Belfast Telegraph

Beyonce should think of women who can't have children before announcing her pregnancy to millions on social media

By Lindy McDowell

With pregnancy becoming ever more like performance art these day, Beyonce has upped the ante on everybody else's Facebook baby scan pics by releasing a series of photographs to announce that she and Mr Beyonce are currently expecting twins.

As you do...

The pics feature the happy mother-to-be posing nude against various lavish backdrops, clasping her bump and looking expertly-airbrushed and serene.

Within a few hours of their release the pics had broken the Instagram record for views. To set this in context, breaking a social media record is seen as such a coup in celeb land, it's a bit like you or I winning the lottery. Or David Beckham getting a knighthood.

So an all round win then, for Mama-to-Bey. No wonder she says she feels "blessed".

The general consensus is that the photographs are "adorable" - to use that gushing, irritating word that's trowelled on these days to describe just about anything even vaguely baby-related.

You do wonder though why so many millions of people want to study photographs (however arty) of what's basically a woman's bare belly.

Is it genuine fascination? Or just that everyone else has seen them so you might as well take a look too, just to see what the fuss is about?

Beyonce being rich and famous, no expense was spared during the photoshoot. No immodesty either.

Art experts have analysed the pictures (honestly!) and believe that comparisons are being inferred between Her Beyonceness and the Virgin of Guadeloupe, no less.

She is also Nefertiti (reputedly the most beautiful woman who ever lived.) And Sandro Botticelli's Venus rising from the waves. There's even an underwater interlude. Although whether this is intended to invoke the little mermaid or Jacques Cousteau, who can tell?

Now I have to say here that I'm delighted for Beyonce both in her happy baby news and in her Instagram triumph. I very much wish her well on both counts.

But I still think the whole pregnancy photo shoot production is a bit odd. Odd although not, of course, particularly new. We've seen so many naked celebs parading their bumps down the years (it's empowering, apparently, darling) that it would seem almost shocking to see one posing with her clothes on.

It's not the nudity per se that rankles with me. But there is something about this narcissistic parading of pregnancy that makes me a bit uncomfortable. Well done, you. You are with child. And I recognise and share your joy.

But isn't there something just a little bit smug about this belly flaunting trend? How does it make those who can't have a child feel? Or those who don't want to have one?

Not everybody gets gooey over baby pics - never mind this sort of ante-natal "womb of a Pharaoh" stuff.

But there's almost a consensus that it's compulsory to coo along as Beyonce and the rest, without any seeming bashfulness, portray themselves as the ultimate Earth mothers, goddesses of fertility, and Madonna herself. (And no, I don't mean the one reportedly back in Malawi recently on another adoption mission.)

We all accept that humility is not their strong point on Planet Famous. That they will do anything for exposure.

So it's inevitable that now Beyonce's baby bump picture has eclipsed even Kim Kardashian's backside-balancing act with the champagne glass, we can expect open photoshoot from other expectant exhibitionists. Every Z lister in the land will be at it.

I share your joy, sisters, I really do.

But maybe show just a little sensitivity for the feelings of those with fertility problems before styling yourself as a goddess purely on account of the fact that you are now expecting?

You're rightly thrilled to be sharing your good news. But it's doesn't have to be quite so out there, does it?

If you like it, put a jumper on it.

Tayto set to earn a packet with expansion

A bit of name-dropping... I once met a genuine 22-carat celebrity. I was doing an interview about the iconic Co Armagh crisp manufacturer when I was introduced to the then-Mr Tayto.

He was obsessed with crisp perfection, I recall, so I'm not surprised that Tayto are doing so well that the firm is now branching into popcorn with the takeover of a London company.

As one report neatly puts it, popcorn is expanding. All sorts of weird flavours are in demand. Would traditional Tayto cheese and onion flavour work quite so well with popcorn? Doubtless we shall soon find out.

Gaga raised the roof at Super Bowl show

It was widely expected that Lady Gaga would lambast Donald Trump during her Super Bowl performance this week.

But wisely she let her music - and lyrics - do the talking.

That and her absolutely spectacular entrance, leaping down into the stadium from on high. That stunt will have been well-rehearsed. All manner of safety checks in force. But even so, it was very brave. It set the bar a bit higher for the next major sports occasion in London.

Remember the Queen "parachuting" into the Olympics? Next time, how does HM top Gaga?

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