Being a working mother is never easy, but being a pregnant, 18-year-old model poses its own very specific set of problems. In a recent essay for Vogue UK, Jourdan Dunn opens up about what it was like to work both during and after her pregnancy — and how the rest of the industry handled it.
…I have felt very supported within the fashion industry. The agency really looked out for me. I went back to work after nine months — I didn’t feel any pressure to go back quickly, and when I did everyone was really supportive. I’ve had a good experience. The models with children would make sure I was eating properly and gave me a private area to breastfeed, and Heidi Mount, who has a child, is great.
And despite notoriously small sample sizes, Dunn managed to work until her sixth month of pregnancy.
I worked until I was six months pregnant, when I couldn’t fit into any of the clothes. I didn’t keep my pregnancy a secret especially, but I worried about how people would treat me when they found out. I worried about being judged, but I realised I can’t live for other people.
She can, however, live for her son, who was born with a blood disorder called sickle-cell anaemia. “More than anything, having a son has made me realise I have to make shit work: I’m his voice, I’m his lifeline, I have to be driven,” the now 22-year-old model writes.
Now if only all models — pregnant or otherwise — could get the same support.