LESE/AKM-GSI, GG/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES
by Natalie Finn | Thu., Apr. 7, 2016 3:30 AM
LESE/AKM-GSI, GG/FAMEFLYNET PICTURES
Remember that time Gisele Bündchen gave birth and it was a painless miracle?
Well, the buck didn't stop there.
Not only did she Namaste her way to a pleasant water birth at home, in hindsight the arrival of her first child with Tom Brady served as a warning as to just how jealous mere childbearing mortals would one day get in the face of a model pregnancy.
Or make that a model's pregnancy.
Sure, celebrities are just like us. They change diapers, they go to the grocery store, they go to Mommy & Me. But they also change cloth diapers that they don't actually have to clean themselves, they shop at Whole Foods like it's the 99¢ Store and they sneak into Mommy & Me to duck the paparazzi.
OK, maybe that last thing doesn't sound so great and we'll prefer our makeup-free anonymity any day, but we're sensing a theme among the ultra-glamorous when it comes to what pregnancy looks like.
(Presumably not many models' dads are on Instagram.)
A photo posted by Candice Swanepoel (@angelcandices) on
And if all goes accordingly (we of course wish for nothing but healthy experiences for one and all), their lives become all about gently expanding bellies, social media updates, immaculately decorated nurseries, pregnancy tips from famous friends and baby showers attended by guests wearing body-con and $1,000 stilettos.
Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Chrissy Teigen may self-deprecatingly be the last person who would characterize herself as glamorous; but sorry, dear, you can't show up glowing like an otherworldly being at the Oscars and not expect to be appointed president of the Pregnancy for Models Club.
Not that she can help it. Chrissy and fellow pregnant stunners Behati Prinsloo and Candice Swanepoel (not to mention Gisele, Molly Sims, Lily Aldridge, Jourdan Dunn, Karolina Kurkova, Alessandra Ambrosio, Natalia Vodianova, Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Coco Rocha, Marissa Miller and all the models who've birthed babies before them) have made their livings looking like an ideal—of chicness, of power, of control, of self-confidence. So it only makes sense that the aura of perfection extends to their pregnancies.
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
When a model is expecting, pregnancy looks stunning from every angle; her maternity style is flawless; hormones have only made her face more striking, her skin more radiant; her rock star/athlete/singer/actor/model/mogul partner only finds her more beautiful (John Legend ties Chrissy's shoes for her!); and bikinis all of a sudden start to look boring if there's no baby bump involved.
Not that all of the above can't or won't happen to you while pregnant (because you're stunning and awesome just as you are too), but everyone wants to know how these gals are getting it done. They show off their newly rounder bods; they share reassuring, inclusive words of wisdom on Instagram; Vogue dissects their pregnancy glow, etc.
And now more than ever, we're privy to tips on how the model moms-to-be are making the most of the pregnant life as they slather themselves in substances we're all meaning to work into our routines, such as extra-virgin coconut oil and purified bee venom, while their gauzy tops graze their curves just so.
David Livingston/Getty Images
"I was pregnant at the same time as Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio and they gave me such good advice for how to stay in shape," Lily Aldridge, mom to daughter Dixie Pearl with hubby Caleb Followill, told E! News in 2014. "I did a lot of prenatal yoga and got lots of massages. I relaxed and had the most beautiful pregnancy. I loved every second of it."
Well, some scenarios are more attainable than others...
We know that Chrissy had a cookbook in the works for some time before she announced she was pregnant, but now you can get in on the photogenic meals she's whipping up and actually eating, bless her! The Sports Illustrated cover girl has also let us know exactly when she has heeded the siren call of a mega burrito or Fruity Pebbles, and we're all the hungrier for it.
A photo posted by Molly Sims (@mollybsims) on
The Everyday Supermodel author Molly Sims extolled the virtues of a balanced diet and regular exercise (she told InStyle during her second pregnancy last year that Pilates, Tracy Anderson and SoulCycle were her jams) while expecting. She acknowledged that "sometimes pregnant people are too tired to work out, but the exercising will help you physically and mentally."
And just as there are different approaches to eating for two among the model class, they have their own ideas when it comes to dressing for two as well.
Mother of four Heidi Klum recalled to InStyle in 2013 that she "always over-accessorized," while pregnant. "You accessorize the bump."
Karolina Kurkova told Nine in the Mirror while pregnant with her second child that a classic button-down was her go-to fashion item. "I of course get bigger sizes as they have to be longer or have space for the belly so the buttons don't pop off!" the Czech model explained. "There's something so stylish and pulled-together about a button-down. You can roll up your sleeves, leave them down, button it up all the way to the top for a preppy look or leave it open to show off a great necklace or beautiful lace lingerie that just pokes through."
A photo posted by Karolina Kurkova (@karolinakurkova) on
And it always seems to poke through just so.
However, not everyone wants her look to revolve around the bump every time. Natalia Vodianova, who's expecting her fifth child in June and has had plenty of opportunities to try out all modes of maternity style, admitted to Elle recently that she is all for bump-hugging fashion "on other people."
"For a sexy event like tonight, I'm a host. I want to look amazing," the Russian model told the mag's website ahead of the Fabulous Fund Fair in February, benefiting her Naked Heart Foundation. "I don't want people to be like, 'Oh my gosh, Natalia's pregnant! She looks great… for a pregnant person!' I want them to just say, 'She looks great!' Without the pregnant part. The only way to avoid this is go for a short dress, tons of legs, and a loose shape. I need to bet on my legs that they'll distract everyone. I'm wearing very high heels."
