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Image / Self / Parenthood
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SELF

The eroticisation of pregnancy and motherhood


by Kate Demolder
11th Apr 2022

Annie Leibovitz Vogue photoshoot. Source: Instagram

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Demi Moore’s ‘Vanity Fair’ pregnancy cover flipped the the old virginal myth, showcasing that women can still be considered sexual objects when they’re mothers. Since then, pregnant women are deemed the last untapped market and the advertising world is telling women you can and should look sexually desirable. But who benefits from this narrative and are photographs from Rihanna and others helping or hindering women?

It all started with Demi Moore. The year was 1991 and the then-28-year-old actress, fresh from the success of her romantic megahit Ghost, found herself on the cover of Vanity Fair. The film, anyone will tell you, was shot throughout Moore’s period of pregnancy. The photographs, taken by Annie Leibovitz, emphasise this, covering a multitude. Her short, raven crop cuts just above her soaring cheekbones, her hazel eyes piercing through the camera’s gaze. She is,...

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