Pregnancy for Profit?

You’ve heard about maternity discrimination, whereby women raising kids earn less than men, and less than women without kids, right?  Ditto for the well-documented gender pay gap, whereby women earn 82 cents for every dollar a man does.


But the gender pay BUMP?  Whereby pregnant women earn MORE than other women - and definitely far more than other men.  At least more than men who can’t get pregnant.


This phenom is real - chronicled by no less reputable a source than the Sunday New York Times.  The only bad news is that the pay bump applies only to celebrity moms.


Like Jessica Simpson, the licensing mogul and onetime pop star who now seems far more famous for having the longest pregnancy on record (and the hugest pregnant bod) than she ever was for singing.  Or Tori Spelling, who had a short career on “Beverly Hills 90210” and made-for-TV movies, based on her father Aaron Spelling’s Hollywood connections, not Tori’s marginal acting talent.  Or Bethenny Frankel, Kendra Wilkinson, Kourtney Kardashian, Nicole Richie and now even Snooki, all B-list celebrities who are poised to make far more money out of being pregnant, becoming moms, launching and promoting mom-and-kid related clothing lines and weight-loss programs than they ever earned through mainstream entertainment.


The radical career move to jump start celebrity used to be making a racy sex video, ala Paris Hilton.  Today, it’s having a baby.  You can sell your photos to paparazzi!  You can design pregnancy clothes!  You can endorse a baby stroller!  And it’s not male managers or greedy husbands who are walking off with the dough - the mamas themselves are getting very, very rich off their pregnancies and their babies.


Nicole Richie, one time party girl, transformed herself through her babies into a designer for pricey Pea in the Pod.   Posh Spice became Victoria Beckham, fashion maven, in large part by having four children (marrying David Beckham didn’t hurt). Kendra Wilkinson went from Hugh Hefner’s playmate to a Simon & Schuster book deal (two months on the New York Times bestseller list), a new show on WE, a weight-loss plan for OK! Magazine and a supplements spokesperson contract - all because of one measly pregnancy.


“Having a family [turned out to be] much more valuable than being at the Playboy Mansion,” Wilkinson told the New York Times.  “Like 100 times more valuable.”


Even stars famous for other legitimate talents, such as Beyonce Knowles, Jessica Alba, Cindy Crawford, Kate Hudson and Angelina Jolie, today receive invaluable publicity (and sometimes hard cash, with tabloids pay hundreds of thousands for cover deals) just for being pregnant or holding hands with a toddler on a Santa Monica sidewalk.  Often the timing is invaluable as well, since the pregnant moms tend to be past their entertainment prime, and looking at work-stoppages due to motherhood.