Documentary narrators face a formidable challenge. They must take beautiful, fragile, terrible truths about this Earth, and communicate them in a way their audience can understand. Legends like David Attenborough, Werner Herzog, and Morgan Freeman have chronicled some of nature’s greatest wonders: a rare snow leopard stalking her prey, a man living with grizzly bears, and penguins marching across a frozen hellscape to breed. Today, they are joined in their ranks by another eminent documentarian. I’m talking, of course, about Kat Armendariz, who took a selfie while her sister was giving birth in the background.
In the picture, which Armendariz took and posted on July 2nd, she can be seen smiling in the foreground of her sister's hospital room while in the background, her sister Kimberly screams and clutches her face in a display of such genuine pain, it makes my womb clench a little bit. But like a true documentarian, Armendariz understands that pain is nature and nature is pain, and she must, at all costs, communicate the truth to her followers. And like Attenborough, Herzog, and Freeman before her, she is able to convey the reality of the moment in terms that are both eloquent and accessible. She captioned the photo: "SELFIE! While my sister is about to shove a baby out her vag!"
Kat, who is a mother of five herself, insists Kimberly thinks the picture is funny. She told Mashable:
"She wasn't in too much pain at first, so she thought it was pretty funny. I told her I was going to do it, she just started the oxytocin and the labor pains began almost instantly. She started to feel it and right when she was like, 'Oh my god I can't take this,' I took the photo."
With her picture, Kat immortalized the miracle of childbirth, and reminded us, with its endless cycle of birth and death, how fleeting life can be. She is an artist, a visionary, and I can't wait for her to win her Oscar.