I’m heading to work and the smell of an overpriced latte calls me into the pokey newsagents on my platform.
I enter the café and, lo and behold, a well-known magazine that may or may not rhyme with ‘meat‘ is staring me in the face. The words: “Why Bey’s gone full pregzilla”, followed by “crazy bump shots” fly off the mag and turn the dial way up to gas mark 6 on my ‘just about done’ hob.
If I was to say this was the first negative comment towards the super-boss-lady’s pregnancy that I’d seen, I’d be lying through my pearly, ready-to-sit-some-people-down teeth.
Exhibit B. Towards the latter part of last week, an article by the Independent’s Rosie Millard included some stroppy slurs which went along the lines of “this is not what pregnancy looks like”, due to Beyonce’s lack of acne, stretchmarks and haggard face. Forgive me for forgetting what pregnancy, the well know spring/summer look, appears like. Beyoncé obviously didn’t get the memo that celebrating the beauty in your ability to create another human being (or two) is strictly forbidden. Or maybe it’s just sour grapes – I guess we’ll never know.
Either way, I can’t help but notice that celebrities such as Bey, Kim Kardashian and Blac Chyna are ruthlessly slated for revealing and revelling in their pending bundles of joy. We live in a culture where there seems to be a correlation between a woman’s respectability and the amount of clothes she chooses to wear, even during the natural act of showcasing her beautiful bump. Blac Chyna was labelled a ‘hoe’ and a ‘slut’ when she debuted her pregnancy pics. Kim was laughed at for her own snaps and is now bearing the brunt of memes and social media streams which highlight her supposed inferiority to Bey.
To add insult to injury, a number of publications have taken it upon themselves to notify the general public that Kim K has delayed her public congratulation to the mega Mom. One particular image even managed to crawl its way onto Cosmopolitan’s snapchat story which, quite frankly, is an unnecessary knife in the back . It’s infuriating and reeks of the scaly remnants of that green-eyed monster we all know too well. The internet sometimes forgets that, when you take the floods of paparazzi and tailor-made designer gowns away, these women are women. Both have had complications with pregnancies in the past and the eye of Sauron that appears to scour Hollywood forgets the vulnerability that comes with being a mother.
Instead of dragging these proud ladies and their unborn children, why don’t we celebrate what is arguably one of the most beautiful acts of nature on this self-obsessed planet. Recognise Beyonce’s pregnancy pictures as not another publicity stunt but an act of art; living and breathing art. Awol Erizku, the artist behind Bey’s brilliant declaration, has managed to mould references to art and religion in a way that should be applauded not tarnished by bitter hashtags and meme generators. And by all means, take her announcement with a pinch of salt; I’m sure she too had fun with it.
Let’s refocus ourselves and jump down from our army of high horses. Something beautiful has happened and god knows if we could look as good in a yellow shawl, posed underwater, we’d be breaking the ‘11 likes’ barrier too.
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Words by Claudia Knight