In the 59th annual Grammys telecast on Feb. 12, Beyoncé — who is heavily pregnant with twins — performed in a scene-stealing, goddess-like number that hugged her growing baby bump. She even appeared in a hologram that exposed her bejeweled belly. When she was later spotted in the audience, the singer wore a low-cut red gown adorned with a cascading statement necklace. Viewers praised her otherworldly maternity style.
But it was Beyoncé’s postshow Grammys look that has tongues wagging — and not in a complimentary way.
In a post to Facebook, Kelly Rowland — Beyoncé’s longtime friend and former Destiny’s Child partner — posted a celebratory candid shot in which Queen Bey and members of her inner circle, including husband Jay Z, are happily grooving to the music at a Grammys after-party. Bey is glowing in her fourth outfit of the evening: a chic, toga-inspired gown with a deep, plunging neckline.
Commenters — many of them female — were quick to criticize the 35-year-old star, already a mom to 5-year-old daughter Blue Ivy, for showing too much décolletage. One woman, Samantha van Wakeren, wrote, “Why the need to show off your breasts so much. I never get this.” Anita Huerta added, “Does she have to wear stuff that is so revealing, cover up a little bit, there’s a time and a place for revealing clothing. Crazy.” And a third woman commented, “That’s nasty with those t**s hanging out!!! No class.”
Of course, most women experience significant breast growth while pregnant, starting around 6 or 8 weeks, as BabyCenter notes, and continuing throughout the nine-month gestation. Milk ducts are growing and stretching as breasts fill with milk and prepare for lactation — their primary function. Still, some women and men are compelled to sexualize breasts — even when they’re being used to breastfeed.
It should be noted, though, that many fans also rose to Beyoncé’s defense with comments including, “I think she’s one hot mama and glad she feels great about herself” and “Her body her choice!”
Many female performers at this year’s Grammys seemed to be making statements about body acceptance — especially Lady Gaga, who was body-shamed in January for revealing what viewers called “tummy rolls” during her Super Bowl half-time show performance.
Gaga responded to her critics by making the statement, “I’m proud of my body and you should be proud of yours, too. No matter who you are or what you do.” But many felt Gaga was also clapping back against the harsh judgment of her ever-so-slight pouch by proudly rocking an ultra-revealing outfit on the Grammys red carpet. The 30-year-old performer’s ensemble was comprised of a long-sleeved turtleneck crop top that revealed some major cleavage and, more importantly, her entire midsection.
Even Demi Lovato jumped onboard the cleavage bandwagon with a low-cut, woven Grammys gown.
But it was January’s Golden Globes Awards where plunging necklines and cleavage truly became the unofficial look of the evening across the board. Celebrities including Mandy Moore, Kristen Bell, Kelly Cuoco, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Priyanka Chopra — none of whom are pregnant — gloriously wore the trend.
Curiously, just two months ago, Beyoncé posted a video to her Instagram in which she’s wearing a blue dress with a severely plunging neckline. That time, though, no one seemed to mind the fact that she was exposing her cleavage, as she was not visibly pregnant and the images were likely a throwback.
So, to recap: Cleavage while not pregnant is fine, but apparently cleavage while carrying a child is not, according to some on social media. But when we look at this photo of a smiling, pregnant Beyoncé dancing with her husband and friends, all we see are people having a great time. Or as one fan commented on the celebratory image, “Happiness, that is all.”