“Angelina-Jolie Pregnant”

Okaaaay. So, new topic. Pregnant women and designer clothes. Yay or nay?

The NY Times ran a very nice article today about women looking hip and fabulous while pregnant. No more Winnie the Pooh overalls! Bring on the skinny jeans and the designer dresses!

The women modeling the clothes — you have to admit – look great. I think it’s a step in the right direction (and a reflection of women’s economic power) that women are now free to shop at The Pea in the Pod or The Gap or even Target (yeay, Target!) and find gorgeous clothes (with nary a ribbon or bow in sight) to make them attractive while they’re throwing up and feeling gross.

But on the other hand, so now women are supposed to meet some ideal of physical attraction, even while they’re pregnant? “Angelina-Jolie pregnant”?! I thought pregnancy was a license to eat a few extra bowls of ice cream and slink around in your bathrobe, if you felt like it.

What do you think? Hello? (Do any women even read this blog anymore? :) )
I guess we could always talk about the weather…. It’s raining. Again.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Travis!


  1. I think it’s great that there’s more variety in maternity clothes. I felt gross enough as it was without adding the horror of the tent dress!

  2. If by read, you mean scan posts and stare at Aaron’s picture, yes, at least one woman does.

    Oh, and Happy Birthday, Travis!

  3. Elisabeth says:

    I agree with you, Rebecca. Tent dresses can’t be all that fun. Then again, some days I think I’d like to roll out of bed and put on a tent dress. Looking decent can be a huge chore – not to mention looking great. (probably exponentially more difficult when you’re gaining weight and feeling yucky).

    I also wonder why the push in recent years to glamorize pregnancy and motherhood in this way. Babies as accessories, etc. Seems to be the latest thing to do. I guess this is good, right? Beautiful people procreating?

  4. Same as with any other fashion item. If you can afford it good for you. Don’t feel bad if you can’t and don’t look down on those of us who can’t.

  5. Elisabeth says:

    LOL! Hellmut – for a second, I thought you were talking about babies as the “fashion item”. But not looking down on people who can’t afford babies is a good rule of thumb as well :)

  6. I will tell you, I am pregnant, and I have to dress nice for work, and I am grateful there are plain, nice clothes to buy. I can’t stand the shirts that say things like “eating for two” and other stupid things. As if we can’t tell that the person is pregnant. What I find worse is diaper bags. Why do I have to carry around a cute little pink or blue diaper bag with some Disney Character on it? As if it is not obvious be the stroller, the carrier, or the baby itself that I have a child. I want a nice diaper bag that does not scream “Look at me, I am a Disney Mom!” I have to carry the bag, can’t it look normal? Does anyone know where I could find a nice, plain diaper bag without an animal on it? Black would be preferable.

  7. I am anti-tent, also. I wholeheartedly believe in wearing clothes that fit you, even if you have a gigantic ball of a stomach and very swollen limbs.

    If I am ever in the family way, I hope I exercise and eat extra icecream. And avoid any large clothing that looks like it was made in the early 90s.

  8. jothegrill says:

    They gave me a free black, simple diaper bag full of samples and coupons at the hospital when I had each of my babies, so I wouldn’t bother buying one (unless you aren’t going to the hospital.) Also I have a friend that uses a small duffle bag.
    Also, I guess I’m the exception, I don’t mind the tent dresses. I feel comfortable and beautiful in them, or in just about anything for that matter. That is one of the greatest gifts my mother ever gave me. She taught me that I was beautiful, just the way that God created me. She never made a big fuss about her own makeup and clothes, she just was clean and happy and beautiful, (even when she was pregnant at the age of 40.)
    That said, I think it’s really good to have options in clothing. I really enjoyed the cute hand me downs I got from my sister in law last year.

  9. Elisabeth says:

    Maren – good point. Pregnancy seems to force women to take on an almost childlike identity at times (or maybe it’s just the men who historically designed all the maternity clothes and bags). You cease to be a strong independent woman, and succumb to cravings for cartoon characters and applique handbags.

  10. jothegrill says:

    Just another thought: According to my husband, my childbirth education class, a guy friend from high school, and my college Human Sexuality class (all FHD majors had to take it) Men often find pregnant women more attractive (tent-dresses and all.) So I guess if it’s the ladies you are trying to impress (which it seems we often are) go for the perfect clothes and hair and stuff like that, but the men seem to like our big bellies and other things like that. I’ve got 4 witnesses and only 2 of them were even remotely concerned about my feelings.

