ABC News’ Melissa Lustrin reports:
It should be one of the happiest times of a woman’s life, but soon after Kim Kardashian announced she and boyfriend Kanye West were expecting their first child, the critics started weighting in.
One particularly cruel Internet meme even compared Kardashian to the killer whale, Shamu, after she was photographed wearing a black and white dress.
“She’s thought of as a style icon and so is Kanye,” Jennifer Romolini, editor-in-chief of Yahoo! Shine, told ABC News. So the fact she’s just being bashed and bashed and bashed for what she’s wearing and how she looks, you can see how she would take that to heart.”
But now, Kardashian is finding an ally in an unlikely source.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem, who was previously disapproving of the Kardashians, saying their reality shows don’t empower women, is now coming to Kim’s defense.
Steinem, 79, told “Us Weekly” magazine, “Our bodies are never public property under any circumstance. Our bodies belong to us.”
“What she’s saying is this has to be a universal rule for all women,” Romolini explained. “It’s not acceptable to shame a woman when she’s pregnant.”
Of course, Kardashian isn’t the first celebrity mom to be slammed for her pre-birth girth.
Jessica Simpson was also hounded for her 70-pound weight gain with first child, Max. And the criticism works both ways.
Like Kardashian, Kate Middleton is also six months pregnant. But the headlines are just as biting, calling her “too skinny,” a critique often lobbed at fashion stylist, Rachel Zoe, when she was pregnant.
“It is an individual issue,” said ABC News’ senior medical contributor Dr. Jennifer Ashton. “Every woman’s metabolism will be different. Every woman’s body type will be different. So I really think some reserved judgment and being a little bit polite is in order.”
As for Kardashian, her personal trainer, Tracy Anderson, tells ABC News she’s working hard to stay fit no matter what the critics say.
“She seems excited about the moment that she gets to hit the gym and get her body back,” Anderson said. “I’m confident in her.”