The catwalk has always been a canvas for controversy. Ultra frail and skinny models, transsexual models, under age models and now, pregnant models – surely not? Unfortunately, it is true, and recently, more and more pregnant models are exposing their bump and strutting down the runway in the latest designer collections. Still dressed in spine bending heels and fitted frocks like every other model, the bump has become the latest show stopping accessory.

This Summer as always, the SS13 collections were showcased in the top fashion capitals. London, Paris and New York, but it was Milan that caused the biggest stir. Italian model Raffaella Fico stunned the crowds by walking down the runway while 6 months pregnant and to top it off, she did so in a two piece bikini for the Pin-Up Stars swimwear line. To deepen your frown, Ms Fico is not the only woman to make the most of her new form. Pregnant Miranda Kerr took to the Balenciaga stage with her curve, only to hide it beneath an oversized jacket dress, and earlier this year Victoria’s Secret angel Alessandra Ambrosio did the baby bump walk. These models may have demonstrated to all expecting mums that the pregnant form is not one to shy away from and you can still look your best despite the bump, but personally I think, strutting it down a catwalk was not the way to do it.

The infamous Pirelli calendar that dates back to 1964 is famous for its limited availability; only a number of important Pirelli customers and celebrity VIPs receive the stylish and exclusive publication. Distinguished by professional models and photographers of a high standard, the calendar marks the height of sophistication. This year, for the first time in Pirelli history, it has been announced that the calendar will feature an image of model Adriana Lima, 5 months pregnant. The 31 year old, Brazilian born, Victoria Secret angel will be the first pregnant woman to ever appear on the Pirelli calendar. Photographed by American photojournalist Steve McCurry on the streets of Rio de Janiero, she signifies the calendars turn from notorious nudity to philanthropy.

Despite justifying pregnant models as a way to illustrate the well-being of women, I just can’t help but think it is an ephemeral publicity stunt. For such a personal and private time in a woman’s life, the pregnancy period should not be paraded on the runways and spoken of as a fashion statement, and this goes without even considering the dangers those high heels and flashing lights might cause. Personally, I think it is quite tasteless to see women at their most vulnerable exposed to the criticising media dressed head to toe in clothes that, in all honesty, no pregnant woman would ever wear.

So lets  just hope this new craze lasts no longer than 9 months.

By Marni Banks

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