Yes, you read that correctly. A jewelry company contacted me about modeling in a campaign photoshoot for their line. Since it’s jewelry, it never occurred to me that my small, but growing bump might stand in the way of this opportunity. I was so convinced that my pregnant belly wouldn’t be an issue that when we began discussing the particulars I alerted the brand representative to that fact that I’d be 6 months pregnant by the time of the shoot, and would, therefore, need the following accommodations (in addition to my fee):
- ready access to a bathroom
- a chair if needed
- and food
I also noted that the proposed date wouldn’t work as it’s Mother’s Day weekend. My proposal was met by the following email:
I reread the email several times before wondering aloud, “is this even legal?” I’m not a litigious person, of course, but the discriminatory nature of the email was a surprise, to say the least. However, I soon learned that it is, in fact, legal to have specific guidelines in place for freelance workers who will be performing as actors or models.
Legal or not, I certainly had no interested in even considering working with a company that would so blatantly present my unborn child as a problem for their brand. I told the rep just that in my response:
The brand’s owner responded (please note, the email was edited to remove any mention of the brand name):
“I absolutely do not want anyone thinking that [brand] is a brand that discriminates against anyone, especially other women. It’s one of our goals to be more intentional and inclusive of everyone as we grow as a company. Neither [rep name] nor I have yet had the opportunity to experience pregnancy so please excuse our naivety on the subject. We are hoping to use the photos from the photoshoot we are planning for all of our print marketing material, website images, and a look book. Of course, we would be thrilled to work with and market pictures of beautiful pregnant women wearing our pieces. The reason we thought it might not be the greatest representation in the vast majority of our pictures is because we fear that pregnancy, as an overarching theme through our images, would incorrectly lead potential customers to thinking we are a children’s brand.We hope you understand that we would be thrilled to work with you in a similar capacity pregnant or not. We are simply trying to squeeze the most out of our tight budget for the first professional photoshoot we have worked on in a couple of years.We are so sorry if anything we have said has upset or offended you and hope you consider working with [brand name] in the future. We will be sure to continue following your Instagram page as we love all your shots and your incredible style. “
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Hey, Boo! My name is Lisa and you’ve stumbled upon my own little corner of the world. I’m a 30 something-year-old writer/mother/wife who happens to love lipstick, high heels, blackness, and the truth. You’ll find a mix of everything on this site, so I won’t bore you by trying to define this space. I hope you stay awhile!