Sunday, 16 December 2012

Interning at Pregnancy & Birth Magazine (2012)

'When I do get pregnant, I highly doubt I'll be one of those women who don't look pregnant from behind - I'll be that chick who looks pregnant from her ankles up'- Katherine Heigl 

I spent a majority of last week on an assignment out in the freezing cold streets of central London looking for pregnant women. And not just any pregnant women- fashionable pregnant women. You'd think on the packed streets of New Oxford Street I would be spoilt for choice, but I roamed around for hours with an unused camera. I had my eyes glued to the stomach of women as they walked by, slowly making my way up to their face where I was met with a 'I want to punch you in the face' look. That was awkward in itself, but imagine being faced with the following dilemma- not knowing if they were pregnant or slightly overweight :/ I never noticed how different each women's body could be. Some had large thighs and tiny waists, some had huge midsection's and long legs and others....well they were just generally large all around.

The cold also made it difficult to spot expectant mothers. Everyone was wrapped up in huge black bulky coats and I couldn't wonder how much easier this task would have been in the summer, where pregnant bellies were out in proud full force, intertwined in skin tight tops and flowing maxis. Trying a different tactic, I trudged into maternity sections in shops where I got distracted by some very lovely pregnant-women clothes and had to deal with a bitter case of role reversal when a sales assistant asked if I needed any help, whilst looking down at my tummy. There wasn't a child growing inside of me, only the bucket load of food I consumed earlier to waste an hour of my recommended 3 hours I should have spent scouting outside. Legging it, I stopped to regroup my plan of action in a cute cupcake shop (What??) I concluded in shamefully walking back to the Bauer Media offices where I was interning for, yeah you guess it 'Mother and Baby Magazine'. Confessing my inadequacy to find any fashionable pregnant ladies, I was surprised that the editorial assistant seemed to understand. 'Trust me I've had days when I can't find anyone at all too' she validated my lacklustre activities of the day. I breathed a sigh of relief and sat down at my desk and didn't do anything for a couple of minutes. My fingers felt frostbitten and my feet ached. This job isn't for the light hearted y'know! Even though I've been unsuccessful in this particular task, I still find it my responsibility to present to you the top 3 basic tips for scouting:

1) Usually you shouldn't make eye contact with strangers, but in this case go out of your way to look that very confused person in the eye. They will slow down and wonder what is going on which will give you precious time to see if they have the goods you want

2) Take your credit card. Food breaks are essential.

3) For gods sake- do it in the SUMMER !

On a final note, I was having lunch with an old friend this weekend in Wimbledon. We headed out of the restaurant completely engrossed in a different conversation, when she point out 'Oh look- there's a pregnant woman!'......Damn right, there she was in all her pregnant glory. I felt a little stab of bitterness, wondering where that woman had been when I needed her the most- But i got over it and moved on with my life.

Jabeen Xxx
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