28 October 2009

Teen Vogue debuts teen pregnancy

You might not believe it but the model on the left, Jourdan Dunn, is pregnant. And 19. When Teen Vogue editors booked her for the gig they didn't know she was pregnant until she revealed the news for a feature on she and her fellow model friend Chanel Iman (on the right). While the pregnancy is not explicit, it is heartening to know that Editor-in-Chief, Amy Astley said the editors of the mag had no intention of pulling her from the Nov edition.

"Teen pregnancy is a difficult, real-life issue that Teen Vogue readers (with an average age of 18) are mature enough to be exposed to," Astley said in a statement. "Teen Vogue felt it was important to support, not punish, Jourdan Dunn, who contributed to a beautiful photo shoot and who will surely have an ongoing and successful career in fashion."

But, I wonder, if Jourdan was visibly pregnant would they still have put her on the cover of a 'teen' magazine given all of the moral panics about teen mums? Jourdan is almost eight months pregnant now and due in December so obviously the shoot was done very early in her pregnancy. As I noted in an earlier post, Jourdan and her belly were featured in a sort of Gladiator-esque pregnancy corset by Gaultier during Paris Fashion Week.

Of her pregnancy, Dunn has said: "All I could think about was what my mom was going to say, my agency, my boyfriend. When I told my mom, she started crying and blaming herself. She got pregnant with me at the same age, and she said, 'I don't want you to have to go through what I did.'"

Sure it is great that Vogue editors didn't want to 'punish' Dunn for her pregnancy but one wonders whether the realities of young parenthood are made clear to the readers of Teen Vogue in the issue. Dunn is a beautiful woman but pregnancy for celebrities or in the world of fashion is invariably enrobed in glamour and it might have been more useful or perhaps progressive on behalf of the magazine to allow Dunn to express some of her worries about parenthood in order to educate other young women as opposed to pretending that everything is great.

27 October 2009

Love your cervix

Have you ever wondered what your cervix looks like? How about after you've given birth?

Then you MUST check out The Beautiful Cervix Project created by a student midwife. This is an ode to being a woman, where cervixes aren't objects of a medical gaze, but objects of beauty in their own right. The creator not only photographed her own cervix throughout her menstrual cycle, but also has loads of photos of cervixes at different stages of life.

26 October 2009

Octomum drops her weight

Photo credit: splashnewsonline.com

Holy mother of octuplets! Have you seen Octomum!?

Like a pregnant version of a linebacker, Nadya hit 270lbs during her pregnancy and now she's back into her pre-baby jeans after a weight loss of 145 lbs without a trainer or surgery.

Losing 40 pounds immediately after delivering her octuplets, Suleman says she felt compelled to join a local gym after their birth. There, she fits in thrice-weekly midnight workouts (while a nanny watches over her sleeping children) with strength training but no cardio. "I get enough of that with the kids," Suleman, who gets by on three hours of sleep, tells Us.

Well, can't say that working out at midnight seems very healthy but I suppose it's better than dropping straight into the plastic surgeon's office.

22 October 2009

Breastfeeding is awesome in New Zealand

Check out a super new public breastfeeding campaign in New Zealand.

"Although New Zealand has breastfeeding rates that are consistent with other OECD countries, rates are low at six weeks, especially among Māori and Pacific women,” said Ministry of Health Deputy Director Margie Apa. She went on to say that barriers to breastfeeding, including “lack of breastfeeding support and information, mothers returning to paid work and finding it hard to continue breastfeeding, and negative attitudes to breastfeeding from the general public and family members” tend to more adversely affect minorities, teenage parents and low-income moms.

Small country, so progressive.

Kendra: TMFI

Ah Kendra. Miss ex-Playboy has opened up to In Touch about all things pregnant, including her discovery that her breasts are leaking milk to which she responded by screaming and likening herself to a cow.

How much weight have you gained so far?

Kendra Wilkinson: I have gained 40 pounds. I still have a month-and-a-half to go. I was 110 or 115 and now weigh 150.

How do you feel about the weight gain?
KW: There are things I love about it. I love that my hips are growing, even though it hurts. I want that butt and am starting to get it, so I’m excited.

What have you been craving?
KW: I’ve been eating a lot of breakfast — eggs, bacon and cheese sandwiches with wheat toast, a lot of waffles with peanut butter. Peanut butter is my biggest craving. I actually put bananas and syrup all over it, too.

Even though I don’t usually eat much meat, I’ve been eating a lot of ribs with barbecue sauce and steak. Also, my craving for chocolate came back. I never ate it before because it gave me migraines.

Has it changed your sex life?
KW: Yes, it’s changed our sex life — for the worse [laughs]. I am a wild girl in bed and I can’t really be that wild anymore because I have limits now. I have 40 extra pounds in my belly, so I get tired easily.

But no, of course, it’s still great. I have a great man in bed, he definitely knows how to please me. But, yeah, we’ll be better after when we have more energy!

