Serena Williams is pregnant. In case anyone hadn’t heard the news, or had missed the breathless tale of how Williams won the Australian Open during the early weeks of her pregnancy, the fact is made plain on the August cover of Vanity Fair, which features the tennis champion in the buff.
One hand cups her breasts and the other is positioned in the small of her back. The body posture suggests confidence, but it also captures a hint of nonchalant impatience. Come on, take the picture! Williams is wearing a waist chain, a flesh-colored thong and a single twinkling stud in her ear. That’s it.
The photograph, by Annie Leibovitz, is lovingly lit, elegantly framed and deeply admiring of its subject. Congratulations, Serena! And to your fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, too.
Celebrities have transformed pregnancy into another Instagrammable moment. One to be articulated with the help of a professional stylist, designer clothing and a top-notch hair wrangler. It’s become another business opportunity. Instead of promoting a film or album or clothing line, they promote pregnancy — transforming it into a magical, mystical, soft-focus experience. They are the modern Madonna giving birth to a love like no other. They are elevated. They are goddesses. Like so much else in life today, pregnancy must be performed.
No one, of course, has been pregnant better than Beyoncé. From her Madonna-with-flowers Instagram announcement to the Madonna-with-chair performance at the Grammy Awards, Beyoncé elevated pregnancy into an art house film starring . . . Beyoncé.
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