Forget toddlers and tiaras — in the Lone Star State, it’s all about fetuses and tiaras.

That’s right: over the long weekend, America’s favorite oilmen and women held a bikini contest for expectant moms. Hosted by radio personality Rod Ryan, the event took place in Houston on September 1 and was called, appropriately, the “Rod Ryan Pre-Labor Day Pregnant Bikini Contest.”

Ladies who entered had to be within three months of their due dates, and participated in diaper changing contests as well as a bikini pageant. One miraculous participant even did a split.

The event has, unsurprisingly, caused some moms to get their maternity wear in a wad. Over at CafeMom — which is always good for a little mommy-on-mommy judgment — writer Jacqueline Burt expressed her disdain for the contest. She says:

Look, I’m all for self-acceptance and having a positive body image no matter what your size or shape, but a pregnant bikini contest? I just don’t know if I’m okay with that…

The Texas-based moms-to-be who lined up to compete in Rod Ryan’s 7th Annual Pre-Labor Day Pregnant Bikini Contest were clearly feeling pretty okay about themselves, or okay enough to strip down to string bikinis and do splits onstage (something I wouldn’t feel quite right about doing even if I wasn’t pregnant, but never mind). And that’s great! The pregnant form is nothing to be ashamed of!

So why does this give me the heebie-jeebies??

Is it the “sexy” dancing that bugs me? I definitely don’t love the creepy belly-rubbing move that seems to be part of every contestant’s repertoire. But “pregnant” and “sexy” aren’t mutually exclusive terms, I’m not one of those people. I’m pro-sexy nursing bra, remember?

Maybe it’s the fact that these women are strutting their preggers stuff in a tent filled with beer-buzzed pseudo-cowboys. It just doesn’t look all that comfortable in there. See, women were required to be due to give birth within three months to be eligible for the contest. Standing for an extended period of time in heels and a swimsuit sounds like third-trimester torture.

So basically, she’s not judgmental at all, and she totally thinks that preggos can be sexy. It’s just that, well, this isn’t something she would have done. But yet she doesn’t have any good reason that other people shouldn’t do it. However, it does give her “the heebie-jeebies.”

A compelling argument indeed, but no dice. Sorry. Because participating in a fun contest and looking sexy while doing it is every woman’s (and man’s!) prerogative. It’s not like this was a pregnant wine-chugging contest. I’m hard-pressed to believe that letting a breeze caress your belly in public while pregnant poses a risk to the baby.

Honestly. Haters be hatin’.

At any rate, I think it’s a great idea for women in every state of pregnancy, non-pregnancy, age, weight, race, color, creed, religion, menstrual cycle, menopausal cycle and so on to have their own bikini contest if they want it. Have your own stripping contest, as far as I’m concerned! The onus is on each woman to decide what she’s comfortable doing, and if that means stripping down to your panties when you’re about to drop a kid, you go with your pregnant self. And let’s all try to remember that there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. Which means that…yes, I’m looking at you, CafeMom sanctimommmy…if you’re judging it, it’s your own problem.

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