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The hierarchy of celebrity childbirth stories

Feasey, R (2016) 'The hierarchy of celebrity childbirth stories.' Celebrity Studies. ISSN 1939-2397

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Abstract

Extant literature from within the fields of star studies and gender theory remind us that women have long been interested and indeed invested in the sartorial tastes, beauty regimes and diet programmes of film stars. Likewise, female celebrities have given us access to their homes, fridges and handbags in order to seek the attentions and possible approval of the woman in the traditional women’s magazine and gossip sector. More recently a myriad of recognisable women from the entertainment sphere have shared their pregnancy fashions and mummy makeovers with an interested audience. Indeed, we have begun to witness these women discussing their most private, personal experiences by way of their childbirth stories. What is important here are the ways in which famous figures speak about differences between ‘natural’ and ‘medicalised’ experiences, and the issues of legitimacy, appropriateness and worth that stem from these narratives. In much the same way as we are asked to judge, rank and qualify these women for their fashion purchases, fitness choices and maternal practices in line with the ‘mommy wars’, so too are we now being asked to value (or otherwise) their experiences of labour. This article will look at a range of celebrity birth stories and examine the ways in which they can be seen as evidence of the ways in which tensions between working and stay-at-home mothers have escalated so as to include new rivalry and resentments over maternal bodies.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: childbirth, ‘good’ mother, ‘mommy wars’, celebrity mother
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
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Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2016 17:00
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2016 14:35
URI: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/8724
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