Photographs of celebrity mothers and their postpartum lives are a source of fascination. Some of the images are clearly staged for the camera or create an illusion of naturalness, while others are particularly evocative in terms of how they convey an everyday reality. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they tend to focus primarily on mothers who are famous or are frequently discussed by the press, such as Eva Longoria, Jenelle Evans, Chrissy Teigen, Kim Kardashian, and Serena Williams. But here, we’ve been invited to look deeper into these experiences and compare them to the ways in which other women approach motherhood.
The Women’s March has posted a diverse selection of intimate, often very close, images featuring a variety of women mothers’ journeys after giving birth, with each of them having a unique route, purpose, and style. All of the photographs have been enlarged so the women can be better viewed. The pictures are accompanied by short monologues, outlining the mothers’ stories and experiences as they go about building a life for themselves postpartum.
Whether portraying first-time mothers in New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, Kansas City, Boston, Phoenix, Oakland, Atlanta, and Little Rock, the pictures were taken by contributors who identified as pregnant, postpartum, and adopted mothers, many of whom are now mothers.
Many of the photos feature a range of mothering styles, including breastfeeding and postpartum bathing suits; one photograph, which appears on Instagram as @bexsoncradlingfdn, shows a future Beyoncé in the backyard of her home, breastfeeding her newborn child. Another photograph features pregnant Lauryn Hill, now an activist and hip-hop artist, in her kitchen, in the months before giving birth. She has two children, Zion and Selah, both of whom are pictured in the photograph with a towel draped over their heads to prevent them from looking at the camera as they take a photo.
The photographs are beautifully composed and, as the captions explain, are intended to illustrate a larger portrait of motherhood.
Another accompanying description, from @emersonmeecocks, reads, “When I first started doing a collection of photos/isums like this they were mostly taken of pregnant women, non-famous women, after giving birth. The older I got, I was getting requests to do ‘real’ postpartum pictures or were photos like this being given to my friends or clients…When I started producing these shots, I was given requests from the young to the old, all moms wanting to know about their new baby and life after motherhood.”
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