You wouldn't believe it now, but way back in 1991, this cover of Vanity Fair showing the then highest-earning actress in Hollywood naked and heavily pregnant caused a storm of controversy.
Because some people still thought pregnancy was gross. Yes, it's incredible, but pregnancy was still something to be concealed under horrible maternity wear or, for the more fashion conscious, under deepest black. It was embarrassing, ungainly, unbeautiful.
This one picture changed all that. Now everyone knows pregnancy is gorgeous. It's an emphatically positive statement about fertility, womanhood and beauty. This is one empowering picture.
|The Venus of Willendorf - |
a mere 33,000 years old or so.
This should not come as a surprise when you consider that Ceres is the goddess of the corn, of agriculture, of fertility. You may be more familiar with her under her Greek name, Demeter, mother of Persephone who was abducted by Hades. While her daughter is in the underworld with her husband for six months of the year, we have winter as Demeter is too sad to let things grow. When Persephone returns to the upper world, spring comes with her mother's joy.
So what was happening with the planetoid Ceres at the time this cover was published? It was the August edition in 1991 – and Ceres is up to all kinds of stuff in the charts of Demi Moore, Annie Leibovitz who took the picture and just in general.
On the first of August, Ceres was at 29° Libra, the sign of beauty and style. She'd been hanging around in Venus's sign during the photoshoot. 29 is a critical degree, a distillation of Libraness. Then Ceres moved into Scorpio, Demi Moore's Sun sign. Over the next few months, Ceres would light up Moore's natal Mercury, Neptune, Sun and Venus – all in sexy Scorpio.
That natal stellium is very glamourous anyway, what with Neptune, stardust, and Venus, beauty, combining – and over night this picture of Moore became an icon of fecund femininity.
The tightest aspect Ceres made on the August 1, 1991 was to healing Chiron in performing Leo, the sign of flaunting it.
Leibovitz, the beady eye behind the camera, creator of so many iconic shots, has Neptune, the photographer's planet, exactly conjunct Ceres. And isn't it interesting that the other image by her that is seared into our collective consciousness is this one of foetal John and motherly Yoko.