Home > Babies, Co habitation, Marriage, Pregnancy > Marriage activists use Beyonce’s pregnancy to send message to single moms

Marriage activists use Beyonce’s pregnancy to send message to single moms

October 18th, 2011

WASHINGTON, September 1, 2011– R&B Pop Superstar Beyonce Knowles’ recently announced pregnancy has ignited lots of interest but also social debate about controversial issues like the high rate of out-of-wedlock births in urban cities.

Last Sunday, during the walk along the “red carpet” that preluded the MTV’s Video Music Award, Beyonce posed cupping her belly signifying to cameras that she was pregnant with her and husband, rapper/mogul Sean “Jay-Z” Carter’s first child.  She then confirmed the news to querying paparazzi and later that evening capped off a performance of her latest single on stage by opening her sequined jacket and rubbing her belly signaling to the millions of watching fans that she was indeed with child. The news sent a frenzy over the Internet, breaking the social media site Twitter’s record for the most tweets per second.  A spokeperson for the site said users sent 8,868 tweets per second when the news broke.

Since the announcement, many bloggers, gossip and entertainment sites and mainstream press have been cranking out trending stories, hypothesizing over what the pregnancy will mean for her future film career (actor/director Clint Eastwood had to delay filming a remake of “A Star is Born” that was to feature Beyonce as the lead actress), the maternity fashion industry, and how it stacks up against other famous mega couple’s pregnancies.

Maci Bookout, Farrah Abrahams, and Catelynn Lowell of MTV’s ‘Teen Mom.’ ASSOCIATED PRESS

Several sites have churned out pieces questioning what type of social or psychological impact the pregnancy would have on her fans. So much hubbaloo about one woman’s pregnancy. It says much about the recent obsession with celebrity bump watch. The term was coined recently, but started 20 years ago when Demi Moore posed nude during her third trimester of her pregnancy on the August 1991 cover of Vanity Fair magazine. It describes the now near fanatical obsession of fans to monitor the growing belly of a pregnant celebrity until she delivers.

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  1. Ashley
    October 19th, 2011 at 05:56 | #1

    I sure hope that Beyonce and Jay-Z can make marriage cool among young Black people. I know that Blacks were very impressed with President Obama’s dedication to his family (something that was the norm and not all that impressive to Black people several decades ago). Beyonce can influence young Black women, and those of other races, as well.

    As noted in the article, I get tired of every effort to promote marriage being construed as a denigration of single mothers. It halts any effort to address this social problem. Furthermore, I don’t know where people get the idea that society is not supposed to shame and stigmatize socially destructive behavior. Perhaps we could return the stigma to nonmarital childbearing so that women and men would avoid it.

    P Diddy’s son was principled, wise, and brave enough to point out the order of events for Beyonce: dating…marriage…child. He is definitely courageous, because one way to draw the ire of women nowadays is to point out the need for a decrease in nonmarital childbearing. The problem is so pervasive in the Black community, that it’s almost unavoidable to offend someone you know.

  2. Roivas
    October 19th, 2011 at 12:51 | #2

    “construed as a denigration of single mothers.”

    “I don’t know where people get the idea that society is not supposed to shame and stigmatize socially destructive behavior.”

    If you don’t want to seem denigrating, you might want to stay away from the whole “shame” and “stigmatize” thing.

  3. Betsy
    October 19th, 2011 at 12:55 | #3

    Roivas, I just gotta ask. I thought you were a college student? I’m thinking now that can’t possibly be true because you are on here all the time. Are you getting paid?

  4. Ashley
    October 19th, 2011 at 13:51 | #4

    “If you don’t want to seem denigrating, you might want to stay away from the whole ‘shame’ and ‘stigmatize’ thing.”

    Thanks for the advice; but no matter what is espoused, some interpret any promotion of marriage as denigrating to single mothers.

  5. Roivas
    October 19th, 2011 at 14:18 | #5

    Here’s the thing. You can promote marriage without denigrating anyone, the same way you can promote seat belt use without calling people stubborn jerks if they don’t use them.

    The fact that single mothers are routinely vilified anyways says something about the “marriage” movement.

  6. Ashley
    October 20th, 2011 at 09:34 | #6

    Although the positive reinforcement method, such as having role models like the President and Beyonce, is good, any type of marriage promotion will be seen, by some, as denigrating. Here’s why: if one tries to say that there is an optimal way of ordering one’s life, i.e. dating, marriage, children, one of two things will happen:

    1) some single mothers will automatically feel denigrated in that a person is saying that they did not make the “optimal” choice. Unlike the promotion of seat belt use, which is the promotion of a healthy change in behavior, implicit in single motherhood is that an irreversible mistake was made; so no change in behavior will remedy that choice.

    2) some children of single mothers will automatically feel that you’re denigrating their mother. I had this happen to me when a friend of mine got offended when I shared the Moynihan report with a group. This report was written in 1965 and lamented the disintegration of the Black family. My friend, who happens to be White, was offended because she took it as saying that, because she was raised by a single mother, she grew up in an inadequate home.

    I think offense and perceived denigration is unavoidable, no matter how mild the promotion is. But the good news is that I think many in the Black community are moving beyond the fear of offending, and are deciding to have an uninhibited discussion. I believe this trend became popular after Bill Cosby’s infamous pound cake speech.

  7. Ashley
    October 20th, 2011 at 09:46 | #7

    I should clarify the statement made in #1. Of course the remedy for a choice is contigent upon the situation. If a woman is the single mother of an infant, and she decides to make an adoption plan, then some may consider that a remedy to whatever problems she is facing. I’m more so talking about single mothers who have raised children for years. For these women, hearing someone imply that they didn’t make the optimal choice can be devastating, since they cannot reverse that situation in any way.

  8. Roivas
    October 20th, 2011 at 16:56 | #8

    I think you may underestimate single women. Its not that being a single parent raising someone by yourself is the best choice in theory. In practice, its often the least bad choice of the ones available. You can make the former point while acknowledging the latter.

    Far to often dual parenting is presented as a panacea that will make your child gifted and talented with perfectly white teeth. What such people fail to realize is that sometimes coupled parenting just isn’t possible in some given circumstances. To pretend that isn’t the case, and to make it all about the mother is what gets hackles raised.

  9. Ashley
    October 21st, 2011 at 12:50 | #9

    I agree that dual-parenting isn’t a panacea. In fact, adding a step-parent to the mix may exacerbate some problems. The last thing marriage promoters want to do is to encourage people to rush into marriage, especially if children who resulted from another relationship are present. Interestingly enough, I read this in an article titled, “Is Marriage a Panacea?” Financially it is, but if the woman rushes into a marriage and ends up divorced, she might have been better off just remaining a single mother. I think the most effective approach is to encourage young women from starting unwed childbearing.

    There’s the task of balancing respect for single mothers, with the practice of avoiding any exaltation of their lifestyle. It can be done, but it’s a fine line.

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