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Vanity Fair

Decade in Review: 10 Celeb Parenting Trends That Are Now Outdated

Having covered celebrity pregnancy, parenting and the “bump watch” for over a decade, I pride myself in being an institutional memory of the trends in this space.

As we close out on another decade, I’ve identified 10 trends that have come and gone from the past decade, including old ones that have faded out of style over time and new ones spearheaded by the recent popularity and usage of social media.

Let’s start with the trends that are

Outdated and going bye bye:

10. Million Dollar Deals for First Baby Photos

In 2007, Julia Roberts reportedly was the first celebrity to demand a six figure payday ($250,000) from PEOPLE magazine to get the rights to publish the first photos of her twins Phinnaeus and Hazel. OK magazine got a steal and paid merely a little over a half a million for pics of Gwen Stefanie’s 2 week old son, Kingston. OK Magazine lost their $2 million dollar bid for Britney Spear and Kevin Federline’s first baby pic to People magazine. Nicole Richie reportedly received $1M for her photo of son, Max and Christina Aguilera for her son.

With magazines, along with newspapers, losing tons of revenue as people start to rely on digital forms of media for news and information, it no longer made business sense to pay these astronomical amounts of money.

Also, with the advent of social media and more conscious celeb couples publishing their babies on Instagram for free, the less famous personalities who used to shop for first photo deals found there was no longer a market for them.

9. Pregnant Nude Covers

After Demi Moore posed on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine in 1991, it became a thing for stars to do the same.  Since then, Christina Aguilera, Mariah Carey, Nia Long and many more graced covers in the buff while expecting.

Soon, it became more of a quick and easy way to get publicity and attention, and eventually the public interest in them waned.

The last big photo issue was of Alanis Morissette in 2016. She did an undercover water shoot but the naked baby bump photo thing is more or less passe and not a public rosy stunt many will do.

8. The Celebrity Bounce Back

Around the same time that gossip magazines started to cover celebrity parents, we saw a lot of photos about the “bounce back”. It was as if it was a competition to see who could pop up slim and trim months or even weeks after baby.

It was ridiculous for several reasons: 1) a lot of the covers were photoshopped; 2) some of the celebs either genetically were predisposed to lose weight fast or underwent surgical procedures to quickly trim down after baby; 3) it set up a dangerous standard given that a lot of celebs have private chefs and trainers to help them lose weight fast; and 4) it sent a damaging message to women who should be concerned with safely healing from delivery and focusing on nursing and connecting with their newborns.

In any event, those magazine covers are not as common as before. In fact, a bunch of celebrity women like Chrissy Teigen, Blake Livey, Mila Kunis and others have spoken out about the ridiculous expectations on them to return to their pre-pregnancy form after baby.

The industry has gotten the message and do not sensationalize the bounce back as much as before.

7. Sponsored Baby Showers

Once upon a time, celebrities were approached by companies and brand representatives to host a baby shower for them in exchange for promotion of their products. The companies knew there were tons of promotions that came with the exposure.

Amazon.com sponsored Khloe Kardashian’s baby shower in 2018. Although the trend is dying out, over the past decade, Danielle Jonas and her husband Kevin celebrated a baby shower thrown by Fit Pregnancy magazine.

Also, Burt’s Bees was among the sponsors of Kourtney Kardashian’baby shower when she was pregnant with daughter Penelope. Similarly, Le Bebe CoCo  was among Kristin Cavallari‘s baby shower sponsors. Target hosted Beverley Mitchell’s baby shower. Several liquor companies provided the libations for cocktails served up at Love and Hip Hop’s  Yandy Smith‘s baby shower.

Jaime King enjoyed some fab brand goodies at her shower.  Ecoya‘s Sweet Pea & Jasmine home fragrance collection, a pink Quinny Buzz Special Edition stroller, a mamaRoo baby swing, a pink Hoppop Bath tub, a pink Little Giraffe Luxe Blanket, a Timi and Leslie diaper bag and a 5 ft. custom-made giraffe by Melissa and Doug all contributed to Victoria Beckham‘s baby shower.

Finally, Belly Bandit sponsored Jewel’s baby shower.

While this trend continues, audiences do not respond as favorable to them any longer and the comment section on sponsored baby showers are sometimes filled with negative commentary from fans who want less rich new parents to be showered with the gifts.

