Last night, not one, but TWO celebrities announced their pregnancies: Blake Lively, at the New York City premiere of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, and Keira Knightley, at a Chanel cocktail party in Paris (très chic). Now, what was surprising about both of these pregnancy announcements was just that—they weren’t really announcements at all. There was not some big press conference or statement released, not even an Instagram of a sonogram with a long caption. It was just “Here I am, and oh btw, I am carrying a child.”
I love it.
In a time where we are inundated with celebrity “news,” when everything from a double tap on an Instagram post to an airport outfit spawns headline after headline, this non-announcement announcement is subtle and refreshing, and it’s a departure from the way most celebrities are announcing life milestones. It’s even a departure from how Blake Lively revealed her pregnancies in the past. She announced her first pregnancy with a post on Preserve called “Preserve Celebrations: Falling for Family” and a series of photographs, the final one showing off her baby bump. (Lol, remember when Blake Lively had a lifestyle website that glorified the Antebellum South? Dark times.)
That’s not to say that the quintessential pregnancy photoshoots or Instagram sonograms are bad, or that you shouldn’t do them. Do whatever you want! But these announcements are making me wonder what, if anything, celebrities are signaling about our attitudes as a whole.
When I noticed that Keira and Blake simply stepped out with their baby bumps without making it a big to-do, I was reminded of a few other big moments in pop culture this year. When Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson got engaged after a few weeks of dating, they didn’t do it via a “We’re engaged!!!” picture series. In fact, they didn’t even really do it themselves—they had “sources” leak the news to PEOPLE, and then Ariana sort of confirmed the news with a cryptic tweet.
HAHAHAHAHAHH HES BEEN BRIEFED
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) June 12, 2018
Later, they would post photos and videos on Instagram and stories containing, but not centered on, Ariana’s finger and the ring that was on it. Of course, immediately after that, they would go on to be super f*cking extra about their engagement, but the actual act of revealing the milestone itself was pretty hands-off.
Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom also got engaged this year, on Valentine’s Day, and I’d argue that Katy’s way of announcing it was in the same vein of understatement. After Orlando popped the question, Katy posted an Instagram with the ring, and the caption “full bloom”.
Sure, this is something you would probably see on your own Instagram timeline from your one kind of hipster-y friend who doesn’t like to make a big deal about things, like her birthday or whatever, but it’s still miles apart from, say, Justin Bieber’s engagement announcement.
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Was gonna wait a while to say anything but word travels fast, listen plain and simple Hailey I am soooo in love with everything about you! So committed to spending my life getting to know every single part of you loving you patiently and kindLY. I promise to lead our family with honor and integrity letting Jesus through his Holy Spirit guide us in everything we do and every decision we make. My heart is COMPLETELY and FULLY YOURS and I will ALWAYS put you first! You are the love of my life Hailey Baldwin and I wouldn’t want to spend it with anybody else. You make me so much better and we compliment eachother so well!! Can’t wait for the best season of life yet!. It’s funny because now with you everything seems to make sense! The thing I am most excited for is that my little brother and sister get to see another healthy stable marriage and look for the same!!! Gods timing really is literally perfect, we got engaged on the seventh day of the seventh month, the number seven is the number of spiritual perfection, it’s true GOOGLE IT! Isn’t that nuts? By the way I didn’t plan that, anyways My goodness does feel good to have our future secured! WERE GONNA BE BETTER AT 70 BABY HERE WE GO! “He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains FAVOR from the Lord!” This is the year of favor!!!!
A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on
And then consider that just this week, Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner got married, seemingly on a whim, after the BBMAs in a Vegas chapel. It was the complete opposite of his brother Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra’s lavish affair. Their officiant was an Elvis impersonator. They exchanged Ring Pops. They didn’t even have a photographer there—just Diplo and his Instagram live stream.
So all of these events have made me wonder: are we done with being extra? When celebrities, who have all the means and resources and time to be over-the-top, are playing it safe, is it a signal that 2019 is the year of subtlety? Of course, nobody hasto (or should) do anything simply because the rich and famous are doing it, but you can’t deny that celebrities have an influence that trickles down to us peasants. If they didn’t, would we be getting butt implants, or buying detox tea?Are we officially starting to do less, or am I simply extrapolating too far from a few isolated incidents? *Hits blunt* I guess we’ll never know.
Images: justinbieber, katyperry / Instagram; Ariana Grande / Twitter