Right Steps & Poui Trees

350 Words Or Less: #Zika & Pregnant Belly Photos

1 Comment

So, another news report about zika and pregnancy illustrated by a photo of a pregnant belly.

zp1It’s almost as though a shorthand has been adopted at some media houses…without the pregnant belly, the readers won’t know that this is a story about  zika’s impact  on pregnant women or the risk to developing fetuses.zp2a                                (Same pregnant belly; different angle.)zp3                             (Same pregnant belly, different country.)

A belly, very pregnant, bare and disembodied. That’s what readers need.

Even when the story is about zika in pregnant monkeys.zp7At one point the belly may be connected to an actual person with a name…zp8…but not for long…as the photo becomes disconnected from the name, just as the belly becomes disconnected from the woman…

Stock photos, attached to stories. Will more people click and read because of this?…


Pregnant bellies are beautiful and iconic and women nearing birth, with bare or clothed bellies, are a powerful and profound subject for photography.

Stories about zika and pregnancy are really about whole women, their lives, children, families and communities that are being, may be or will be affected by the virus that is the subject of the article. The whole story can’t be told in one article. It can’t be reduced to one photo. That’s a given. But this almost thoughtless use of a disembodied belly to advertise information, is a bit reminiscent of other uses of women’s body parts to sell other commodities.


Author: rightpouitree

Navigating the real and virtual worlds and sometimes writing about what I observe...

One thought on “350 Words Or Less: #Zika & Pregnant Belly Photos

  1. I’ve noticed this image everywhere and it makes me uncomfortable. It’s a stock photo and it’s just laziness on the part of the media houses who can’t be bothered to find something better – and yes, why not a whole woman?