A prominent fashion critic has irritated some Twitter users due to her lengthy article that takes issue with Serena Williams‘ nude pregnancy shoot, which the writer says was about “voyeurism.”
“It would have been fine to skip this strange celebrity ritual, this complicated stew of personal indulgence, brand tending and sociopolitical me-too-ism,” wrote Robin Givhan of The Washington Post. “Yes, pregnancy is beautiful and powerful and worthy of celebration. You are womanly. You are phenomenal. God bless. But it has become virtually impossible for a celebrity to go through a pregnancy without getting naked for the cameras, her fans and — presumably — herself.”
After noting the way Beyoncé has supposedly made her pregnancy into a spectacle with her Instagram announcement and MTV Video Music Awards performance, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Givhan, who is Black, mentioned other celebrities who have also used posed nude while expecting, including Demi Moore, who is widely credited with starting the trend. Then, Givhan continued taking issue with famous women baring their baby bumps.
“This Vanity Fair cover is about voyeurism. … There are often important messages celebrities can highlight when they invite the public into their personal lives,” Givhan, who writes about the culture and politics of clothes, wrote. “They can help destigmatize illnesses or normalize what at first seems disconcertingly unfamiliar. But what is the broader value of the bared baby bump? Under the best of circumstances, pregnancy is a beautiful and life-changing experience. And every woman’s pregnancy is unique and captivating to her. But even if a woman is a celebrity, that doesn’t make her pregnancy newsworthy.”
Since the article was published Tuesday, June 27, many have spoken out against Givhan and in favor of Williams.
The choice was not an accident to show the age old image anew with but a strong black woman challenging the labels given to her
— k.elizabeth (@kathleenelee) June 28, 2017
Hmm. Interesting that the first people this columnist goes after are Beyonce and Serena…
— Meg ?✨ (@sassylibrarian1) June 28, 2017
appreciate the beauty if you don't like it, turn the page.
— Red (@Reds_Logic) June 28, 2017
And if Serena was white, this article would not have been written. It’s always the blacks who are always get called out and for what?
— Gayle Lecus (@Gaylel101) June 28, 2017
Alternate take: she can do whatever she wants with her body, creating a human kind of IS a big deal, and you can take a seat or ten. ??
— Tam Honks (@so_bandwagon) June 28, 2017
With everything going on in the world, you decide to do a negative hot take about pictures of strong, successful, beautiful pregnant women?
— GogoSF (@GogoSF) June 28, 2017