We’ve come a long way, baby – not.
Discrimination against pregnant women is still alive and well in this country, thanks, despite all our hopes that times have changed. Employers may deny it, but if it’s more convenient for them not to have to deal with a staffer who struggles with morning sickness, spends her lunch hours at the OB/GYN and needs 12 weeks’ maternity leave, there are ways to let her go without risking a lawsuit. Bosses have a knack for laying out paper trails or finding loopholes in the job description that “prove” a mom-to-be is unfit to stay.
Model Alessandra Ambrosio knows this too well. The model became pregnant with her second child just weeks before she was scheduled to walk the runway at the big Victoria’s Secret fashion show, but dared not share her happy news with the lingerie giant.
“When I first found out I was pregnant, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I don’t think I’m going I’m going to be able to walk at the show,” she told Us Magazine. Not daring to hope that the company might be understanding and accommodate her condition, she simply kept quiet, confiding only in her booker.
Not only that, she went out of her way to make sure no one would be the wiser when she entered the fitting room.
“I cut all the sweets and sugars 10 days before and I got my trainer – the one I usually get – and we were doing lots of arms and glutes and back exercises” to help her fit into the tight outfits.
Sure, a good diet and exercise are important for a healthy pregnancy, but since when should a woman in her first trimester be trying to stop gaining weight?
Is it too much to hope that VS might be willing to let out a few seams and let a pregnant model strut her stuff without trying to suck in her swelling abs? Or – gasp! – to add more sizzling-hot pieces to their maternity wear line for women tired of schlubby belly bands and draped blouses?
Apparently so. High fashion is still the realm of the super-skinny, and it seems Angels can’t fly down the runway in their diamond-encrusted bras when they’re incubating a little cherub.
So if Alessandria hopes to make it to next year’s show, she’ll have to schedule double sessions with her trainer to drop the baby weight, starting about 5 minutes after delivery.
Because in a country where pregnancy is considered a liability, sometimes you have to do whatever it takes to keep your job.