(Ad)dressing pregnant bodies in New Zealand: Clothing, fashion, subjectives and spatialities
Longhurst, R. (2005). (Ad)dressing pregnant bodies in New Zealand: Clothing, fashion, subjectives and spatialities. Gender, Place & Culture, 12(4), 433-446.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/432
The article examines the ways in which pregnant women in the West use clothing as a means of constructing a range of complex and seemingly contradictory gendered subjectivities in public spaces. The article draws on interview data collected from 19 first-time pregnant women in Hamilton, New Zealand. These women were asked about maternity wear, body image, fashion, activities they had continued, reduced or stopped during pregnancy, and the places/spaces they occupied during pregnancy. The article focuses on four different 'looks' and subjectivities that pregnant women in this research tried on: the thrifty, self-sacrificing mother to be; the sexy, proud pregnant woman; the growing woman who fears her body will be read as fat; and the pregnant professional. For first time pregnant women making the transition to motherhood clothing the body can be a complex act. What women wear during pregnancy speaks volumes about their subjectivities - what they reveal, what they conceal, what images they create, for whom and where.