There’s no denying that the career girl is the woman of the decade. She wants to work, she wants to travel, she is the epitome of Dolly Parton’s 9-to-5 working gal, and there’s a decent chance that she’s a mother. “To hell with the traditional insistence that women must choose either career or family,” she says, with a theoretical briefcase in one hand and a robust personal life in the other. While this working girl may be more of a picture to strive for rather than the reality for most overworked millennials, this aspirational ideal is a sign of the times and not a bad one at that. However, at the insistence of those who believe a woman must pick between her work life and motherhood, the influx of models who have gotten pregnant in the last year begs to differ — this high-profile group of It-girls are looking to have it all.
It’s a fascinating conundrum that you may have picked up on after a year of social media announcements, maternity fashion, and baby bump shots. Each girl has sought out varying levels of privacy — Karlie Kloss shared her cravings for “salty and crunchy food,” Elsa Hosk documented her birth story in a six-part Instagram series of pregnancy photos shot by Yulia Gorbachenko, and Devon Windsor released a pregnancy journey video on her YouTube channel along with basal thermometer recommendations, while Grace Elizabeth quietly welcomed her baby boy in privacy at the beginning of 2021 and Gigi Hadid notably has yet to share any photos of her daughter Khai’s face despite her high-profile pregnancy with Zayn Malik. Fans were forced to speculate on the details of Hadid’s pregnancy based on the color of the balloon strings at her birthday party that many believe was a baby shower, with some even going so far as to track down the gift bag obscured by a sunflower emoji that was revealed to have said “hello, little one” on the front in a photo that Bella Hadid shared on Instagram.
The mini model baby boom could be attributed to less travel in the past year with the fashion month calendar shifting away from traditional cycles and dates and moving towards a more design-centric, fluid, and typically hybrid model. However Forbes reported in 2020 that “the average age of first-time mothers in America is now up from 21 to 26” (Stahl) which is right in the middle of the age range of these young models, many formerly having graced the Victoria’s Secret runway. Many of these models who have all had their first child within the past year are in their 20s and given us the privilege of following along on their pregnancy journeys.
Fashion is no stranger to capturing the beauty of motherhood as the past decade has given us numerous baby bump magazine covers and expectant mothers walking down the runway for major luxury labels like Brandon Maxwell, Chanel, Balenciaga, and Jean Paul Gaultier. The question is not whether or not a pregnant model can book work or place her stake in the fashion world, but rather a lingering curiosity pertaining to the role and influence that these models hold as aspirational figures that are venturing into a new phase of life.
So what does motherhood look like for a model? Surprisingly not unlike the experience of motherhood for any other woman, it seems.
The pressure to bounce back to a pre-baby body seems to plague most women so the models who are the frequently on-display and on-camera can’t be exempt from that particular societal pressure. It seems like there will always be the typical dissent that what an on-camera figure does in a publicly-displayed portion of their life shouldn’t be hung up as the standard for all, but a blessing and a curse of the modern era is our unprecedented access into the private lives of otherwise less easily accessible individuals such as these recently pregnant models. Many have chosen to utilize their social platforms to share messages of honesty and stories of support rather than choosing to only showcase the highlight reel of pregnancy. This includes speaking up on social media to set an example of self-love and appreciate for what a body is capable of achieving, rather than the ever-fluctuating physical state of what a bodies looks like.
Hunter McGrady spoke up about the challenging lack of representation for plus-sized pregnant woman, saying that “I’m here to tell you that you are not a “one off” you’re not wrong for being plus size and pregnant, your body is equipped for this. Wherever you are on your journey just remember how wildly worthy you are to experience this and enjoy every moment of it just as anyone else.” Romee Strijd opened up about her struggle with fertility due to having Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and has since shared pregnancy- and motherhood-related videos on her YouTube channel. Elsa Hosk also took to Instagram to show love to “the ever-changing female body,” paying tribute “to the loose skin [on] my stomach, to the little bump still there, to the imperfections, the little marks and reminders that you carried life for nine months, I appreciate and love you. Sorry I’ve been so mean to you at times, stressing over the very things that make you so beautiful and powerful.”
These impactful words are steps in a positive direction and a far cry from the ’90s heroin chic pre-pubescent figure that was once in style. It is a powerful statement for these models to clearly verbalize that the beauty of their physical bodies lies in the untapped strength and capability that they hold, as it would be an injustice to women to declare that the female body in all of its capacity is only as good as the way it looks to others.
This influx of pregnancies has also given us some major street style inspo. Maternity fashion might just be the next frontier of streetwear as several models have taken to the streets in outfits that highlight, rather than minimize, the baby bump. Maternity fashion is no longer synonymous with stretch pants and mumu dresses — instead we’ve gotten servings of PVC Balenciaga windbreakers, plenty of cutouts, the Cult Gaia Serita dress, and the pregnancy crop top (have you seen Emily Ratajkowski’s collared shirt unbuttoned just enough to let her baby bump peek out?) For a glimpse into supermodel motherhood, see below for a round-up of CR’s favorite maternity looks.END
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createdAt:Wed, 14 Apr 2021 20:53:40 +0000
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