Stars' baby love brings on bump watch

It has nothing to do with potholes. Nope, it's all about the hottest celebrity accessory: the pregnant belly.

By Janet K. Keeler
Published March 4, 2006

There was a time, not so long ago, when a bump was a bummer.

A bump on the head. A bump in the road. A bump on your nose on prom night. Egads, that was the worst.

How times - and language usage - change. Now that the entertainment press is on perpetual ''bump watch" and reporting on every incremental inch of every pregnant celebrity's belly, a bump has become something very desirable indeed.

"Bono Blesses Gwen's Bump!" says US Weekly, referring, as if you didn't know, to U2's frontman giving Gwen Stefani's tummy a good-luck smooch at the Grammys.

At www.ivillage.com we're told to "Forget gay cowboys! The hottest trend this award show season has been the baby bump." A slide show follows with photos of Mariska Hargitay, Rachel Weisz, Gwyneth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino, among others, in various stages of pregnant bliss. Be prepared for a bumpy night at Sunday's Academy Awards, and thank heaven those designers have access to extra fabric.

Katie Holmes has a bump, so does Angelina Jolie, and there's speculation about Penelope Cruz. We haven't seen so many bumps since the Olympic freestyle moguls.

The folks at E! and People magazine have us on high alert, and we expect them to simply implode in rapture if and when Demi Moore becomes pregnant again, this time with husband Ashton Kutcher. She's so old! He's so young! But they did it anyway!

Could we dare hope for a reprise of her 1991 Vanity Fair cover where she famously showed off her gigantic, naked bump?

A warning to celebrities who proudly display their pregnancies in belly-baring or form-fitting clothes: After the baby is born, we will also scrutinize the debump phase of motherhood. Plan on summoning spin control if it takes more than two weeks to get back to scrawny. At that point, talk and paparazzi go from bumps to rumps.

Funny, isn't it, calling a baby a bump. It's sort of dehumanizing and detached, like the growing baby is nothing more than that latest Louis Vuitton bag. But then the Black Eyed Peas have a hit song called My Humps, which sings the praises of "my lovely lady lumps."

Could it be the humps that have led to all these bumps?

Where is Dr. Seuss when you need him? He knew that Horton heard a who and Sam-I-Am ate green eggs and ham.

Only a mind like that could make rhythmic sense of humps and bumps and our preoccupation with them.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at 727 893-8586 or krieta@sptimes.com Her blog, Stir Crazy, is www.sptimes.com/blogs/food.