There is an odd new trend on the runways. I’m sure it’s a result from this generation’s supermodels growing up and starting families. It’s a select few women who can get away with this certain new style in the modeling industry. But even if it’s not dominating fashion weeks, there’s a definite influx of pregnant women in fashion shows.
Alessandra Ambrosio walked in a Brazilian show while visibly pregnant in January. Adriana Lima flaunted the first ever baby bump in a Pirelli calendar. Let’s not forget Sophia Cahill, naked and pregnant on the runway during last year’s London Fashion Week.
The newest addition to this growing list of protruding abdomens in fashion is Raffaella Fico. The 24-year-old model walked a show in Milan fashion week while six months pregnant. Oh and by the way, she was in a bikini. There was no tasteful sweater covering that maternal glow. It was on display.
As a mom, I’m always really happy to see that pregnancy and motherhood can still be portrayed as sexy and attractive. I’m happy that moms aren’t expected to morph into dowdy, sexless creatures because they become parents. There is a definite beauty of pregnancy that I love seeing embraced by our culture.
However, I have to admit that I sometimes see these displays of pregnancy on the runway, runways that rarely embrace anything but the most standard forms of beauty, and I feel like the whole thing isn’t empowering at all. It seems exploitative. It feels more like a stunt than an honest appreciation of a mother’s beauty.
It is nice to see that supermodels like Ambrosio, Lima, and Miranda Kerr are still able to maintain successful modeling careers after they become parents. I really do believe that these women are examples of a cultural shift showing that moms can still be attractive and sexy. But pregnant tummies on the runway? I don’t think they’ll really be progressive until we stop thinking they’re a big deal. Until it stops being noteworthy that there was a pregnant woman in a bikini, it might always feel like a bit of a stunt.