Opinion | Pop Culture

The Best Naked Pregnant Woman on a Magazine Cover

Why Jessica Simpson's recent 'Elle' cover is worth celebrating.

I know it's been done before. Sure, I get that it's designed to shock and awe. And indeed, I realize it may cause some to stumble and plenty others to stand in judgment. But I must say: although I usually shake my fists at the number of scantily clad "cover girls" we must endure, I couldn't help staring and smiling upon seeing a coyly covered, nude and pregnant Jessica Simpson on the cover of the April issue of Elle.

Maybe it's because I've grown weary—especially during the recent birth-control mandate-related political debates—of the cultural conversations in which pregnancy is seen as a tragedy, as a horrible inconvenience needing public dollars to prevent. Maybe it was just nice to see a pregnancy celebrated so publicly and audaciously.

But I also smiled because a photograph—even a sexy, nude one—of a woman huge with child on the cover of a fashion magazine is a welcome change of pace to the typical portraits of women's bodies as mere harbingers of lust and envy. ...

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December

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