SOCIAL MEDIA DRIVEN

6. Hiding Children’s Face in Social Media

We famously were contacted by Stella McCartney’s reps over 10 years ago to remove paparazzi photos of her traveling with her children in the street posted on the blog. A few years later, Kristen Bell and husband Dax Shepard launched a campaign in 2014 to get a California state law passed to protect children of celebs from paparazzi. Others have done the same.

Eva Mendes and Kerry Washington do not show their kids in public or social media at all.

In the social media era, a few refuse to feature their children in social media or they hide their faces when they do: Zoe Saldana, Beyonce, brit star Rochelle Humes, Kylie Jenner  and Jenna Dewan all have done that in the past or continue to.

5. Celebrity Kids Instagram Accounts

On the flip side, several less famous stars realize the tremendous money making and marketing opportunities in giving their children their own account and branding their name and fame from birth.

It’s a pretty recent phenomenon, but starting with , DJ Khaled who launched an Instagram account  for his son Asadh in 2016 when Baby Khaled was just one month old, many celebs have created accounts for their kids as well.

Little  Asadh now has 1.8M followers, Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade‘s 1 year old daughter Kaavia James boasts 1M followers and Michael Phelps’ 3-year old son Boomer Phelps  now has 665K followers of his Instagram page.

I think the youngest baby to get an Insta was Cali Clay Shephard, daughter of model Chanel Iman and Sterling Shepard whose account was opened at just 16 days old.

This is a trend that is not getting old but is growing as more realize the revenue generating options that open up with having a massive engaged following.

4.  Hiding Pregnancy to Late Trimester

From my memory in covering this topic, I think that Kylie Jenner, Anna Kournokova and a few others did the best job at hiding their pregnancies for all 9 months. It’s pretty hard to hide from the paparazzi and shield their bump during events, filming and promoting a project.

But in 2011, Evangeline Lilly managed to almost completely disguise her entire pregnancy until papps found her in Hawaii while almost done gestating her first child. Jennifer Lopez and Adele managed to hide their respective pregnancies for over 5 months.

Given how common miscarriage is, a lot of women, whether a celebrity or not, wait until the latest time possible when they feel comfortable that they will be able to carry their baby to term to announce baby news.

Hiding an early pregnancy while building a career in front of the public is not easy to do as Cardi B learned but it can be done and the more private or celebs are learning from others how to do it.

3. Launch New Career/Re invigorate Career

Also during the height of the interest in celeb baby bumps, a lot of stars who were formerly very popular but whose fame had waned were able to reinvigorate their respective careers after having a baby.

For example, Kim Karadashian West once lamented that she saw a spike in paparazzi photos whenever she is expecting.

About 10 years ago, Mommyish published a gallery of celebrities who became more famous after becoming pregnant or becoming a mom.

It is not clear is the general public is as enamored with celebrity pregnancy as it once was before so a baby may not be the career boost as it was in the past.

2. Launch a Maternity or Parenting Related Brand

Tia and Tamera Mowry famously launched a breastfeeding brand called Milky after becoming parents for the first time.  Others like Jessica Simpson, Heidi Klum and Jessica Simpson, Heidi Klum launched maternity lines or added children clothing to their existing lines as with Stella McCartney and The Kardashians after they became a mom, respectively.

Instagram famous women shift their feeds and started featuring their babies and promoting parenting and motherhood related brands as part of their new post baby rebranding.

So at least in social media, a new baby can create opportunities.

1. Being Open and Honest about Miscarriage

Micarriage is a taboo among many families. It is unspoken and women who go through it suffer in silence or keep it a secret. It occurs more often than many would believe, yet women usually keep it a secret from family and friends. It certainly taints and colors one’s journey to motherhood, whether it happened in the early weeks or mid term. A woman will earnestly never be the same after suffering through one, especially she and her partner were planning for the baby they lost.

In recent years, a lot of celebrities have been open and transparent about having gone through a miscarriage.

And a lot more are being open and transparent about losses they’ve had in the past.

From many of the stars of BravoTV‘s Real Housewives of Atlanta to Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mithcell to Michelle Obama to Beyonce and Carrie Underwood and Gabrielle Union, openly sharing about a miscarriage or pregnancy loss is the thing to do.

Because of their influence, platform and reach, it’s awesome that these women are sharing their stories to help comfort and empathy for those who have endured it or may be unknowing about how common it is.

In the coming decade, let’s hope the trend of being relatable and real continue and we can leave behind those trends that created stress and anxiety among their followers behind.

