Pregnant model Belle Lucia is speaking out against the industry, claiming brands prefer to work with models using fake bumps for maternity shoots, rather than hire expectant mothers.
The bikini model and soon-to-be mom is claiming she has lost out on job opportunities since becoming pregnant and has not even been able to land pregnancy shoots.
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“When I first became pregnant as a model I thought ‘great I can still keep working and mainly do maternity modeling’ but I’m currently seven months pregnant and haven’t shot any maternity shoots so far,” she said to Jam Press.
“I have a very small bump for how many weeks I am, so I’m not sure if that has anything to do with it, but pregnant women come in all different bump sizes and I think it would be great to showcase this,” she continued. Lucia has been bump shamed in the past for being too small.
Though, despite the trolls, Lucia wants to do pregnancy shoots featuring her changing body.
“My agency told me brands often prefer to use non-pregnant models with fake bumps for maternity wear. I was a bit upset mainly because I didn’t understand the reasoning behind it,” she said to Jam Press.
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“I originally thought brands used fake pregnant bumps because it may be hard to find pregnant models but now that l’m a pregnant model and haven’t shot any maternity in seven months of being pregnant. I don’t really understand why,” she continued.
Though some have called for fake bumps to be banned from modeling shoots, Lucia said she’s not that extreme, but feels actual pregnant women should be “prioritized” over fake-bump models.
“But I do feel that if a pregnant model is available then they should be prioritized over a fake bump because they are genuinely pregnant which is more authentic to customers.”
The 22-year-old Australian who is expecting her first child said she plans to keep modeling during her pregnancy – even if it’s just for her social media accounts.
“Now I focus on the social media side instead which I do love but I really hoped I would be modeling maternity as well, I was so excited to shoot maternity,” she lamented.
“I still wear heels, I still model for my social media and still have photoshoots. I actually have more energy now than before I was pregnant,” noting to Jam Press that she’s gained 22 pounds so far during her pregnancy.
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Belle Lucia has been posting updates to her 1.4 followers on Instagram throughout her pregnancy.