carry all my weight in my middle. It is so frustrating when people say it,” one user shared.
“This happened to me once from a receptionist at a doctor’s office. I was the healthiest I’ve ever been and it still got to me a bit!”
People should refrain from making aloud assumptions about someone’s body.
While Sarah’s yoga instructor expressed remorse for her mistake, one should not assume or ask a woman if she is pregnant or how far along she is unless they are 100% certain that she is expecting. Such assumptions can lead to negative perceptions and poor body image in some women.
“It can really hurt a woman’s feelings if you assume she is pregnant when she isn’t,” OB-GYN Dr. Lisa Wilson with Novant Health Providence says. “I’ve even had patients who are still recovering from recently delivering a baby tell me that someone has assumed they are still pregnant. When in doubt, don’t ask.”
Even those who promote body positivity like Sarah can be hurt by these assumptions. Unless you want to offer a good-hearted compliment, it is best to keep your comments to yourself.
Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.
This article originally appeared on YourTango