Trends: Slaying While Pregnant

 

Beyonce's performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards (The Fader)

Beyonce’s performance at the 2017 Grammy Awards (The Fader)

It seems like almost every female celebrity is pregnant right now (and that almost all of them are pregnant with twins). But instead of lying low and taking it easy during their pregnancies, many of these women are stepping it up, and making pregnant and non-pregnant women alike look like slackers.

First case in point: Beyonce. Leave it to Queen Bey to put us all to shame. The superstar performed a set during this year’s Grammy Awards. One portion featured her leaning back in a chair perched at a very precarious angle. (I don’t know about you, but my heart was in my throat for that whole portion. And I audibly exhaled when she got off that chair.)

Beyonce had also been scheduled to perform at Coachella before withdrawing. But we can’t fault her for that, considering she’s done more while pregnant than many people do in their lives.

Serena Williams is widely acknowledged to be the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) tennis player in the world. Last month, she announced her pregnancy. When she announced the news, Williams was 20 weeks along. Someone very smart (and awesome) did the math and realized that Williams had recently played in a match while pregnant. And, as Laura Wagner at “Deadspin” put it, this wasn’t just any match:

Serena Williams won the 2017 Australian Open, her record-breaking 23rd major, without dropping a single set, while nine fucking weeks pregnant. She is the greatest of all time.

Elsewhere in entertainment, Gal Gadot has been preparing for her upcoming movie “Wonder Woman.” Last November, she shot reshoots for the movie…while also five months pregnant. And she was probably doing more than a few stunts. NBD.

It’s great that we’re seeing so many women dominate during a time in life when women traditionally have been relegated to the sidelines.

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Thursday Trends: Elderly Fashion Models

Joan Didion's Celine ad (AdWeek)

Joan Didion’s Celine ad (AdWeek)

Ladies of “un certain age” (as the French say) are currently having a moment. High-fashion houses are looking to elderly women to represent their wares to a wider market.

Last week, French fashion house Céline unveiled its newest cover girl: 80-year-old acclaimed essayist Joan Didion. Didion is best known for her collections of essays, “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” (published in 1968) and “The White Album” (published in 1979). The writer, who replaced model Daria Werbowy, already has casual experience in modeling: An old photo of Didion lounging in her Corvette Stingray adorns the cover of “The White Album” paperback copy.

Two days later, Saint Laurent revealed their latest model to be 71-year-old singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. And the elderly-woman-as-fashion-model concept went from an outlier to a trend.

These are just the latest in a larger trend of older women becoming more visible within the fashion industry. Céline’s new campaign follows on the heels of Dolce & Gabbana’s spring 2015 promotions, which feature elderly ladies decked out in black dresses, red carnations and gold tiaras.

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2015 Campaign still (Daily Mail UK)

Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2015 Campaign still (Daily Mail UK)

The trend has been picking up steam over the past couple of years. In 2013, eyewear designer Karen Walker used models between the ages of 65 and 92 to model her “Forever” collection. (Within that campaign, Walker juxtaposed the elderly ladies with young girls for maximum effect.) Designer Marc Jacobs used 64-year-old actress Jessica Lange for his beauty line in 2014. Sixty-two-year-old Jacky O’Shaughnessy modeled for American Apparel in 2014, and 93-year-old Iris Apfel is modeling this year for jewelry designer Alexis Bittar.

French women seem to have this one lock: Jacobs cast a then-70-year-old Catherine Deneuve in his final campaign for Louis Vuitton in 2013, and 68-year-old French actress Charlotte Rampling modeled for Nars in 2014.

We’ve also been seeing more older women appear in street style photography. Photographer Ari Seth Cohen runs Advanced Style, where he documents the unique ensembles of elderly ladies. He’s parlayed the blog into a book and a recent documentary.

Hopefully, we’re starting to respect, and revere, the elderly population more than we’ve been worshipping at the fountain of youth. There’s certain historical precedent for young women taking sartorial cues from previous generations: Women in 17th- and 18th-century France used to powder their hair and wear white wigs to emulate their esteemed elders.