Pregnant Beauty: Maternal Femininities under Neoliberalism

  • Imogen Tyler


Since the mid-1990s there has been an extraordinary proliferation of representations of maternity within popular culture, arts, literature, politics, consumer culture and ‘everyday life’. The fascination with celebrity pregnancy and motherhood, the emergence of ‘momoir’ literary genres, a new emphasis on the maternal in the visual and performance arts and the ascendance of ‘Maternal TV’ reality formats, are indicative of this new visibility. The maternal is no longer confined to traditionally domestic or child-orientated spaces, such as private homes, hospitals, parks and playgrounds,1 but is present in spectacularly public forms: think of British artist Marc Quinn’s 12ft statue of a naked, heavily pregnant, disabled artist Alison Lapper, in Trafalgar Square, London in 2005 (see Betterton, 2006) or pregnant beauty contests (see Longhurst, 2000).


Pregnant Woman Eating Disorder Feminist Theory Pregnancy Weight Gain Visual Culture 
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© Imogen Tyler 2011

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  • Imogen Tyler

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