Beyonce’s Pregnancy Announcement
A beautiful start to Black History Month
It was February 1st when Beyonce released the statement,
“We would like to share our love and happiness. We have been blessed two times over. We are incredibly grateful that our family will be growing by two, and we thank you for your well wishes. — The Carters”
Social media blew up instantly, with multiple re-blogs, posts, and reaction videos on Youtube. For the black community, this came as a double win as this was amazing news for the start of Black History Month, and the possibility for the reincarnation of Destiny’s Child.
There were club flyers made to celebrate Beyonce’s pregnancy, meme’s about the attendance to Beyonce’s baby shower and so much more.
A couple days later, Beyonce turned the world upside down again when she released the rest of her maternity photos. This set of photos included her in very organic scenes surrounded by nature, underwater, and with her daughter Blue Ivy. The photos presented Beyonce with having a very ethereal and goddess-like presence.
However, as creative as Beyonce’s maternity shoot is, it does highlight one thing we can always expect from maternity shoots, and that is the naked, or in some of her pictures, next to naked pregnant woman.
Gill mentions in “Supersexualize Me,” the current sexual representation of women to be:
“The construction of a young, heterosexual woman who knowingly and deliberately plays with her sexual power and is forever ‘up for it’: the midriff” (257),
and ironically, this sexual representation is present with pregnant women too. If you were to Google “celebrity pregnancy photoshoot” or “celebrity pregnancy photos for magazine covers,” you will see a fairly large number of those photos to be of naked, and partially clothed pregnant celebrities, because while sex sells, pregnancy does too.
Gill mentions multiple times throughout her article that,
“Women are much less likely to be portrayed as passive sexual objects than as active, desiring sexual objects who choose to present themselves in a seemingly objectified manner because it suits their liberated interests to do so” (257).
So even though Beyonce looks quite innocent and soft in the pictures, there is still an overwhelmingly large sexual undertone to the photos because she is naked.
Even when we see Beyonce “clothed” in her photo set, she is still in a bra, and very short bottoms. This makes it quite easy to take the focus off of Beyonce’s twins and the fact that she is pregnant, and gives our eyes a chance to wander along the page and continue to sexualize her, forgetting that this is about her pregnancy.
We are so used to seeing Beyonce in tight clothing flaunting off her terrific curves that when it comes to only showing off one curve, it gets lost in the mix with everything else Beyonce has.
However, this argument can be cantered with “the notion of choice” that Gill mentions in her article that,
Women are ‘pleasing themselves’
by choosing to do these intimate and seemingly personal shots that embody both who Beyonce is as a person, by showing off both her soft and feminine side, with the bold and “sexy” Beyonce we all know and love, it can be argued that Beyonce might have thought this was the best way for her to show off her pregnancy.
But with this notion of choice, we as the viewers must then decide, was this a personal photo shoot for Beyonce or were these photos done for the public’s viewing pleasure to keep Beyonce in the media.
Regardless of what the true intent for the photos might have been, Beyonce united the black community and the world with her news of bringing in two more people into this world, and there is nothing more beautiful than that.