Her pregnancies around the year 2000 were the subject of unfair scrutiny, body shaming and fat phobia. Let’s learn from our past mistakes, okay?
Every day it seems like we’re getting closer to fully reliving the early 2000s. Low-rise jeans are back in fashion, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are happily engaged again, and now Britney Spears is pregnant again. . For Britney, let’s petition to give up body shaming this time.
On April 11, the pop legend announced that she was expecting her third child via an emoji-filled Instagram caption. She discovered the news while vacationing in Maui with her partner, personal trainer and actor Sam Asghari.
“I lost so much weight going on a trip to Maui than gaining it back. I thought, ‘Damn, what happened to my stomach?’ she wrote, “So I took a pregnancy test…and, um, well…I’m having a baby.”
In 2022, the public perception of childbearing bodies has seen a cultural shift — thanks in large part to Rihanna. From the moment she announced she was pregnant, the singer-turned-designer rewrote the rules of pregnancy style by intentionally rejecting maternity clothes that veil pregnant women’s bellies beneath puffy silhouettes.
Take it recent vogue cover story, where she poses in a mesh jumpsuit that accentuates every new angle on her body. “I hope we were able to redefine what is considered ‘decent’ for pregnant women,” she told the magazine. “My body is doing amazing things right now, and I’m not going to be ashamed of it.”
For the most part, Rihanna’s bold fashion choices were celebrated. Sadly, the same can’t be said for Britney Spears’ past pregnancies with sons Sean Preston in 2005 and Jayden James in 2006.
Spears had a unique pregnancy style in the year 2000. In 2005, at the Charlie and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory premiering the film, she sported an early classic: the cheeky graphic shirt. Telling the film’s plot, her top read “I’ve got the golden ticket,” above an arrow pointing to her waiting belly.
That same year, she wore a pink shrug with a drop-waist tie-dye skirt that showed off her midriff—a look that still lives in my rent-free head.
During her second pregnancy, Spears did a photoshoot for Q Magazine, put on a polka dot bikini and suck on a lollipop. While capturing her motherly glow, the photos were a symbol of Britney Spears appropriating her sexuality while contradicting the idea that pregnant women should be devoid of sexual desire. (For many women, pregnancy is actually the sexiest time of their life.)
The natural changes to one’s body have always been a subject of social discourse. During her first pregnancy, outlets like People, Star and We Weekly relentlessly reported on his appearance. In 2005, People published an article titled“Britney’s weight gain”, which shamed her for the food she ate and claimed her pregnancy weight was “out of control”.
Spears’ second pregnancy was no better. In 2006, she spoke with Harper’s Bazaar on the impact of this constant cruel coverage. “It was weird for me at first because of who I am; wherever you go they expect you to look a certain way,” she said. “I’m not supposed to be this huge pregnant superstar.”
In her recent Instagram announcement, Spears said she suffered from perinatal depression in her two previous pregnancies. “I have to say, it’s absolutely awful,” she said. “Women didn’t talk about it back then.”
This time around, she hopes to avoid all that negative media attention. “I obviously won’t be going out as much because of the [paparazzi] getting shot like they sadly already have,” she wrote.
During the legal battle surrounding her 13-year conservatorship, Spears spoke about wanting another child. Before she was released to make her own medical, financial and personal decisions in November 2021, the star revealed her conservatives wouldn’t let her have her IUD removed to get pregnant.
Now that she’s regained her independence, she can spend her pregnancy dressing however she pleases – whether that’s tapping into her Y2K wardrobe, opting for looser silhouettes or stepping out. barely. The thing is, it’s his choice.
Spears was not recognized for the fashion-forward style she had during her early pregnancies. But with modern fashion icons like Rihanna continuing to rewrite the rules, the 2020s define a new era of body positivity unrestrained by the impossible beauty standards and weird lockdowns of decades past.
There has never been a better time for Britney Spears to be pregnant.