Pregnant women do it better, right?

Last week I spent the day in Portsmouth helping a friend at a photo shoot for her new range of sparkly products and whilst there I got chatting to one of the models. Our conversation turned to previous modelling jobs she’d had; the good, the bad and the ugly.

She told me of a maternity wear campaign she did over on sunny mainland Europe for a well known UK maternity and childrenswear brand. “I didn’t realise you had children” I said innocently, at which point she laughed. A lot.

“Oh no! I’ve never been pregnant. I was wearing a prosthetic bump! We all were.” came the reply.

Image via Huffington Post

OK, so maybe I’m a naive numpty (it won’t be the first time), but my flabber was gasted. I had assumed that all the glowing, happy looking women advertising their clothes were, well, pregnant. Sure, they had the benefit of hair and make up artists, good lighting, retouching as well as the head start of good genes but seriously? Prosthetic bumps? Am I on my own in expecting them to be ‘real’ bumps or am I overestimating the ability of pregnant models?

Do advertisers selling to a pregnant audience have a duty to make it clear what you’re seeing isn’t real or is it just one of those things? Is the glowing pregnancy image sold to us really unattainable? Does it even really matter? I’d love to know which of the advertisers use ‘real’ pregnant models rather than the faux bumped ones but then I’m nosey like that.

I’d love to know if you’re as surprised as I was or if I was just having a dim day. You can tell me, I can take it!


Whist you’re here, I wanted to say a thank you to all of you who’ve taken the time to read this blog, send me your own stories, follow me on Twitter or ‘like’ us on Facebook over the past couple of weeks. I’ve loved receiving your comments and submissions, keep ‘em coming and help me make this a place full of real life stories, helpful hints and advice and of support.

Image credit

Speaking of which, next week will be our first themed week on the blog. Saturday 17th November is World Prematurity Day and so, in addition to our usual regular posts, we’ll be running a series of real life stories about babies born prematurely. I’m extremely grateful to those of you who have agreed to share your stories and would love to hear from anyone else who would like to get involved.


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12 thoughts on “Pregnant women do it better, right?

  1. Well if you’re a numpty, you’re in good company. Are pregnant women not attractive enough? I’m suprised by this. Perhaps there aren’t enough about to do the work. Or that’s what you’d be told if you asked. I guess not every woman gets a neat little bump along with the glowing skin, thick glossy hair and trim figure. Surely not more pressure on women to look amazing even when there’s a bun in the oven? WOMEN – never drop your guard! Never look less than model-perfect! Even when you’re carting a load of baby around. Gah!! *goesforaliedown*

  2. This has astounded me too! I know for a fact there are pregnant women out there who look just like those models. Maybe it’s just cos these models take less pee breaks! ;) x

  3. Another clueless one here! Really??! I actually find that a mini bit depressing now. Sange you crack me up! Totally agree!

  4. Unfortunately, I’m not surprised. I have had my suspicions for a while. My (unfairly) beautiful mother was a very successful high fashion model in the late 70′s, early 80′s and she modelled right the way through her pregnancy… but even back then, she was a rarity!
    I think it’s just a further knock to the (sometimes already wobbly) self-esteem of up-duffed women out there, when they are buying maternity wear modelled on a woman with a nice neat little (plastic!) bump and none of the other *ahem* swelling, potentially wondering why it doesn’t look the same on them?
    Such a shame (and almost a tad comical) that it’s “inconvenient” or “undesirable” to hire pregnant models for maternity wear!!

    • That’s really interesting about your mum, Natara, I bet she has some stories to tell!

      You’re right on the self esteem point. I think I’m just disappointed as I expected pregnancy to be an area that really embraced ‘real’ women, wobbly bits and all.

  5. Yep, I’m on the numpty bench too. I really thought they were pregnant. Now I’m questioning every model I see… Are plus size models really a size 8 but in a fat suit, are children’s models really dwarfs in pretty dresses?? I feel like I’ve been had!

  6. Wow, I really never knew that but it certainly explains a LOT! Now I know why these models never look jowly, run-down and have larger thighs than usual! Great post :)

  7. Until I was pregnant myself I also assumed it was pregnant models they were using, but alas I soon realised it wasn’t the case when I started looking for maternity clothes. I’m fairly certain some brands (in particular ASOS and topshop) don’t even try their clothes on people that are actually pregnant as there’s no room for real growth – they just put them on models wearing bumps who will have no idea how it actually feels to wear the clothes as they can’t feel the squeeze/discomfort on their pretend bumps. It drives me mad!!

    By far the WORST thing for me is looking for maternity underwear only to find that their ‘maternity’ range is being modelled by size 6 women with perfectly flat stomachs… Needless to say I didn’t order from that company!

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