Michelle Watson found an unusual way to earn extra cash throughout her pregnancy
Originally published: 4 April 2011
Michelle Watson feared her career as a glamour model would be over when she fell pregnant.
But her bump made her even more popular and she was inundated with work right up until she went into labour with son Harley, now two.
'It made me feel sexy at a time when most women just feel fat and frumpy'
Michelle posed topless for more than 30 sets of photos for top-shelf men’s magazines, with the blessing of her fiancé, construction manager Scott Miller, 26.
“It made me feel sexy at a time when most women just feel fat and frumpy,” explains the 21-year-old from Glasgow.
Michelle, who’s 5ft 7 and usually a size 10, began doing regular glamour work at 18. She earned £30 per shoot and supplemented her income by working in telesales.
Then, in January 2006, she fell pregnant. The couple, who met in a nightclub five years ago, were delighted but Michelle feared it would put a stop to her career.
But four months later, a photographer she knew asked her to pose naked.
“I was surprised because I’d gained weight and didn’t think I looked sexy,” says Michelle. “I didn’t have a big bump, but my boobs had grown from a size 34E to a 34FF.
I thought it was just Scott who found me attractive, but I had no objections so I posed in my knickers.”
To her surprise, the pictures were sold to several magazines and websites. “Men were commenting on how much they liked my enormous nipples, which is a common hormonal change in pregnancy,” says Michelle, whose nipples have now returned to their normal size.
Michelle’s model shots earned her £1,000, which she spent on baby clothes and toys. She says she could have earned a lot more if she hadn’t been so busy preparing to be a mum.
'They loved the idea of looking at a pregnant English girl. I didn't find it creepy, I was pleased people thought I was pretty'
Her photos were published worldwide and she was even offered £1,000 by Japanese magazine Bachelor to pose on a beach in Italy, but went into labour before she could do it.
She explains: “Most of my fans were Japanese – they loved the idea of looking at a pregnant English girl. I didn’t find it creepy, I was pleased people thought I was pretty.”
Michelle worked right up until two weeks before Harley was born, in September 2006.
She says: “I got really tired when I was heavily pregnant and found it difficult to stand for a long time on a shoot. But I loved what I was doing so I managed to get through the tough days.”
Scott was so proud of her shoots that he even showed the snaps to his workmates. “She was at her most sexy when she was pregnant – and my mates thought the pictures were great too,” he says. However, he has only ever joined Michelle on one shoot, because it made him feel uncomfortable.
Michelle, who has done a few modelling jobs since Harley was born, says she’s proud of her career and
hopes to carry on.
She says: “I’m not ashamed and even my dad was fine about it. When Harley’s a bit older I’ll tell him too. It was the most successful I’ve ever been as a model – and I want four kids so I should have loads of opportunity in the future!”
By Lisa Woollard