You may not know it, but while you were busy perfecting your MySpace, Atomic Kitten were busy trailblazing a very important pathway for many female musicians to come.
How, you wonder? Well I can assure you it wasn’t with the blonde side fringes that set the tone for the majority of noughties pop stars. In fact, it was something that was only bought to my attention recently.
Everyone remembers the absolute 2002 banger ‘The Tide Is High’. In fact you’d likely be forgiven for busting it out at karaoke even now. But you probably don’t remember the fact that Natasha Hamilton was heavily pregnant in the music video.
You may not recall it, but Natasha’s noticeable bump drew a significant amount of media attention and very much cemented the band’s position as being one of the first female artists to continue working and performing throughout pregnancy.
Without necessarily intending to, Natasha Hamilton and Atomic Kitten broken down many barriers in the industry which would eventually lead to the likes of Beyonce and Cardi B continuing successful music careers with a baby on board.
In an industry where pregnancy was kept hidden for fear of its impact on a woman’s career, women have since been turning this “weakness into a weapon”, as put by comedian Ali Wong, who is among this growing group of female artists embracing their pregnancy while performing.
It’s a sentiment which has been brewing for a while, and thanks to Atomic Kitten has only increased since the early 2000’s. Perhaps one of the most memorable moments was that of MIA’s 2009 Grammy’s appearance which saw her perform nine months pregnant and on her actual due date no less.
Whilst such performances continue to draw mixed reviews it hasn’t stopped other kick-arse mums-to-be from taking the stage whilst expecting.
Who can forget the Queen herself, Beyonce, announcing her first pregnancy by revealing her beautiful bump at the end of her memorable 2011 VMA’s performance of ‘Love On Top.’ Kanye West’s reaction was literally all of us.
And in true Beyonce fashion she only went and did it bigger and better in 2017 with this epic performance of ‘Love Drought’ at the Grammy’s. This time, with twins Rumi & Sir in tow.
More recently, Cardi B has reminded us how powerful a pregnant female can be. Starting with her now famous performance and pregnancy reveal on Saturday Night Live.
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) April 9, 2018
She then went and backed it up with one of the most talked about Coachella performances in 2018. There was no way her bump was going to stop her from doing what she does best with an energetic set and some enthusiastic twerking, of which she hilariously explained to the crowd was “how she got pregnant”. You do you, girl.
But perhaps most importantly, behind these iconic performances is the message in which these influential artists are sending, that a woman with or without child is unstoppable. And I for one, can’t wait to see more of it.