A Rihanna-inspired investigation.
Rihanna looking hot AF as a mum-to-be with partner A$AP Rocky. Image: Harper's Bazaar.
Pregnancy. So hot right now. From Rihanna and A$AP Rocky (Riri!! We all thought with the crying emoji) to Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott, babies before marriage are no longer 'off-beat' or 'non-conventional' but actually...in.
In previous decades, a baby before marriage was, sadly, considered something to be ashamed of. Many people were forced into loveless marriages or to give up their children for the sake of appearances and doing the right thing. In the 21st century, not only has this rhetoric been rightfully flipped on its head, but so much so that the very thing it tried to discourage has become somewhat in vogue.
Case in point. During the pandemic, many of life's big moments were put on pause. Big travels, weddings, home buying, wearing actual clothes. But one thing that nobody could control? Baby-making.
While in Australia, weddings were down over 30% in 2020 due to them being...you know, banned, the decrease in births was only 3.7%. Additionally, a third of these babies were born to parents who were not married, perhaps signalling that - who knew - you can make a baby without promising eternal servitude.
I jest. But what was once deemed unholy, and then just for rockstars (perhaps at the same time) is almost cooler. There's something still kind of rock-n-roll about hopping around town with your gorj tum and a glittering rock on your finger without using words like 'husband' and 'wife.' Honestly, even though I'm married, those words make me think of old people who also say things like 'hubby knows best', and I refuse to put myself in that category. My manfriend and I don't even use the terms. I prefer the more opportunistic 'first husband' or 'current husband,' instead (although if he wants to say ‘my better half,’ there’s no issue).
Some also may like the feeling of committing without putting it on paper. Jason Statham and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley have the ring and kids but have forgone the wedding, while the internet's boyfriend of 2007, Ryan Gosling and his smoke show partner Eva Mendes, weren't really interested in the big day. Both are long term, steady and committed relationships that didn't need a wedding to demonstrate that their romance and dedication is real.
In 2022, having a ring and a baby on the way is like the new bougie way of saying 'I choose you,' but with more of a cool-girl vibe than the white dresses and picket fences of yore. There’s also something romantic about calling someone your ‘fiancé’ even when it has been years and morning sickness, toddler melt-downs and expanding waistlines don’t have you feeling like your sexiest self.
Many also love the idea of putting their money toward a house deposit, car, holiday, or much-needed baby costs ahead of, or instead of, a big wedding.
Others may love the idea of the whole family being there if and when they choose to get married, having a wedding photo with your children in it for years to come.
Don't get me wrong. Weddings and houses are still wonderful - I myself am someone who wants both, after all, I love a party, and the idea of marriage is still important and romantic to many. But the best part of this new phase is the judgment-free zone. If you want a ring and kids, no kids, a ring and a house, a solo tiny home, all or none of the above, it's an era of being free to choose - and that's the coolest trend of all.