The Baby Bump
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When did the spawn of Hollywood become a cultural obsession? For a very long time, pregnancy was considered a private matter, and as recently as 2000, a magazine's decision to run a paparazzi shot of someone like Madonna in the late stages of pregnancy was considered bad form. That changed in 2002 when Bonnie Fuller took over at Us Weekly, an event that is to celebrity babies what the big bang was to the rest of humanity. Within weeks, Fuller redesigned the magazine, centering it around candid shots of newly engaged stars with circles around their baby bumps underneath the heading of Stars, They're Just Like Us.
At the top of the tabloid food chain were Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. For the first shot of them together, back when Pitt had just split from Jennifer Aniston, Us Weekly paid for the picture $500,000.
Even fathers got into the act. Matthew McConaughey received what two sources then working at OK! said was from $500,000 to $1 million to pose with his baby, only to have things go awry when he refused to go shirtless and without the child's mother, Camila Alves. "I wanted it to be like an Athena poster," Sarah Ivens Moffett, the founding editor of the magazine said. "He didn't." For the demi-celebrities in front of the camera, the shows also are global billboards that lead to paid gigs, like lucrative appearances at introductions for baby products and tweeting on behalf of companies that are focusing on women with children, sometimes for $5,000 or more a tweet for the bigger reality stars.
Take, for example, Kourtney Kardashian, who regularly tweets about her son, Mason, and the brands he's decked out in. "Running around New York City!" she tweeted on April 24. "Captain Mason is ready for the rain."
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