 

The Message Tracee Ellis Ross Has For Womb Invaders

Tracee Ellis Ross is reclaiming her fertility privacy and would appreciate if people could ‘get out of her womb’. In a recent Vanity Fair  article, the actress said that the pregnancy of her character, Bow, on the hit ABC series Black-ish triggered a lot of people to inquire about her own baby-making plans.

 

“Last year, I was [fictionally] pregnant all season,” Tracee told the magazine. “That brought on a lot of comments and questions and pontifications from people with no invitation…I literally have said to people, for real, no joke, ‘Why don’t you just get out of my womb? Like, get out of my uterus? What are you doing in there? And why are you asking those questions? And what makes you think you can ask that?’”

Per Essence, Ross called the unsolicited inquisitiveness by complete strangers an extension of patriarchy, which dictates women live their lives according to a certain set of rules that typically includes marriage and motherhood.

“Part of what patriarchy has created for women is this siloed-off experience, with one answer for what a good life looks like,” she said.

This isn’t the first time Ross addressed the issue of living life on her own terms. During her speech at Glamour‘s 2017 Women of the Year Summit, Ross said that while she’s built a life she’s proud of, people often tell her that she can still be a mom so her life will be meaningful.

“I have built an incredible life. I have become a woman that I am proud to be. And then someone tells me about their friend who adopted a child at 52 and how ‘it’s never too late for your life to have meaning,’ and my worth gets diminished as I am reminded that I have ‘failed’ on the marriage and carriage counts,” Ross said.

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian Broke Down Presumptions to Find Love

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One thing that has been illuminating and awesome about the relationship between international tennis champ Serena Williams and her fiance, tech entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian is how the two of them overcome false presumptions about one another to find love.  They are expecting their first child together later this year.

In a revealing interview with Vanity Fair, Williams shares how Ohanian knew nothing about the tennis world but remained open to the idea of dating a woman who is a phenom in that sport.

Similarly, on the day they met, Williams spoke rudely to this geek with a laptop who insisted on sitting too close to her circle of pals who were chilling on a deck, and not expecting another guest to crowd their space.

“This big guy comes and he just plops down at the table next to us, and I’m like, ‘Huh! All these tables and he’s sitting here?,’ ” Serena recalled to the magazine, after explaining that they told Ohanian there was a rat near their table.  “We were trying to get him to move and get out of there…He kind of refuses and he looks at us. And he’s like, ‘Is there really a rat here?’ ”

At which point Serena remembers the first words she ever said to him.

“No, we just don’t want you sitting there. We’re going to use that table.”

She too fake knowledge of the site he co-founded bulletin board site, Reddit, while remaining open to the possibilities.

“Alexis told her about Reddit,” author Buzz Bissinger wrote. “Serena knew nothing about it but acted as if she did, and said she had been on it earlier in the morning.”

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An awkward first meeting turned into an invitation to see her play turned into more meetings and then a relationship, pregnancy and engagement. In that order. The path is not straight but neither is life. Read the entire story inside Vanity Fair here!

photos: Annie Leibovitz for Vanity Fair

 

Adele Expounds On her Post Partum Depression During Grammy Acceptance Speech

 

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During an award acceptance speech at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards, singer/songwriter Adele gave new insight on the post partum depression she struggled with after giving birth to her now 4-year old son, Angelo.

The multiple-Grammy winning artist had previously shared during a candid interview with Vanity Fair magazine last October that she suffered from the condition though didn’t know what she was going through.

“I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she told the interviewer, adding that in lieu of taking medication or talking with a professional to help her cope, she took consult from other moms.

At Sunday’s show, she recounted becoming pregnant after her last album 21 and how the experience and  having PPD made her feel disconnected from the world and all the things she knew as normal.

She credited her team for helping her bound back.

“As you can see it took an army to make me strong and willing again to do it. And I thank you all from the bottom of my heart,”

“And in my pregnancy and becoming a mother I lost a lot of myself and I’ve struggled and I still do struggle being a mum,” the platinum-selling artist said. “It’s really hard. But tonight winning this really feels full circle and like a bit of me has come back to myself.”

Nice!!

She also gave credit to her “husband” Simon Konecki for being her inspiration. It was the first time she had confirmed that she had gotten married.

“Grammys, I appreciate it. The Academy, I love you. My manager, my husband and my son — you’re the only reason I do it,” she said while accepting the award for Album of the Year.