  11. Paul Mortensen says:

    The one “pregnantly-dressed” style that I just can’t stand is where the woman flaunts her pregnancy by leaving her belly exposed (thankfully, not a problem at church). I can’t go to the health club, the park, or the mall in my MSP suburb without getting an eyefull of some woman’s extended gut protruding out the opening between her shirt and whatever she’s wearing below. Anyone know if this is a local/regional trend or if this is something found nationwide? Please, tell me this is something soon to go the way of the dodo.

  12. Aaron Brown says:

    This issue has really important theological implications. Doesn’t Blake Ostler have a chapter on this in his latest book?

    Aaron B

  13. Paul, we’re a pro-family church, so an exposed pregnancy belly should really be considered a badge of honor, don’t you think?

    Irony aside, that’s a trend which I have observed in the Bay Area–but which doesn’t bother me at all. I mean, it’s just another midriff, right? For years now, I’ve been surrounded by bare midriffs; why should two or three more bother me?

  14. Steve Evans says:

    Woe unto you with your fine-twined linens! While I agree that no one should be subjected to Disney decals on their clothing, designer maternity clothes strike me as just like regular designer clothes — superfluous for the most part.

  15. Elisabeth says:

    Aaron Brown – you are a stinker!

    RT – we’re told bare midriffs are immodest. Avert your eyes.

  16. The hospital that I am going to is the same as my sister, and they give a pink or blue bag that says “baby” across the front. I wish the hospital just gave a black bag. How nice for you.

  17. But on the other hand, so now women are supposed to meet some ideal of physical attraction, even while they’re pregnant?

    I don’t think it’s that we’ve found a new way to make women feel bad about how they look (though I agree that it will undoubtably turn into that for many women). I think new variety in clothing is really a validation of the working mother, and working women in general.

    It’s a step away from the assumption that if you’re pregnant you don’t need to (and therefore won’t) care about how you look because you won’t need to be in public. In other words, they’re realizing that being pregnant doesn’t necessitate being “barefoot.”

  18. Oh, and here is a bunch of cartoon free diaper bags. Baby Chic 101 also has oodles of links for the very clothing and accessories we’ve been discussing. (I’m pretty cheap though, so most of this stuff is way to pricey for my tastes.)

  19. Seth R. says:

    I say yay.

    So does my wife, who happens to be expecting our third.

    I doubt a nice selection at Target is going to stop the determined holdouts who prefer to celebrate “the miracle of life” via constructive wallowing.

  20. I’m a fashion disaster un-pregnant, so if I ever got pregnant, that would be all the excuse I would need to surrender entirely to tent dresses and those big early nineties clothes Amri doesn’t like.

    But I promise that under no circumstances, pregnant or not, will I bare my midriff.

    I’m with Elisabeth (#3)–looking good is just too much work. I really want to see an economist look into the differences in the amounts of time men and women have to spend on their appearances. I think it would explain a lot.

  21. Re: comment # 15:

    Yeah, RT, avert your eyes. :)

  22. Has anyone else noticed that most of the clothing on http://www.apeainthepod.com isn’t compatible with garments? What’s with all the sleeveless shirts nowadays?

  23. SV – Yep, finding tops with sleeves can sometimes be very difficult, but I found a great Motherhood Maternity Outlet store in Delaware when we holidayed on the Eastern Shore, and found some really nice garment friendly stuff – at a fraction of the regular cost!(and there’s no sales tax!)

  24. I wish the hospital had given us a diaper bag when I was having babies. All we got was a baby t-shirt.

    We did have a black diaper bag, though, and I think we got it at Fred Meyer.

  25. Kristine says:

    babystyle has nice maternity stuff, and diaper bags I wouldn’t be embarrassed to carry even now that my kids are big. Not cheap, but cheaper than peainthepod. Eddie Bauer has cool backpack or messenger-bag style ones that your husband won’t mind being seen with.

  26. Men often find pregnant women more attractive

    Yes, and here’s why: A man sees a pregnant woman and says to himself, “She goes all the way.”

  27. jothegrill says:

    Re: 12
    Maybe this doesn’t have huge theological implications for you, but I’m glad to get away from the recent trend of titilating posts. This is definately a step away from the wrong direction, if not one in the right.

  28. Being a plus size woman it is still hard to find clothes that fit comfortably. That is the worst with the styles now, and the clingy fabric. The last thing I want is to emphasize my large belly that is already large to begin with.
    On the diaper bag front, the bags from the hospitals are provided by the formula companies. With my last baby in October they were still black. If you don’t like what you get, ask for another formula bag!

