I met with a customer today for coffee and monkey bread at City Bakery, a still-trendy bakery here in Manhattan where ladies who brunch still come for their nibbles, $4 cookies and monkey bread, and fancy lattes and cappuccinos. As we sat and caught up, I presented her with a baby gift for her soon-to-arrive baby boy due in just two weeks’ time. She works in the fashion industry and is always incredibly well put together, all the way down to her accessories. She’s the kind of woman who always looks like she barely even tries to look as fashionable as she does; it just seems to come naturally to her. Some of us, like myself, actually have to try.
She told me that she’s been lucky in that she’s had a relatively easy pregnancy, especially after the first trimester, when she felt nauseated all the time. But since then, she’s really enjoyed the entire experience. “Everyone is just constantly willing to give up their seat for me, help me with my bags or anything I’m carrying, or make space for me!” she exclaimed. Even at Whole Foods, if you’re pregnant or pushing around a stroller, apparently you can bypass the line and get rung up right away, she learned and shared with me. She said she’s really going to miss all these pregnancy perks after she’s given birth.
I never even though about that when I think about the concept of being pregnant. But part of me felt a little cynical in that, would I get the same preferential/deferential treatment that she gets as a relatively attractive, tall, slim white woman who is visibly pregnant? White women in general will always get treated better than any women of color. It’s a frustrating question to contemplate in my reality.