The Election Day Trend We Didn't See Coming: Pregnancy Announcements

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Several smart women have said that the personal is political, and there’s hardly an act more political than that of choosing to become a parent. First of all, you are building a future voter from scratch, so that’s great for democracy. Secondly, you are staring climate disaster — and, who knows, maybe civil war — in the face and saying, “Yes, my offspring can handle this. They will be okay.” It’s a lot. It’s a lot to celebrate, too, and there’s no better personal celebration than sharing your good news with the world, and awaiting the wave of notifications that come in. (More of a heart-eye wave than a blue wave, but hey, everyone’s dreams didn’t come true this time.)

That’s why, during the Midterm elections on November 6, 2018, we saw a new kind of pregnancy announcement — a mashup one that brought together participatory democracy and baby bumps. Voting stickers and fertility humble brags. The most enviro-friendly of hybrids: a voting sticker plus some personal news. We’ve all mastered the “I voted” selfie (sticker on lapel). Then came the voting thirst trap (sticker on or about some abs). Now it’s time for the “We Voted” selfie.

In a time when reproductive health care is ever on the brink of extinction, while living children in this country have been put in literal cages, one can not simply dust off the letterboard and stick “and baby makes 3” into its tufts of felt. There’s just more to say, you know?

“I chose to announce this way because, what better reason to vote? And corresponding with friends I hadn’t told yet was kind of a needed distraction,” Instagram user Christine_Alice tells InStyle. "It kept me from being too obsessively glued to returns — that stress isn’t good for the baby!”

She wrote in her post that she was thinking nonstop of the little boy she’s expecting in March (blue heart emoji, baby emoji, voting sticker on lock). “I’m hopeful that today will bring us a step closer towards leaving him and future generations a kinder, cleaner, smarter and more compassionate world.” You try to hover your thumb over that message and not tap out a Like. Others went for a straightforward voting-related Instagram decal atop a belly-out selfie, and still other parents-to-be made their pregnancy announcement also a candidacy one.

If you think about it, voting and pregnancy are kind of alike: You learn what you can, make your choice, and hope for the best possible outcome. And then? You selfie.

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