Moms in the U.K. are looking to keep things real. At least, when it comes to the baby bump department. There’s a new report that says many critics are calling for a ban on ad campaigns that feature models wearing fake pregnancy bumps. That’s because women want to see the ‘real thing’ when it comes to pregnancies on print ads and the small screen.
According to the BBC, one model is calling for many fashion designers to stop using fake bump models. This comes after there was a wave of criticism after a reality television star by the name of Arabella Chi was seen with a fake baby bump in an ad campaign even though she’s never been pregnant.
Model Louise Boyce, who is currently pregnant with her third child, has started a new campaign in hopes that brands will be more open and honest about whether or not their models are indeed pregnant.
She claims that models that wear prosthetic bumps more often than not look fake. She also says that models with fake baby bumps have unrealistic bodies, which may cause many pregnant women both anxiety and distress, especially if they end up comparing themselves to what they see in ads.
The model said that during the 17th week of her current pregnancy, the phone stopped ringing with job opportunities. That’s because she was showing too much for her regular clients, which meant that she was forced to go on very early maternity leave. That’s when Boyce decided to take matters into her own hands and call out those brands who don’t use real pregnant models in their advertising campaigns.
“Fun fact for you,” Boyce wrote on one of her Instagram posts. “Majority of shoots you see for maternity clothing are modelled by non-pregnant women wearing fake bumps that tie around their tummy!! Extremely frustrating for actual pregnant models who want to work. Bonkers right?”
The 38-year-old model mom says that after that post she was inundated with emails, mostly by women who were shocked to find out that many of the models they see in ad campaigns aren’t really pregnant. She said that many of the women admitted to feeling bad or even started dieting just because they were comparing themselves to unrealistic expectations. Or rather, women who weren’t pregnant at all.
Boyce added that there needs to be more honesty in maternity advertising. She said, “Retailers have to recognize that bumps come in all different shapes and sizes and we gain weight in other places than just our tummies. Your boobs, bum and ankles get bigger too.”