Pregnancy, so they say, is a magical pro tempore. And, in a world where nothing happens unless it happens on sexual media, that translates into nine months of unmissable photo ops. See Beyoncé’s Instagram be nourished, updated this weekend with images of the singer, helter-skelter eight months pregnant with twins, at her “push bacchanalia” (the same as a baby shower but with partners admitted).
Not for her the demure tent deck out to skim the bump. Beyoncé wears a skirt made from west African wax words fabric, a tie-dye bikini, head wrap with blossoms, cowrie shell necklace, an armful of bangles and a henna tattoo on her obvious belly. The posts look closer to a David Bailey study than the average mirror selfie.
While the 1990s saw bump chic emerge, with Demi Moore stripped and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair and All Saints’ Melanie Blatt’s bump-and-combats look, personality pregnancy has recently had a behind-closed-doors policy. Beyoncé and her husband, Jay Z, coop up off the part of the hospital where Blue Ivy was born in 2012. Then Kim Kardashian got fraught in 2015, posted a naked selfie and – you know the drill by now – impoverished the internet.
Beyoncé responded earlier this year with a pregnant-with-twins ad that saw her modelled on a modern Virgin Mary in her undies, with shroud, beatific expression and flowers. It was compared to Latin American funeraries, Flemish portraiture and work up by French artists Pierre et Gilles. It also garnered uncountable than 11 million likes. She followed it with photoshoots of her underwater, and others of her dress Gucci dresses, flower crowns and a “Preggers” T-shirt that with celerity sold out.
Beyoncé is sweet at Insta-pregnancy by turning herself into a kind of modern fertility goddess. While the zing party images are designed to work for social media – shiny colours, celebrity friends – they are also part of a Maker Bey game plan. The star is exploring imagery from bizarre African countries and the African diaspora. During her performance at the Grammys in February, knock against already in evidence, she was a vision in gold, complete with king. Some likened the look to a madonna in a religious icon representing. Others pointed out allusions to Oshun, the Yoruba orisha (steal off) said to protect women during pregnancy.
With Beyoncé’s due old thought to be in early June, there is ample time to investigate other orishas and – of course – gain more likes in the method. And postpartum? The perfect moment for a Carter twinstagram, surely.