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Coming to LifePhilosophies of Pregnancy, Childbirth and Mothering$
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Sarah LaChance Adams and Caroline R. Lundquist

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823244607

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823244607.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 31 July 2021

Knock Me Up, Knock Me Down

Knock Me Up, Knock Me Down

Images of Pregnancy in Hollywood Film and Popular Culture

(p.240) (p.241) 11 Knock Me Up, Knock Me Down
Coming to Life

Kelly Oliver

Fordham University Press

From the Nineteenth Century, pregnancy was considered a medical condition and something to hide from public view. In recent years, however, women's pregnant bodies have been displayed in ways that could not have been imagined just a few decades ago. A wave of recent Hollywood films have pregnancy as a main theme, showing bare pregnant bellies, water breaking, vaginal birth, and discussing the experience of pregnancy, as never before seen in popular film. Pregnancy has even become something of an obsession in popular culture where paparazzi are constantly on the lookout for celebrities’ telltale “baby bumps” and heavily pregnant bellies. In this chapter, Oliver interprets the meaning of changing representations of pregnant bodies. She gives an overview of recent trends regarding images of pregnancy in popular culture and film. She traces images of pregnant bodies from 1930's and 1940's Hollywood films through the present in relation to both their changing historical contexts and developments in feminist theory and the women's movement. And, she explores shifting ideals of pregnancy and how they are shaped through complex interrelations between feminism, popular culture, medicine, science, and filmic discourses.

Keywords:   feminist philosophy, Hollywood film, women's studies, pregnancy, romantic comedy, childbirth, representations of pregnancy, Iris Young, Juila Kristeva

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