She and Konecki  have been together for five years  and were introduced to one another by fellow British singer Ed Sheeran.

Before, in the Vanity Fair, piece, she talked about how then-boyfriend encouraged her to get out of her funk and to get help.

 

“My boyfriend said I should talk to other women who were pregnant, and I said, ‘Fk that, I ain’t hanging around with a fking bunch of mothers (sic)’,” she tells the publication. “Then, without realising it, I was gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient. You’ll be talking to someone, but you’re not really listening, because you’re so f**king tired.”

But while her non-mom friends didn’t get it, her friends with kids totally did.

“My friends who didn’t have kids would get annoyed with me,” she continues. “Whereas I knew I could just sit there and chat absolute mush with my friends who had children, and we wouldn’t judge each other. One day I said to a friend, ‘I fking hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I fking hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted.”

She added that she had a tough time self-diagnosing her condition because she wasn’t educated as to what it is.

“My knowledge of postpartum-or post-natal, as we call it in England, is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job,” she explains. “But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life… It can come in many different forms.”

She confided that spending time alone helped.

“I just said, I’m going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the f**k I want without my baby,” she says. “A friend of mine said, ‘Really? Don’t you feel bad?’ I said, ‘I do, but not as bad as I’d feel if I didn’t do it.’ Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it;

At the end of the North America leg of her tour, Adele announced plans to try to get pregnant again, and is “off to have a baby.”

“I’ll see you on the other side,” she told fans in Phoenix. “In a couple of years I’ll be back [to the States]. You won’t be able to get rid of me.”

While she’s enjoyed spending a few months at home with her family, Adele will soon be headed back to work. She’s kicking off the next leg of her world tour in Australia and New Zealand later this month.

 

Natalie Portman Bares Bump in ‘Vanity Fair’s 2017 Hollywood Issue

vanity fair cover

Second-time mom-to-be Natalie Portman bares her bump inside the Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue in a breathtaking portrait captured by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.

Portman is nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance in the Jackie Kennedy biopic Jackie. She and her choreographer and dancer husband Benjamin Millepied are expecting a sibling for their 5-year old son Aleph.

And she was joined on the cover wearing a flowing off-the-shoulder gown by other A-Listers Emma Stone, Greta Gerwig, Amy Adams, Aja Naomi King, Ruth Negga, Lupita Nyong’o, Janelle Monae, Dakota Johnson and sisters Elle and Dakota Fanning.

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Adele: Postpartum Depression Scares Her From Gretting Pregnant Again

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Adele says the severe postpartum depression she suffered after giving birth to her son Angelo has turned her off from getting pregnant again.

In the upcoming December issue of Vanity Fair, the phenom reveals that her PPD was so bad she is not sure if she can go through it again with partner Simon Konecki.

“I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she says, adding that in lieu of taking medication or talking with a professional to help her cope, she took consult from other moms.

“My boyfriend said I should talk to other women who were pregnant, and I said, ‘Fk that, I ain’t hanging around with a fking bunch of mothers (sic)’,” she tells the publication. “Then, without realising it, I was gravitating towards pregnant women and other women with children, because I found they’re a bit more patient. You’ll be talking to someone, but you’re not really listening, because you’re so f**king tired.”

But while her non-mom friends didn’t get it, her friends with kids totally did.

“My friends who didn’t have kids would get annoyed with me,” she continues. “Whereas I knew I could just sit there and chat absolute mush with my friends who had children, and we wouldn’t judge each other. One day I said to a friend, ‘I fking hate this,’ and she just burst into tears and said, ‘I fking hate this, too.’ And it was done. It lifted.”

She added that she had a tough time self-diagnosing her condition because she wasn’t educated as to what it is.

“My knowledge of postpartum-or post-natal, as we call it in England, is that you don’t want to be with your child; you’re worried you might hurt your child; you’re worried you weren’t doing a good job,” she explains. “But I was obsessed with my child. I felt very inadequate; I felt like I’d made the worst decision of my life… It can come in many different forms.”

She confided that spending time alone helped.

“I just said, I’m going to give myself an afternoon a week, just to do whatever the f**k I want without my baby,” she says. “A friend of mine said, ‘Really? Don’t you feel bad?’ I said, ‘I do, but not as bad as I’d feel if I didn’t do it.’ Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it; they thought everyone would think they were a bad mom, and it’s not the case. It makes you a better mom if you give yourself a better time.”

Read the complete interview in Vanity Fair on newsstands Tuesday, November 8.

