‘You’re Having A Ph.D.’ This Woman Performed A Maternity Shoot With Her Completed Thesis

You’ve spent years of your life working towards this. Soon you’ll be able to put those last three letters at the end of your name, but then you hand it in and you feel empty. Lost. With nothing to show for it but a lot of crumpled up pieces of paper (or deleted word docs, we have computers now.)

Well, this woman wasn’t going to hand her Ph.D. thesis in and be left with nothing. She took the meaning of ‘brainchild’ to a whole new level when she did a maternity photo shoot with her 183-page thesis before handing it in.

A Very Long Labor

@sarahwcurtis baby thesis
Photo Credit: Twitter / @sarahwcurtis

Sarah Whelan Curtis is a Ph.D. Candidate at Emory University in Atlanta, who decided to do a photoshoot with her completed thesis before submitting it. Along with multiple photos, she described it as the “longest labor ever” on Twitter.

Sarah is studying epigenetic variation and exposure to endocrine-disrupting compounds (just smile and nod, we don’t know what that means either) and she felt like after four years of her life and 183 pages of writing, she deserved to have something to remember the experience.

The Gene-der Reveal

@sarahwcurtis fake baby bump
Photo Credit: Twitter / @sarahwcurtis

Sarah’s thesis took her four years to finish, whereas it generally takes 5.5 years to complete a Ph.D. thesis for her program, and the nearly 200-page document focused on how gene regulation changes.

Her shoot quickly went viral on Twitter, reaching 342K+ likes and 66K retweets in just a few days. Overall the response was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever idea, with some sharing their own ‘I finished my thesis’ photos, and others commenting on how they’ll be stealing this idea for when they finish their own!

66 Months And Counting

sarah whelan curtis third photo from Twitter
Photo Credit: Twitter / @sarahwcurtis

Many responders kept up the ‘congratulations on your new baby’ vibes, making comments about their brainchild as well. @ProfAntMan on Twitter wrote ‘Congratulations! I am into the 66th month of labor and expecting soon.” An elephant’s gestational period is only up to 22 months so that must be one seriously big baby…

Another user commented “I am 100% “borrowing” your idea (with APA footnotes of course…) Given the amount of thesis weight I’ve gained this seems entirely appropriate!)” Can’t forget those citations!

Pain And Suffering

@OxfordDiplomat pain and suffering
Photo Credit: Twitter / @OxfordDiplomat

Dr. Jennifer Cassidy was one of the people who shared a photo of herself after completing her thesis, though hers was a little less… positive? She wrote on Twitter, “As I couldn’t bear the smiley normal photo as if I just casually wrote 130,000 words. No I was showing the pain and torture too.”

According to her Twitter bio, Dr. Cassidy is now a politics lecturer at the University of Oxford who has a Ph.D. on Digital Diplomacy so it looks like all her pain and torture was worth it!

Great Minds Think Alike

@joydevision baby thesis sweater
Photo Credit: Twitter / @joydevision

Twitter user @joydevision sent back a number of photos she had taken when she finished her thesis, which involved actual clothing. It’s unclear whether this sweater was something she already had on hand or if she made it specifically for the occasion, but we’re hoping it’s the former. @joydevision tweeted out the pictures with the caption “I think we should be friends lol. Congratulations!”

We’re looking forward to seeing if this actually becomes a trend, and hopefully, the creativity keeps on flowing.