A debate has been sparked on Twitter about whether brands should use pregnant women to model their maternity wear.
The subject was brought to the attention of the Internet after a Twitter user spotted ‘Love Island’ star Arabella Chi appearing to model clothes for an ASOS maternity range.
The user’s tweet sparked a debate about whether it was right to use models who aren’t actually pregnant, and instead use a woman with a fake bump.
Some critics argued brands should use genuinely pregnant women to model maternity wear because aside from the bump, a woman’s body changes in different ways, which would not be represented by a model who wasn’t expecting.
It’s mad. Also fake advertising for the brand. Imagine being an expectant mother and not knowing which of these models are genuinely in the same boat as you!— Charlotte (@charlottewheatx) June 23, 2019
It is shocking... have they also increased the size of her breasts which happens to most women during pregnancy? It’s also horrible because look at how glowing she is, like any expectant mother isn’t gonna be feeling a bit meh wondering why they don’t look so glowing 😦— kirsty (@punkveins) June 23, 2019
Why don’t they just use actual pregnant people?😂— Ellie (@ellietaff4) June 24, 2019
But others pointed out that standing for long periods of time and going through multiple outfit changes could be uncomfortable for pregnant women.
Long hours, multiple outfit changes, on their feet all day. Pretty much impossible and too much of a health and safety risk for @ASOS to use genuine pregnant models.— Tom PressPhotog (@TomPressPhotog) June 24, 2019
There's absolutely nothing wrong with this.— Rachel 💕 (@Rachelkdowning) June 24, 2019
It isn't false advertising. False advertising is when a product doesn't do as it says. And pretty much all advertising is 'fake'. Because they're actors/models.
And I don't think it's ethical (I certainly wouldn't have done it when pregnant) to have a pregnant woman stand around under hot studio lights dressing and undressing for hours on end.— Rachel 💕 (@Rachelkdowning) June 24, 2019
Though ASOS did not confirm whether the Love Island star was the model in the clothing range, they did explain that they did use prosthetic maternity bumps.
An ASOS spokesperson told Yahoo UK: “We use prosthetic maternity bumps to make it easier for customers to compare fit between different products.”
READ MORE: Meghan Markle's maternity wardrobe: 76 outfits and a combined cost of almost £500,000
It isn’t the first time someone has questioned the brand’s use of ‘fake bumps’.
Back in 2017 parenting blogger Louise Pentland pointed out that some of the models in the maternity range appeared to be wearing fake bumps, suggesting that they weren’t in fact real pregnant women.
“Dear @ASOS, why do you use models with weird fake bumps instead of pregnant models? I’m sure some are pregnant but a lot are fake :(.” she wrote on Twitter.
The brand was quick to reply saying: “Model welfare is important to us. We don’t want pregnant models on their feet all day so we use a prosthetic maternity bump.”
But not everyone was convinced this was a good enough reason with many pointing out that just because a woman is pregnant doesn’t mean she’s incapable of work.
Shoppers took to social media to share images of models wearing outfits they believe have been stuffed, prompting some to question why pregnant models weren't used if this is the case.
What do you think? Should brands use genuinely pregnant women to model their maternity wear?