  29. Elisabeth says:

    Thanks, jothegrill (I think). Although gst kinda ruined it for us :P

    And while we’re on the topic, will the paparazzi please leave poor Britney Spears alone?? She’s got enough to worry about in her sad life these days without hidden cameras documenting her every wrong move and broadcasting it around the world for everyone to sit in judgment.

    (Note to Britney: use the car seat)

  30. Kevin Barney says:

    Elisabeth, admit it, you just wanted an excuse to caption a post with the name Angelina Jolie. You’ve learned what the tabloids already know: Angelina Jolie sells papers (or encourages posts). I heard People paid $4MM for her baby pictures. Wow!

    Oh, and Happy Birthday, Travis!

  31. Men often find pregnant women more attractive

    My roomate’s psych professor told her class that evolutionarily (is that even a word?) speaking men generally don’t find a pregnant woman attractive because *he* can’t get her pregnant if she already is. To test this I asked the guy I sat next to in one of my classes what he thought of pregnant ladies. He said, (verbatim) “It makes them look fat.” He was not the most tactful man, but I’m reasonably certain that it was his real opinion. I’ve asked my husband this also, but he is too wise to give an opinion on any matter regarding my current or future appearance.

    Either way, there is my counter to the idea that men find pregnant women more attractive.

  32. Elisabeth says:

    Kevin, you’re on to me. I think you’re right about the baby pictures, and I also heard that Angelina and Co. are donating every penny of the money to charity. Way to go, Angelina! And I love her new daughter’s name: Shiloh. Beautiful.

  33. I recognize that not all men find pregnant women attactive. When my wife was first with child, I asked my brother, who had already had a couple of kids, if his wife’s OBGYN had given them any guidance as to how late in the pregnancy they could continue to have sex. He responded, “Yes. His proposed cutoff was much later than mine.”

  34. Sorry. I’ll shut up now.

  35. Elisabeth says:

    gst – who are you? you’re funny. Weird, but funny.

  36. #32 Yes and I will name my next child Stalingrad. May be, I will break it up into Stalin G. Rad. Naming your children after the most bloody events on the continent is a great idea.

  37. lighten up Hellmut. Jacob used the word long before the State of Tennessee.

  38. cchrissyy says:

    lots of non-cartoonish diaper bags here . Our first was that blue Eddie Bauer “weekender” one. Then we got a Land’s end canvas thing.
    but around here, everybody who’s anybody uses one of these

  39. Steve,
    I think Hellmut was being ironic, a word that has no German equivalent. He’s trying, bless his teutonic socks. (Ha! Ha! Michael Ballack’s injured.)

  40. Ah. I assumed he was being Dark Hellmut. My bad Hellmut – ironize away!

  41. Kristine says:

    Well, it scares me a little to admit it, but I’m with Hellmut on the name. In my high school American history class (outside of Nashville), 10 kids in a class of 26 could name ancestors who died there. Anything important enough to get teenagers to remember their great-great-great granduncle’s name is a pretty significant cultural marker, I’d say.

    Besides, at least if they’d gone with “Antietam” they could have called her Annie for short.

  42. Elisabeth says:

    LOL! Nice, Kristine. You know, it’s a shame when random events ruin perfectly nice names. My friend Katrina is going to have to endure lame hurricane jokes for the next couple of years still. But I still love the name Shiloh. Maybe if the Germans had played it a bit more strategically in WWII, we’d be naming our children Normandy instead of Brittany.

  43. Kimball L. Hunt says:

    There’s pure lust kind and there’s lust mixed with love/ nurture/ wannabealifelongmate. Pregger women do tend to be stunningly beautiful — although not in a “geez let’s have a tryst” way but rather in an Awwwww how cute!/ wanna take care of her/ covet the position of her lucky husband kind of way.

  44. Don’t worry, Ronan, we won’t be needing Michael on Friday. I sure hope that they will be watching the game at Marathon’s Deli.

    Watching the Winter Olympics on ABC was more than I could bear. The World Cup coverage has gotta be better.

  45. Elisabeth says:

    Hellmut, even though you made fun of me – have you seen Ronan’s post on the World Cup at kulturblog? It’s really great – check it out.

  46. Patrick Star says:

    Maren: Try the Skip-Hop for a diaper bag(google it). Hang out at http://www.modernseed.com, for a while, and your baby-fashion blues will melt away.