Heidi can relate to the urge to show off her stems.
Then, after the baby has been born, doesn't all the pregnancy weight just melt off thanks to breastfeeding? Or so goes the lore espoused by some...
But wouldn't you know, it isn't all effortless style, Instagram-ready smoothies, yoga-tightened bums and stretchmark-free boobs for model moms in the end. (Even when it kinda is.)
Even Gisele, the target of much ridicule for what were interpreted as very oblivious comments about child-rearing, admitted in 2010, "I'm sure if I would just be sitting and talking about my experiences with other mothers, we would just be sharing opinions," she wrote. "I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge. I believe that bringing a life into this world is the single most important thing a person can undertake and it can also be the most challenging. I think as mothers we are all just trying our best."
Model moms have in fact contributed more than aesthetics to the conversation about what women actually go through while pregnant and what happens when the babies show up.
Gisele, Miranda Kerr and Doutzen Kroes were among those who kept the breastfeeding conversation going, insistently demonstrating during those particular months of their kids' lives that it was nature taking its course and that it shouldn't be a cause of discomfort for anyone who happens upon a nursing baby.
And Chrissy, true to form, has gotten real about everything. She opened up about her struggle to get pregnant, standing strong in the face of critics when she candidly talked about the IVF process, and she frankly comments on her changing body.
"My nipples are all sorts of weird!" she laughed on FABLife a few months ago.
Which is good to know because now you know that you're not the only one whose nipples got weird, either.
Also, since so many models are used to baring all—or nearly everything—for their line of work, and most are joined at the hip with their smart phones, it's no wonder that we're currently in the golden age of photographs of nude pregnant women.
"I was so proud of my bump and all the hard work my body was doing to bring Ioni into this world," Coco Rocha explained her motivation to share her body transformation with Refinery 29, having posed for a 360-degree video composed of images shot by 100 still cameras. "I think women have been conditioned to kind of automatically cover up, or hide the fact we are pregnant... Pregnancy is a wonderful thing—something to be proud of, not ashamed."
A photo posted by chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) on
But while they seem to mean well, are supermodels turning pregnancy into yet another "I can dream, can't I?" topic for Pinterest? Or is the torrid flaunting of bumps actually helpful to women whose careers aren't built on their genetics, actually making the whole miracle-of-life thing less "Ugh, nobody's ankles are as swollen as mine" to, "Look, Chrissy Teigen just threw up, too!"
The answer is: A combination of both, because there's really nothing left these days that can't be whipped into a vision worth pining for. #PregnancyGoals and whatnot.
A photo posted by Candice Swanepoel (@angelcandices) on
But the doting over the bumps of Chrissy, Behati, Candice and others can also be a reminder that pregnant women are all in it together. Babies still only come out one of two ways, after all.
And neither way is glamorous, no matter how many runways Mommy walked or how many millions the Fantasy Bra she wore a few years ago was worth.
Though it's hardly an exact comparison, like any moms, these women feel their own pressures when it comes to what to do and how to be after the baby arrives as well.
"It's not always easy, it is hard, it's overwhelming," Kurkova also told Nine in the Mirror about balancing motherhood and work. "We live in such a fast world—we're expected to do five different things at once. It's important to step back, be in the moment, be present. Yes it takes time, but [being with your family] is something you can't buy or bring back. You really realize what's important."
Being genetically predisposed to look a certain way doesn't necessarily cure all ills, either.
Jaime King, reacting to haters online who criticized her for being too thin while pregnant, posted front and back shots of her pregnant self on Instagram with the caption, "My body. My growing baby, open for comments. Plain as day. I, like every other woman, bracing for your judgments. This is who I am. And I love me in every flaw and curve or flat or thin area. And I love you as well in every form that your body takes."
"[Pregnancy] is a very sacred and important moment in someone's life," she later explained the pic to Elle. "[But] the fact is that nobody should be body shamed. Nobody should be torn apart for being too thin or too fat or too this or too that."
Asked whether she felt pressured to drop baby weight ASAP, King said, "I've never thought about it. For me, being pregnant is such a miracle in the first place with the struggles I've had getting pregnant. The only thing I care about is having a happy and healthy child…When you've just had a baby, your only focus should be the health and wellbeing of your child, bonding with your child and enjoying every single moment of that."
Courtesy: Gia Canali/Splash News
Molly Sims has said, meanwhile, that she absolutely felt the pressure to bounce back after baby. She candidly told Elle after giving birth to her second child last year that the first headlines she saw about her so-called body-after-baby pic were ridiculous because, in her eyes, she still had a long way to go.
"It's because people are obsessed with it—obsessed with how to do, what to do, when to do it, and how fast you can do it. It's crazy!" she said. "Also, you put pressure on yourself so it's always magnified 20 times more. You want to be skinny just as much as America wants you to be skinny!"
Simms also shared a little technique that helps her snap out of a negative mindset when she's feeling less than confident.
"I think to feel body confident, really tell yourself, get in front of that mirror and get a little mantra, like, 'I'm enough, I'm enough, I am beautiful.' And the more you say it, the more you'll believe it."
Not to mention, it's the truth.
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our US edition?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our Canadian edition?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our UK edition?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our Australian edition?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our Asia edition?
Dieser Inhalt ist für internationale Besucher verfügbar. Möchtest du ihn in der deutschen Version anschauen?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our German edition?
Une version adaptée de ce contenu est disponible pour notre public international. Souhaitez-vous voir ça dans notre édition française ?
This content is available customized for our international audience. Would you like to view this in our French edition?