How Rihanna’s Maternity Style Normalized and Celebrated Pregnant Bodies

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In January 2022, Rihanna announced she was expecting her first child with rapper A$AP Rocky. Since then, pregnancy fashion has not been the same on social media. The internet revolted when pictures of Rihanna taken by celebrity photographer, Diggzy, were released. Shortly after, more pictures of the singer rocking the pregnancy look were seen all over social media.   

Some of Rihanna’s iconic pregnancy outfit in early 2022: 

It is common for pregnancy to be seen as a sedentary time for the mother, where their lives and personalities are on pause until the birth of their child. According to a 2020 study, five to 25 percent of pregnant women experience prenatal depression, which involves depressive episodes that occur during pregnancy. The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health recognizes that body image plays a role in prenatal depression since many women find themselves worried about weight gain, skin changes, and their overall appearance not being the same as before pregnancy.  

Elle Magazine published a photography-based article showing how pregnancy fashion has changed over the years. In this article, we see paintings and photographs of women from 1339 through 2021 wearing what seems to be the pregnancy trends at the time. Although pregnancy style has changed drastically over the years, most of the photographs have something in common: the belly is mostly or fully covered. Some of the garments try to blend the bump into the rest of the woman’s body to make it less attention-grabbing. However, once we get to the 90s photographs, we start seeing a shift in pregnancy fashion. A picture of Jada Pinkett Smith shows her wearing a figure-hugging dress in 1998, and Kate Hudson wore a more revealing two-piece outfit showing most of her bump in 2003.  

Pinkett Smith and Hudson’s style was only foreshadowing the outfits we would later see in the mid-2010s on celebrities like Kim Kardashian and many others who had decided to show their pregnancy bumps and even make it part of their outfit. However, after Rihanna and A$AP Rocky’s photoshoot, I started seeing so many regular women rocking their pregnancy bump in their daily life. Today, social media platforms like TikTok have a wide range of pregnant creators who share their outfit choices during pregnancy, and a lot of those outfits expose their bumps.  

Rihanna’s influence on today’s pregnancy fashion is undeniable. Many content creators who decided to embrace their pregnant look credit the singer and fashionista for their outfit choices. For instance, in February, shortly after Rihanna’s pregnancy announcement, TikTok @insidestephsmind shared a video showing an outfit she wore at 25 weeks pregnant that had some resemblance to Rihanna’s outfit in the photographs taken by Diggzy. The text visible in the video said, “Rihanna made me do it.” 

Considering that pregnancy is one of the most natural experiences the world has ever known, it was about time for pregnant bodies to be normalized and celebrated. Celebrities sharing their pregnancy outfits is only the beginning of what can be a revolutionary movement. So, let’s applaud moms-to-be for serving impeccable style on their social media and in real life.  



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