Jessica Simpson is pulling a Demi Moore on the cover of April's Elle Magazine. She is standing nude, hugely pregnant with her hands demurely covering her private areas.
One can assume that the photo is heavily photoshopped as few pregnant women have flawless skin, perfect belly buttons and smooth behinds once they have reached Jessica's stage (which is what like 58 weeks? Because it has been the longest pregnancy ever). Despite the hours of retouching that may have been involved, Jessica's large bump is on display for all to see.
She is not the first celebrity to show off her belly since Demi Moore hit the cover of Vanity Fair in 1991, and probably not the last. I'm not sure why pregnant women have to be naked in magazines, I'm sure a feminist theorist could come up with an answer though.
As much as I hate celebrities using their pregnancies to their PR advantage (Jessica has a new show coming out, in case you forgot/are living in a cave), I love pregnancy shots. I just love pregnancy in general. I loved my giant belly and knowing I was creating life. I loved the stretchy, comfortable pants and the knowledge that I never had to worry about looking fat. I loved how sensual and earthy I felt.
To capture those feelings, I had professional pictures taken towards the end of each of my pregnancies. None of them had wind machines, makeup artists or professional retouchers.
The first set was while I was in the hospital on bedrest. I stood for 15 minutes in the bay window of my hospital room (it was a nice, new suburban hospital in Seattle) and had a photographer take pictures. It was a way of normalizing my abnormal pregnancy. The nurses thought I was crazy. I may have been.
My photographer friend took photos in my second and third pregnancy. This picture was taken just three days before my daughter was born. I stare at that belly and know I will never be that big again. I love my pregnancy photos and if I ever get organized enough to do a photo wall, I will put one up.
But I know other women who hated how their body looked and the idea of having photos taken was unthinkable. They don't want to remember what they looked like. That's too bad.
No matter how photoshopped Jessica was, I hope that she has some untouched photos that she can look at and remember with pride how beautiful she was.
Did you have photos taken during your pregnancy? Or does the idea freak you out?