Do you feel prettier pregnant?
KW: I have never felt this beautiful! The one thing I love about being pregnant is my skin, I used to have the worst acne. My whole life it’s been horrible — on The Girls Next Door, it was disgusting. This is the best skin that I have ever had in my life!

What’s the best thing about being pregnant?
KW: The greatest thing is probably just feeling like a queen. Everybody does everything for me. And Hank is always just giving me unconditional love — that different type of love that I’ve never felt before.

20 October 2009

Caesarean = rape?

Image credit: www.caesarean-art.com

As we all know, the caesarean rate (emergency and elective) has risen dramatically over the past decade in most of the industrialised world and 'natural' childbirth has become something of a vestigial organ.

For many women, a caesarean is not only painful but also traumatic. Somehow birth has become only about a healthy outcome and not necessarily about the process or the woman actually giving birth. There is now a growing subculture of women who compare their caesarean births to rape given the lack of control they felt they had over their bodies, the antagonism of hospital staff towards their birth choices and of course, feelings of violation. Recent articles about birth rape are linked to the story of an Arizona mother, Jessica Szabo, who wants to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean) but is being refused by her local hospital. The hospital argues that all VBACs must have an 'elective caesarean'. In fact, she's so mad that she has written the following message on her minivan:

"Page Hospital enter my body without my permission ... sounds like rape to me!"

There is even an anonymous website devoted to caesarean-inspired art evoking the trauma and pain some women associate with the procedure. Truly haunting (see above).

What do you think?

14 October 2009

Foetal fascinations

So, I'm sure all of you pregnant gals out there have been wondering how you can commemorate your foetus' first photo more spectacularly than just shoving the thing in your purse and yanking it out for every person that notices that you're pregnant.

How about a turning your ultrasound image into a decorative canvas? Or a personalised ultrasound postage stamp? Or, my personal favourite: CUFFLINKS.

Has the world gone cuckoo? Cufflinks? Seriously?

I think I need a little lie down.

12 October 2009

Baby bumps on the catwalk

Hello, again. Excuse my absence, I've had a serious case of essay-marking-itis. Basically, that entails me sitting in an office for 12 hours a day marking essays until my hands crumple with fatigue from typing.

Anyway, looks like pregnancy chic was making it big at Paris Fashion Week....

Singer Roisin Murphy, who also happens to be 7 months pregnant, wore the peach coloured tutu (above) to a Paris fashion show. It was designed by Victor & Rolf.

Speaking of wacky pregnancy fashion, Jean Paul Gaultier created a pregnancy corset for pregnant British model Jourdan Dunn.

Um, not so sure about the pregnancy corset but definitely not so much on the tutu.

05 October 2009

Heidi does pregnancy covered in chocolate

Oh Heidi. It appears that the Kluminator not only has an entire book devoted to her beauty, Heidi revealed on Ellen that she also appears naked and pregnant and dripping in chocolate sauce.

The model, snapped by famous photog Rankin, said:

"We were doing our normal shoot and afterwards he said, 'Let's do some pictures for the book.' I said, 'I would love to be covered in chocolate.'

"So someone ran out to the store and got, like, I think, seven or eight of those squirty chocolate things and they just squirted it all over me and he took the photo.

"It was yummy... especially when you're pregnant."

Wondering how she got the chocolate off? "I licked half of it up."

Oh and weirdo Ellen gave Heidi a pair of baby high heels because she's convinced Heidi is having a girl. Um, me no likey.

02 October 2009

Moral panic Friday

So, here's a game I like to play that I call 'how to ruin your baby's life before it's even born'.

Just go to Google News and type in 'pregnancy' and see what headlines you get:

  • Smoking in pregnancy risks psychotic children

  • Obese women have higher risk of giving birth to baby with heart defect

  • Stillbirth in first pregnancy raises risk for subsequent pregnancy

  • Anti-depressants pregnancy risk

I actually miss the days when a news search about pregnancy immediately brought up fluffy stories about celebrities and maternity clothes.

Porn star beauty tricks, post-baby bodies and beautiful cervixes

A bit of a recap of the week:

Well, Jenna Jameson has actually started a blog in which waxes on the benefits of being 'totally tan' all the time and tips for quashing stretch marks:

"Well, like most women, the thought of huge cherry red slash marks running the length of my pubic bone to underboobs, was enough to make me cringe. I had seen and heard many different methods to ward of stretch marks, but I never knew of any that were tried and true."

Now, she just needs to do something about that midriff top.

Elen Pompeo has debuted her 2 weeks post-baby body and is taking a little break from Grey's.

For those of you that actually care about The Hills, Spencer Pratt is whingeing about how Heidi is trying to get pregnant and now he's afraid to have sex with her. Poor little muffin.

Oh and have you ever wondered what your cervix looks like after you've had a baby? A student midwife and doula has started the Beautiful Cervix Project and she has taken some amazing and very generous photos that will blow your mind.
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The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.