There are roughly 360,000 births per day. That's 250 new babies each minute or 131 million each year. That's a lot of baby bumps converting into babies at any time scale.
And yet, according to Google Trends, which tracks the search volume for particular terms, there have really only been three baby bumps that have attracted the large-scale interest of the English-speaking world.
They are: Beyoncé's baby bump, Kim's baby bump, and Kate's baby bump.
Of course, that would be Beyoncé Knowles, musical artist; Kim Kardashian, celebrity; and Kate Middleton, royal.
The term itself, which is used to describe the pregnant abdomen of human women gestating a child, came into widespread use in 2011. It exploded late in that year as Beyoncé made public appearances during her pregnancy.
2012 was a down year for baby bump searching, but in 2013, the term reached its peak as the media watched both Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton grow fetuses inside their uteruses. Jenna Tatum also had a nice spike, and Penelope Cruz, Ciara, and Mila Kunis had smaller ones, too, but no bump has generated the kind of spike that Beyoncé, Kim, and Kate have seen.
What's astounding to me—an outsider of celebrity culture, but whose wife was also pregnant during 2013—is that Googling for pregnancy-related things is a very common practice. That is to say: the baseline for searches like "baby bump" should be decently high as women try to figure out what's happening to their bodies and when they might start to show and all that. And yet, still, at least according to these Google search-volume rankings, celebrity searches dominate.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.