Why You Won’t See an ‘Inside Blake Lively’s Baby Shower’ Post Soon

blake lively baby shower

Blake Lively celebrated the impending arrival of her second child this weekend in New York at an intimate private baby shower held at the Bedford Post Inn on Saturday in the heart of Westchester County.

Sources close to E! News confirm that the celebration started around 11 am and guests included one of her BFF’s Taylor Swift. After the event, a few guests retreated back to Lively and husband Ryan Reynolds‘ home to hang out and catch up.

The extremely private affair managed to go off without a hitch and without any of the guests sharing images of it on social media. Before this report, Vanity Fair sleuths suggested that the usually active actress may have already given birth given her relatively low key and quite presence on social media sites.

They had good reason to believe so. Lively and Reynolds have never revealed photos of their wedding and, like Kerry Washington, she has managed to keep their daughter James out of the public eye altogether. We’ve seen zero photos of her…ever.

We’re sure it was a lovely event, so there’s no more news to report here. And certainly, no ‘Inside Blake Lively’s Baby Shower’ post to be seen either.

 

Caitlyn Jenner’s Vanity Fair Cover predicted to be as Transformative as Demi Moore’s

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A sociology professor compares recent much-talked about Caitlyn Jenner Vanity Fair cover to the 1991 Demi Moore nude pregnancy cover in the same magazine, both shot by famed photographer Anne Leibovitz.

In the academic journal The Conversation, politics & sociology professor Renee Cramer says both covers are transformatative to cultural awareness and perception of once purposefully underexposed states of the human form.

They are cultural “tipping points,” Cramer proclaims.

In sum, she  hypothesizes that Jenner’s cover will push the boundaries of public acceptance of transgender people the same way Moore’s cover led to societal welcoming of the pregnant body out of the shadow of shame it was tucked away in before.

It is an interesting theory. Read her piece republished in New Republic here.

Kim Kardashian’s Rocky road to pregnancy- before and after

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This week, Kim Kardashian announced she and her husband Kanye West are expecting their second child. It was big news for less than a half a day when it was overshadowed by her step dad Bruce reveal in Vanity Fair magazine of his new transgender identity as Caitlyn Jenner.

Throughout all the amplified media attention over that news, Kardashian is dealing with severe morning sickness, USA Today reports . She appeared cool and collected rocking a black sheer and stud embellished Proenza Schouler dress with her hubby on the red carpet to Monday night’s CDFA Awards at the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on June 1, 2015 in New York City.

In fact, the road to pregnancy and all involved with the state of pregnancy has been rocky for Kardashian.  The reality TV star battled harsh criticism over her weight gain and choice of maternity wear for the last pregnancy, then by its end she developed preeclamsia-triggered extreme high blood pressure. She had to have an emergency pre-term c-section caused by complications from that condition, and another problem with her uterine lining.

Then, on her journey to expand her family, the Keeping Up With the Kardashians cast member stumbled upon complications and experienced infertility for eight months before becoming successful with the help of in vitro fertiliztion.  A source to PEOPLE  magazine reported that the business mogul had to repair the lining of her uterus which was the source of a lot of her complications to conceive.

One has to just chuckle about the amount of reporting on one woman’s reproductive organs. Phew!

The family, which includes almost 2-year old Nori West, will welcome the new addition this December.

Congratulations!

And of course, as could be expected, the comments and tweets came flowing in joking that this baby will be named, South West.

Funny stuff!

Brit singer Rochelle Humes turned down Demi Moore nude cover recreation

Our Bellytich Bumpwatch alum Rochelle Humes from the British group The Saturdays  revealed in a recent interview that she turned down many offers to recreate the iconic 1991  Demi Moore Vanity Fair cover.
When pregnant with her daughter, Alaia-Mai, in 2013, the star of the short lived E! Reality TV show Chasing the Saturdays told Notebook magazine that she spent the last couple of months leading up to her daughter’s birth rejecting numerous offers.
“I got asked to do all those (naked) shoots with the bump and I just thought it sounded like hell. No, no and no,” she told the magazine.  “Marvin was lucky if he saw me with my bump. I wanted to feel like Demi Moore looked, but I was just sweaty, spotty and yuck.”
Several celebrities in the US, UK and elsewhere have posed nude while pregnant for magazines.So there you have it, not all celebrities are eager to bare it all for the celebration of the pregnant body for the world to see. (ha!) 

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