Supermodel Naomi Campbell has added another accolade to a life that continues to shatter convention. The 50-year-old British celebrity has become a mother.

Campbell made the announcement via Instagram, saying: “A beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother”.  This is Campbell’s first child.

 

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Under the photo of a baby’s feet cradled by presumably Campbell’s hands she further commented. “So honoured to have this gentle soul in my life there are no words to describe the lifelong bond that I now share with you my angel.”

The child’s grandmother Valerie Morris Campbell and some celebrity friends have been quick to flood the trailblazing model with congratulations. A few comments suggested that her inner circle was in on the arrival. Designer Marc Jacobs commented “Oh my God!!! Today is the day?? How absolutely incredible…What a wonderful Mother you will be”. Vogue Editor Edward Enninful added: “seeing the two of you together made my year.  You will bring each other so much joy @naomi”.

 

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The first Black woman on the cover of French Vogue has so far kept mum on the details of the tiny tot’s arrival. But Campbell joins the growing number of wealthy, high profile women entering motherhood after the age of 40.  Most notably, legendary pop star Janet Jackson said she feels most beautiful when she is with her son, Eissa, whom she had at the age of 50. Multiple Tony-winning Broadway star Audra McDonald had her second child at 46, while award-winning actress Halle Berry had her second child at 47.

 

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Notably, Campbell has made no mention of a father or father figure to her daughter, though suggesting that while the role was important, having a partner wasn’t a deal-breaker.

Campbell has never been shy about her yearning for motherhood and has scoffed at the idea that she has passed the age where it is possible. In March 2014 she told designer Diane Von Furstenberg “I do want to have children, whether I have a man or not,” adding, “I will have it on my own.”

In a wide ranging interview with the Evening Standard in May 2017 she said, “‘I think about having children all the time, ‘But now with the way science is I think I can do it when I want.” And this view favours those in higher income brackets.  Expensive fertility treatments, surrogacy and the financial means to provide for the child alone without a second salary, separates this demographic of women from those who statistically have delayed motherhood in order to have a more stable domestic footing with a home and a partner, and in favour of professional progression.

 

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You would assume that being among the super wealthy would provide the resources to tackle the increased medical risks of having children over 40, with access to and the ability to afford advanced specialized treatments. However, wealth and power does not always ensure a smooth and easy journey through conception and childbirth. Mega pop star Beyonce and arguably the greatest tennis player of all time Serena Williams, have both spoken publicly about medical near misses in their childbirth journey and the trauma and helplessness in those moments that all the money in the world could not erase.

Add to that the astonishing level of maternal mortality in Black women and women of colour, the joyful news of another first-time mum over 50 may yet remain in the realm of what is rare under special circumstances rather than that which is aspirational.

Congratulations Naomi!


This article was written by Katrina Marshall

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