In 2011 Bravo premiered a new TV show that fit perfectly with their station slogan– Bravo: This is Why Women Deserve It! The show was called Pregnant In Heels, and it was about New York City’s most famous pregnancy concierge. What does that mean exactly? In the pilot, Rosie Pope explains it like this: “Women are bitchy anyway, so take a rich bitchy woman and put a baby inside of them, and then you’ve got my client.” That is a real quote!
What you need to understand about Rosie Pope is that she hates this job and she is terrible at it. She opened a store in 2008 that offered “cutting-edge maternity fashion, but also a welcome environment that includes cupcakes, mocktails, and gangsta rap if the mood strikes!” (It never struck). Pregnant in Heels began filming in 2010, so at the time, she had at most two years of experience in her field. Today she’s no longer a pregnancy concierge; she works as a luxury real estate agent, which is great because you can’t make a building cry.
You’re supposed to find the women Rosie works with ridiculous, but it’s surprisingly easy to root for a terrified pregnant woman and unsurprisingly difficult to root for a woman who charges them $500 an hour for her services and then viciously insults them both to their faces and behind their backs. Often, Rosie comes into a situation where a client has asked her to help with a problem. This is usually insane, sure, BUT Rosie could theoretically help with it. Instead, she always finds something else the client is unconcerned about and chooses to “fix” this “real” problem instead. If she was on the Titanic, she would recommend you leave the lifeboat to get a teeth whitening.
The funniest example of this is an episode in season 2 where the client is terrified of childbirth and wants Rosie to help her mentally prepare for the process. Rosie’s response is to tell the client to get rid of her dog. To be fair, the dog does eat a baby doll’s face as if Rosie slathered it in chicken grease before coming into her apartment. It is incredibly hilarious to watch Rosie go, “What if that was your baby!” as if they don’t understand that babies shouldn’t get mauled by dogs.
“If this dog won’t stop eating babies, it needs to go!” Rosie says as if these people are keeping friggin’ Grendel in their house instead of a Yorkie. She brings in a dog trainer, and it turns out the dog is not a monster. It just really likes dog toys which is what a baby doll seems like. It’s also, let’s say, within the realm of possibilities that one of the show’s producers did slather the baby in chicken grease.
There’s also the terrifying case of a woman who just wants Rosie to design a maternity wedding dress for her. It’s a very simple request, but Rosie takes one look at her and asks, “How much weight have you gained during your pregnancy?” The client, Robyn, is dealing with gestational diabetes, so Rosie takes this as an invitation to go into her kitchen and start pulling food from cabinets. This is the scene where I really started to hope she would get crushed by a piano like a Looney Tune.
After finding “gasp” a single cupcake, Rosie returns with a nutritionist and makes Robyn start an exercise routine at nine months pregnant. Surprise, Robyn hates it and feels like shit. Robyn successfully gets married and gives birth to a healthy baby boy, and Rosie manages to take one final parting shot at her in the update at the end of the episode.
At this point, you might be asking yourself why would anyone ever do this show? With something like Bridezillas, you punch a few cakes, and they pay for your wedding. These people have money. They can afford dignity, yet they still let Rosie into their homes. My theory is that for the two years the show was running, Rosie’s services became such a status symbol that her clients were willing to put up with pretty much anything. In a world where the woman with the largest statement necklace is the alpha, Rosie’s clients look like this.
Also, while the expectant mothers occasionally have perfectly reasonable demands for Rosie to completely ignore, they do sometimes ask for crazy stuff. One couple had Rosie exorcize their haunted nursery. Another woman wanted an oil painting of herself nude on horseback while pregnant, but unfortunately, she gave birth early and had to settle for a nude painting of herself and her baby on horseback, the standard nude oil painting scenario:
Sometimes they come to her with a fairly normal request like, “Help us name our baby,” and Rosie finds a way to make it unbearable. The woman rocking the Flavor Flav necklace above calls herself a “branding expert” and sees choosing a name as “choosing her baby’s brand.” Most of the parents I know only want one brand for their baby, and it’s called quiet and never poops, which is a terrible name.
Rosie assembles an expert think tank to brainstorm names with the couple. It includes a linguistic expert, a brand expert, a poet, and a baby blogger, not a baby that blogs, unfortunately– an adult woman who blogs about babies. Also included on the panel is her assistant LT who always wears one-third of a wig sideways on his head.
The brilliant names this genius think tank comes up with include Asher, Brody, Tucker, and Miles. Rosie then arranges for a focus group of hiring managers to see if they like the names. They all give the name Brody a ten-minute standing ovation. Rich people love Brodies. In the end, the baby is named Bowen Asher, which does have a certain brandness to it. I can see it as a brand of low-calorie whisky or inflatable glamping bubbles endorsed by David Hasselhoff. Maybe a hunting lodge where women often go missing.
So, it’s extremely clear that Rosie is winging it through the entire show, but it’s not just her inexperience as a pregnancy concierge that makes her seem like a grifter to me. She has a very unusual voice that combines an English accent with a little bit of a lisp. She sounds like the inspiration for Anna Delvey. All of the things about her past are very cool and also very vague. She says her father was a ballerina, and her mother was a doctor/scientist. Then she randomly drops early in the season that she “used to be a baroness.”
Rosie’s client wants to ask her boss, Lord Wedgewood, to be her baby’s godfather. This seems like a bad idea to me because Lord Wedgewood has full Hulk Hogan hair, and I think it would confuse a child.
Rosie seems to think that because he’s a lord, he’s related to the royal family, which isn’t how that works. All of her advice on how to properly pop the question to Lord Hulk Hogan involves things that are at the top of the Google search results for the phrase “What do British people like?” Rosie says she should ask him over tea and dress like Princess Diana. This is Britain 101. I thought she was going to start explaining that there’s a huge clock named Ben that everyone is wild about over there. “Maybe charter a ship and take him colonizing!”
Apparently, when questioned later about her “used to be a baroness” comment, she said that “the British royal family and all that craziness is almost more difficult than anyone could understand.” Then she gave a rambling answer that ended with her mother denouncing her title for political reasons, which I guess would be a huge deal. Sources who fact-checked this said, “It’s giving George Santos.”
The show was very of its time. I know the pitch was “SuperNanny meets Real Housewives,” and it delivered that energy. It had a mean, maybe British lady yelling at nude rich women about their baby being too young to horseback ride. The fact that it didn’t have 100 seasons on Bravo is a miracle. They were creating a pipeline where they could funnel women through The Millionaire Matchmaker to Pregnant In Heels into Real Housewives and in ten years, they would have created a whole new series of shows for the same women. Divorce Diva, 2Millionaire 2Matchmaker, Casket Bedazzlers. Cradle to grave, the Bravolebrity lifecycle would be complete!
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