The Independent explores the shift in celebrity pregnancy coverage being more authentic and real about the trials of pregnancy, labor, delivery and early motherhood and credits social media for it
Years ago, a pregnant starlet might drop out of the spotlight for a while – only to reemerge in a magazine looking well-rested and snuggling with an angelic infant.
See various People magazine covers: Jennifer Lopez in 2008, resplendent in a floor-length gown with an infant nestled in each arm, above the headline “TWIN BLISS!”; Angelina Jolie in 2006, gazing adoringly at Brad Pitt, as baby Shiloh snoozes away; Julia Roberts, looking dewy and fresh-faced in 2005 as she cradles her twins.
Now fans are starting to see a different side of postpartum celebrities: Model Chrissy Teigen shares an Instagram story that features her stretch marks and confesses that she’s “super insecure” about her body; actress Olivia Wilde posts an Instagram photo of her messy bun with the caption, “I call this hairstyle, ‘keep the kid alive’ “; tennis legend Serena Williams tweets about balancing work and her daughter: “She took her first steps . . . I was training and missed it. I cried.”
The common denominator in all those examples, naturally, is social media. The advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat made stars realize that they could connect with the public on a deeper level about personal subjects – and that fans appreciated honesty about the less-than-glamorous aspects of their #blessed lives.
“Social media has been such a game changer. . . . Celebrities are speaking directly to the fan base. Once they started doing that, things just got a lot more real,” said Kate Coyne, executive editor of People magazine. “One evolution of that concept has been celebrities sharing the realities of pregnancy, infertility, child-rearing, infancy, toddlerhood. It goes hand in hand with what social media is all about.”
Lately, celebrities have also been spilling details about serious medical issues surrounding childbirth. In January, Williams told Vogue that she had a potentially fatal complication during labor, including blood clots in her lungs.
Read the entire piece The Independent:
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