Artist Jonathan Yeo has just unveiled a painting of a naked and pregnant Sienna Miller as part of his solo exhibition in Berlin called “(I’ve Got You) Under My Skin.” In it, a ready-to-pop Sienna Miller looks confidently at the viewer with that famous pregnant lady glow, and looks generally pretty and happy.
This is all well and good. Unfortunately, Yeo had to ruin his perfectly nice painting with a self-congratulatory artist’s statement that implies a painting of pregnant Sienna Miller is somehow challenging to society’s standards of beauty:
I wanted an image that epitomized the human body in its most naturally beautiful state to make the sharpest possible contrast with my other paintings in this exhibition, which document patients undergoing cosmetic surgery in a bid to help them conform to societal notions of beauty. It made sense to me to unveil this image for the first time in Germany, a country with a very relaxed attitude to nudity, where it is not automatically sexualized or deemed scandalous.
It has been 22 years since a pregnant Demi Moore caused uproar by posing for Annie Leibovitz on the cover of Vanity Fair. In that time society has become almost completely desensitized to the daily exposure to people who have surgically distorted their appearance for artificial reasons. Yet certain sections of society are still uncomfortable with the appearance of pregnancy and images of naked expectant mothers are rarely seen.
Off the top of my head, celebrities who’ve posed naked and pregnant for mainstream publications include: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Miranda Kerr, Alessandra Ambrosio, Mariah Carey, and Claudia Schiffer. I’m more surprised if a pregnant celebrity decides not to do it at this point in time.
As for the idea that an image of Sienna Miller could ever serve as a counterpoint to all the people who go under the knife to try to “conform to societal notions of beauty,” does he not realize that conforming to those very notions is what made Miller a successful model/actress/style icon in the first place? And that the exclusive propagation of images of her and people who look like her plays a large role in upholding said notions? The reason she hasn’t had plastic surgery may very well be because she didn’t need to; she’s “naturally” thin, blonde, and conventionally hot. Hence, it seems a little unfair to uphold her as a shining beacon of natural beauty while simultaneously shitting on all the people getting plastic surgery to look like her, when they are actually two sides of the same coin.
(Via Gossip Cop)