Comedienne Amy Schumer celebrated the coming birth of her baby with a “horrifying” vagina cake that depicted a baby’s head emerging from the mother’s womb.
“My sister in law. And I can’t stress that enough IN LAW. surprised me with a horrifying cake and I can’t thank her enough,” Schumer said on Instagram with a photo of the cake. “So I won’t thank her at all. @mofischhh something is truly wrong with you and I love you.”
“This is incredible,” said Andy Cohen in response to Schumer’s post. Julianne Moore said it was “the best cake I’ve ever seen.”
Schumer will be welcoming her first child with husband Chris Fischer this year. This past November, Schumer was temporarily hospitalized due to her struggle with hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that causes severe nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and dehydration during pregnancy, according to HuffPo.
In a post at the time of her hospital stay, Schumer said, “Baby’s fine but everyone who says the 2nd trimester is better is not telling the full story. I’ve been even more ill this trimester. I have hyperemesis and it blows. Very lucky to be pregnant but this is some bullshit!”
These vagina cakes depicting childbirth have become an increasingly trendy baked good featured at baby showers in recent years. Michael Kaz, the founder of Erotic Baking in New York, told Vice in 2017 that people will shell out as much $200 for a cake that feeds 15 guests. Both Christina Aguilera and Jersey Shore‘s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi have gotten in on the trend.
“When a vagina cake is requested for a baby shower, it is always a design related to childbirth,” Kaz told Vice. “I think the friend or family member who orders the cake is trying to bring a sense of humor to the horrifying experience of childbirth.”
One woman, Johanna Nagan, told Vice that being surprised with a vagina cake was especially “liberating” by addressing the truth about childbirth.
“The experience of having a vagina cake is liberating,” Nagan said at the time. “Having a graphic cake opens the door to talk about all this stuff. What surprised me the most was no one told me about so much of what happens with pregnancy and motherhood. No one tells you that your vagina may tear to your butthole and you may not have a clean wipe for three years.”
Midwife and author Ina May Gaskin said the cake recalls practices of ancient cultures that revered the vulvic sight as a sacred, godlike image. “In ancient cultures, the sight of a vulva of a goddess was a sacred image — our culture has made it taboo,” she wrote in her book “Birth Matters.” “Why aren’t people in society allowed to see what this looks like? I think it would be good for women to learn that nature provides the goods for such work. Seeing is believing, after all.”
British professor Emma Rees, director of the Institute of Gender Studies at the University of Chester, said the vagina cake helps people think about women’s bodies.
“We are denied the terminology, so we’re silent, and so abuse from female genital mutilation [FGM] to rape carries on,” said Rees. “If a vulva cupcake or an episode of a TV program makes someone think about this and speak the truth about women’s bodies, then that’s progress — but we have to be prepared to confront millennia of accumulated misogyny and disgust to do this.”