Suki Waterhouse pregnant baby feet

Reactions to Suki Waterhouse’s Emmys dress show we still have issues with pregnancy style

‘Classless and revolting’

Pregnancy fashion used to be quite boring. Stretchy fabrics, polka-dots and dresses the size of circus tents littered maternity sections. The goal was to hide bumps in loose-fitting florals— until the likes of Rihanna and Sienna Miller used the red carpet and street style to popularise dressing to accentuate pregnancy. It felt like a turning point.

Which is why, it was so disappointing to see the reaction to Suki Waterhouse’s 2024 Emmy Awards outfit on Monday. When the actress and model – currently pregnant with Robert Pattinson’s baby – stepped out on the red carpet in Los Angeles the backlash was immediate. Suki was dubbed “classless” and “revolting” in comment sections for daring to “parade” her belly and a little bit of side boob. And that was just the beginning.

“I’ll never for the life of me understand why so many pregnant women think exposing their swollen stomach looks attractive because it doesn’t,” wrote one person. “Put it away. We do not wish to see that. Those woman have no shame,” added a second, while another shockingly went as far as to call Suki a “slag”.

Let’s get real here, Suki looks amazing. The red tone is perfect, the bow accentuating under her bump is like a little ribbon around a cake. Her outfit is adorable and attractive in equal measure. But being hot and pregnant still doesn’t seem to be something large proportions of the population can comprehend. The Madonna/whore complex very much lives on.

Fundamentally, pregnancy isn’t something shameful women need to hide in billowing smocks. A bare bump isn’t slaggy, or classless – we should be able to dress how we want while growing literal lives inside of us. We’re allowed to feel sexy before, during, and after becoming mothers. Being pregnant is an achievement and a joy, why shouldn’t it be shown off if when we want?

“I’m not going to buy maternity clothes,” Rihanna made clear when asked about her pregnancy style by Bustle. “I’m not gonna buy maternity pants, jeans, dresses, or [do] whatever society told me to do before. When I saw women dress during their pregnancy [in the past], I’d think that that was the only way,” she explained. “So I challenged myself to push it further and really just have fun.”

It’s a shame it’s taking traditionalists so long to catch up.

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