Pregnancy brings many changes to your body, some you expect and some you never saw coming. In a new essay for Glamour, former Victoria’s Secret model Karolina Kurkova announced her pregnancy alongside a raw essay about her changing body — and some truly stunning pregnancy photos. This will be the Czech beauty’s third child with her husband, Archie Drury; however, Kurkova writes about how different her experience growing her tiny human is this time around.
The model begins by explaining that she accepts and welcomes the things she has no control over. “But being pregnant for the third time, and especially being pregnant during this time, is a different experience,” she wrote. “There’s the obvious—you don’t really get to experience it with your loved ones, you can’t see extended family, you go to ultrasounds by yourself.”
However, her third pregnancy comes with many changes that are non-COVID related as well, specifically her journey with getting to know and falling in love with her new body. She added, “Twenty-one years of modeling, documenting my entire life in photographs, but I’ve never wanted to do pregnancy photos because I never felt beautiful showing my pregnancy belly. It’s sad when I think about it.”
Kurkova continued to share how her time in the modeling industry has highlighted even the most “minor” of her insecurities. She was born three months early and had to have surgery as an infant to repair an umbilical hernia, this causes for her belly button to look more like a scar that what she calls a “normal belly button.” She said that her unique belly button became a target for vicious online trolls to bully her.
While this was a source of her insecurity during her modeling years, it also played a part in how her she felt about her growing belly. “It also means that when I get pregnant, I have a flat spot—my belly doesn’t become perfectly round when my belly button grows, and I never wanted to show that,” Kurkova wrote.
Of course, she recognizes that the damaging mentality of “the perfect body” stems from the industry she works in. In her essay for the outlet she recalled articles being written about her “missing belly button” while others called it “strange and alien.”
But the problem wasn’t only critics online, but one she saw happen daily before her eyes. In photo shoots, she explained, “editors would retouch it, copying and pasting someone else’s belly button (I’d love to know whose) onto my body. Why would people do that?”
Why, indeed? Happily for Kurkova, the pregnancy photos she’s now proud to share were taken in the comfort of her home in an intimate setting — and it’s how she wants to be photographed and seen by the public.
We’re so glad that Kurkova is feeling comfortable in her evolving skin, and she looks absolutely stunning.
Before you go, click here to see kids who are following in their supermodel moms’ footsteps.