Culture & Entertainment

Oscars recap: Are baby bumps a style handicap?

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Culture & Entertainment

Oscars recap: Are baby bumps a style handicap?

Baby bumps get attention on the red carpet Of all the red carpet looks seen at the 86th annual Academy Awards, two in particular caught my attention—not for their notability in terms of making the best- or worst-dressed cut, but for the offensive commentary which they garnered. I'm talking about Kerry Washington and Olivia Wilde. You see, both women are pregnant. Depending on the fashion critic, both actors managed to escape harsh words about their size and protruding stomachs. Yet both were subject to the same ignorant remarks. Washington looked stunning—as usual—in a satiny amethyst Jason Wu gown. The odd wrinkle and water spots from the rain detracted from the beauty of the flowing strapless gown. But neither of those flaws could be helped given the circumstances. An E! News commentator thought so, too: "Pregnant or not, it's amazing." While I didn't see Wilde—who wore a black-and-white mock-turtleneck Valentino gown that hugged her bump—walk down the red carpet, I did hear rave reviews about her dress on my local morning show. FashionTelevision's Jeanne Beker said Wilde looked magnificent, "with or without child." I appreciate that fashion critics attempt to recognize pregnant women as beautiful in an industry that revolves around the slender and svelte. But to imply a baby bump has the ability to send a beautiful, stylish woman to the top of the worst-dressed list is offensive. I'm not particularly fond of baby bumps. But I can appreciate the miracle of childbirth and the wonders of the female body. More importantly, I don't think a small waist circumference is the epitome of beauty. It's especially strange to me since celebrity watchers live for Hollywood procreation. The media lauds baby bumps but, at the same time, reviles the pregnant body. Pregnant celebrities are criticized for being too thin or gaining too much weight, even wearing high heels. Whether it's a baby bump, a few extra pounds or a body type that doesn't emulate the hourglass figure, why is a waistline over 30 inches such a handicap on the red carpet? (Photo courtesy Stockvault)
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Oscars recap: Are baby bumps a style handicap?

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