Naked and pregnant
Everyone from Cindy Crawford to Christina Aguillera has done it. Ever since Demi Moore appeared naked and seven months pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991, it’s been a common trend for celebrities to pose for nude photos when they’re expecting. This week, Miranda Kerr has joined the hall of fame and stripped down to show off her six-and-a-half-months-pregnant body for the cover of W magazine.
And she looks incredible. They say that pregnant women glow, but she is utterly radiant. There is something almost ethereal about her in this photograph, and it makes even me (someone who generally can’t help but see pregnancy as something kind of horrifying and gross) see the complete beauty of the female body in this natural state.
In a way, I can see how wonderful it is that these women are celebrating their pregnant bodies, putting their essential womanliness out on display. On the other hand, it’s easy to see how such images could put even more pressure on women to look a certain way.
Seeing Miranda Kerr looking like a goddess even when she’s 6 months pregnant can be a little depressing. Most women don’t look like Miranda Kerr when they’re pregnant, for the simple reason that most women are not size 6 David Jones models. And, perhaps more to the point, most women don’t have a whole crew of makeup and lighting experts on hand to make them look so breathtakingly flawless in a photograph. Images like this could easily make women- pregnant or not- feel hopelessly inferior.
Still, if we can accept it as a fantasy image, and admire it for the beauty it projects, if not necessarily the reality of pregnancy, I think it’s a really lovely picture. And I think it captures something quite beautiful about femininity, whether it’s real or not.
So what do you think? Is this a positive celebration of womanliness? Or is it yet another unattainable standard of beauty?