By Meredith O’Brien
Say, for argument’s sake, that you’re a behind-the-scenes entertainment journalist who’s given the rare opportunity to become an on-camera correspondent. You’re thrilled, of course, and pretend that the "suggestion" from the network brass that you drop 20 pounds (even though you’re already a stick) never really happened. You go out to celebrate. However your beer goggles get the best of you. And you go home with a stoner of an unemployed dude and get a little frisky. Okay, a lot frisky.
Eight weeks later, just as you’re getting acclimated to your new on-air gig, you suddenly have an urgent need to throw up in a trashcan while you’re in the middle of an interview. And you soon discover that your one night stand has left you with a little souvenir. Later, after internal wrangling, you decide that not only do you want to keep the baby, you also want to give it a try with the dad-to-be.
That’s the premise of the hit comedy "Knocked Up," starring "Grey’s Anatomy’s" Katherine Heigl. And, if you can get past the political analysis of Heigl’s character’s decision to keep the baby – a few have complained that aborting the pregnancy wasn’t given a fair enough on-screen shake – the film addresses a common question: What do you do when you’re in a new job and find out that you’re pregnant?
Like many career women who fear losing their jobs once they’re pregnant, Heigl’s Allison Scott makes the instinctual decision to say nothing to the entertainment network executives and forges ahead. "Just because I’m pregnant, I’m not some ruined woman," Allison says to her hook-up Ben Stone. (Yes. Stone.) She later adds, "I don’t want this baby to determine the rest of our lives."
Allison’s decision not to tell her bosses about the pregnancy is something many women do out of sheer terror, regardless of the advice of several pregnancy web sites which urge women to immediately research their company’s health and maternity policies, figure out post-pregnancy plans and inform the boss some time in the second trimester. The fictional Allison is working in the world of TV journalism, even worse, entertainment TV journalism, where looks often trump credentials and smarts. So having Allison decide not to tell her bosses about her pregnancy is a much bigger deal than someone who works in the accounting department trying to hide a pregnancy with boxy, loose clothing. When you’re an on-camera reporter who wears slinky dresses, people are gonna notice a baby bump.