Why famous women use paparazzi for pregnancy announcements, before their hand is forced. 

Famous women have said it before, and they will say it again: being a woman in Hollywood is no easy feat. Being a pregnant woman in Hollywood? That comes with a whole new set of obstacles to dodge, chief among them public scrutiny and invasive paparazzi. 

When these stars aren't busy "stunning in new photos" or "stepping out with co-stars" they're often known for "flaunting" or "displaying" their baby bumps. We saw plenty of headlines sporting those overused phrases this week, when new photographs of Margot Robbie were first published.

While enjoying a holiday in Lake Como, Italy, Margot was papped boarding a boat with her husband Tom Ackerley

For more on the difficulty of paparazzi and celebrity pregnancies, listen to The Quicky here.

Her “baby bump was on display” as she walked along the dock, wearing a cropped top, blazer and tailored trousers. The paparazzi snaps were shared by news outlets and fans around the world, with the news later published with source confirmation by People Magazine.

It has now been a few days since the photos were released and there’s been no official announcement from Margot, and she’s quite unlikely to provide one. 

As highlighted on The Spill podcast this week, Margot doesn't currently have active social media accounts and the couple only do press when they're actively promoting new projects. 

When they wed in 2016, they shared a single tongue-in-cheek Instagram post on her account to confirm the news, after paparazzi crashed their wedding. We're talking helicopters hovering above the secret nuptials.


Margot Robbie and Tom Ackerley are reportedly expecting their first child. Image: Getty.

But, is existing as a pregnant woman in paparazzi-hot-spots, and choosing to say nothing, still making a choice? 

"It's not completely unbelievable to think they knew it would get out there and it’s being announced in a way they were happy with and knew was coming. But not in a way where they had to make a statement," host Laura Brodnik considered on The Spill. 

Margot certainly wouldn't be the first star to lean into their fate with paparazzi; to bite the bullet and 'give the people what they want'. Knowing that photographers will be following their every move and allowing some photos to be taken, accepting that it was only a matter of time before their news was shared with or without consent. 


Either way, at this level of fame, their hand will somehow be forced.

Celebrities don’t owe us anything, but it doesn't stop some fans from feeling entitled to everything.

It's the price they’re expected to pay for the adoration and riches fame affords them. We've all seen the social media comments and heard the disturbing public outcries that celebrities "asked for" attention from paparazzi and tabloid press. 

Listen The Spill hosts discuss what no one wants to say about these Margot Robbie photos. 

Kylie Jenner went into hiding when she was pregnant in 2018, because she knew she would be hounded by relentless photographers attempting to secure the best shot. And she was right, the attention would've been astronomical. 

So, celebrities started using paparazzi hot spots and red carpet events to make their pregnancies known to the public on their own terms. 

Blake Lively opted for a red carpet reveal during two of her pregnancies, once in 2019 and once in 2022. For the latter, she followed up with an Instagram carousel featuring varied images from her pregnancy - taking aim at paparazzi in the caption. 

"Here are photos of me pregnant in real life so the 11 guys waiting outside my home for a sighting will leave me alone," she wrote on Instagram. "You freak me and my kids out. Thanks to everyone else for all the love and respect and for continuing to unfollow accounts and publications who share photos of children. You have all the power against them. And thank you to the media who have a 'No Kids Policy'. You all make all the difference."


Blake Lively has announced two of her pregnancies on the red carpet. Image: Getty.

Blake isn't the only star to go the red carpet route. Celebrities including Jodie Whittaker, Sophie Turner, Zawe Ashton and Michelle Williams have debuted their pregnancies at red carpet events, without releasing statements or sharing posts to social media. 


From the Cannes Film Festival to the Met Gala, these expectant stars have used their next big work commitment to get the news out there without deliberately making any sort of statement. It's the increasingly common anti-announcement for the A-list stars.

In 2022, Rihanna and her partner, rapper A$AP Rocky, used well-known photographer Miles Diggs to stage a quick and effective announcement. With "fashion’s favourite paparazzi" in tow, the couple took a stroll in Harlem, with Rihanna walking through the snow in an unbuttoned coat. 

The snaps were shared to the couple’s social media accounts and sold to news outlets via photo agency Shutterstock. 

The New York Times commented that the images were intentionally set up to feel as though they had been "caught" in the usual paparazzi style, but with incredible fashion and beautiful styling to make the moment feel like their own to share with the world. 

In 2023, Rihanna’s second pregnancy reveal was taken to dazzling heights - quite literally - as she performed on a platform suspended in the air during the Super Bowl Half-Time Show. 

The singer later said her reveal was unplanned, and came down to a wardrobe malfunction.

"No one knew I was pregnant — I just told my stylist, 'Make sure [my jumper] is stretchy,'" she told Access Hollywood. "The zip, it just stopped right there. So it had to be what it had to be!"

But the attention doesn’t stop after pregnancy, with the paparazzi often doubling down to track mothers and their newborn babies in an attempt to score the first snaps. 


Rihanna's pregnancy style was something to be admired! After she'd made the big reveal, that is. Image: Getty.

In February 2023, Rihanna shared the first images of her son RZA with a blog, before she posted him to her TikTok. She made the choice to share the photos and video, because she knew paparazzi had taken photos of her family at the beach and were preparing to distribute them to news outlets.

"It's the thing you never want to happen. I just went straight into protective mode. Like there wasn’t even time for rage,” Rihanna told British Vogue. "As parents it just feels so icky, like a violation."


Rihanna rightly said she believes it's within their right to introduce their child on their own terms.

"We get to decide as parents when and how we do that," she said. "End of story."

Vanessa Hudgens just went through a similar experience. The actress was one of many celebrities to reveal their pregnancy on a red carpet, simply showing up to the 2024 Academy Awards wearing a black skin-tight gown and confirming to reporters she was joyously expecting. 

She addressed her pregnancy on her own terms, but the choice to announce the birth of her child was taken away by photographers. Last week, Vanessa was stalked and snapped while leaving the hospital with her newborn child and partner, Cole Tucker. 

"We're disappointed that our family's privacy was disrespected and exploited during this very special time due to the greed of a long lens camera feeding the media," she wrote on her Instagram Story. "Despite all of that, mom, dad and baby are happy and healthy."

It goes without saying that celebrities shouldn't be forced into revealing their most personal news to the world, but unfortunately it's inevitable that the news will be spread far and wide at some stage. 

With or without their consent. 

With such intense public attention and increasingly invasive manoeuvres from some photographers, it's understandable that many stars would prefer to lean into their fate with paparazzi.

Feature Image: Getty

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