Molly Baz’s Billboard Was Taken Down in Times Square, Now She’s the First Pregnant Woman on a Cereal Box

Molly Baz’s Billboard Was Taken Down in Times Square, Now She’s the First Pregnant Woman on a Cereal Box featured image
Special K

Last month, Molly Baz, iconic cook extraordinaire and New York Times best-seller, and her pregnant belly appeared on a billboard in Times Square to promote her Big Titty Cookies (for lactation support). Almost immediately, the ad was taken down for being considered “too racy” by the same people who have billboards of Jennifer Lopez and the like much more scantily clad dotting the city. The hypocrisy sparked outrage, and Seed came to the rescue, resuscitating the billboard in their own ad space.

All this to say, Baz and her bump unwittingly caused a lot of controversy, and they’re not done yet. In the wake of this squabble, Kellogg’s Special K reached out to Molly, asking her to join a campaign with them and be the first pregnant woman to appear on a cereal box. We got to talk to Baz about her feelings on the billboard debacle, pregnancy cravings and more just about a week out from her due date.

What was your first reaction when you heard the billboard was taken down?

“It was honestly very surprising. I was pretty caught off guard. In retrospect, I guess it’s not shocking just knowing some of the company we keep in this world, but the whole drama around it and the controversy and everything made me realize how much being up on that billboard was a responsibility that I held, and that I was representing more than just myself. Seeing the response to it being taken down and how outraged people were in addition to just me, obviously, it was a personal thing for me, but it represented so much more. It made me realize I’m up there representing women, pregnant women, postpartum women, soon-to-be mothers, past, present, future moms everywhere, and that’s a big responsibility to hold that I need to carry forward, which is part of why I think this next campaign that I’m doing here with Special K is so timely and amazing.

I sort of had a wake-up call and was like, ‘Oh this is the new me. This is now a part of my identity. I am intrinsically tied to motherhood.’ And I want to represent that authentically in a real way that represents what being a real mom is like, and that can be fun and silly and irreverent in the case of the Swehl campaign. And it can be messy because that’s also what it’s going to be—I know it is.

So I was just very grateful that Special K came to me afterward and was like, ‘We want our box to be your billboard,’ and let’s continue this message of empowering pregnant women and making us feel seen for exactly who we are which is not a perfect supermodel sexy body in any way it’s just the reality of this chapter of our lives.”

So, Special K organically came to you for this campaign?

“Yeah, Special K is doing a campaign that will run for a while featuring different women at different stages of their lives, and I’ll be the first person they feature on the box, just to celebrate the sheer fact of being who they are. They’re putting people who represent something to a large portion of the population on a box so that someone can buy the box and can be in their kitchen eating cereal and feel seen in some way. So my campaign will kick it off as a pregnant woman, and will hopefully allow other pregnant women at any stage of the journey feel represented in a huge way in American culture.”

Molly Baz x Special K Box (Front)
Special K

You’re the first pregnant woman to appear on a cereal box. How does that feel?

“I almost lost my breath when I heard that. It’s almost too big. It’s an honor and a privilege and something that makes me feel like it’s a responsibility to uphold it and not sugarcoat the reality of what it looks like but to just be a spokesperson for everyone that it represents. 

I’m so grateful to Special K for thinking of me for this special campaign that’s going to kick it all off. I mean it’s the most incredible way that I could go out on maternity leave ever. It’s going to be a really amazing way to bring my child into this world. I cannot wait until my child can understand how huge that is.”

Any fun cravings that have inspired new recipes?

“Funny enough, the reason this is the most synergistic thing ever is that I haven’t had a crazy pregnancy in terms of like, ‘Oh my god all of a sudden I want to eat honey mustard sauce on my cookies’ it hasn’t been weird things like that. But cereal has been consistently the one thing that, at the end of the day, I just crave the most. It’s not even out of nausea or anything. I haven’t had morning sickness, but I’ve been eating so much cereal.

So this is so full picture for me because I’ve spent my entire pregnancy eating cereal. And I’ve been sharing my content on social about how I’ve been mixing and matching cereals. I started making my own cereal at home, so I started developing recipes for my own cereal, and there’s one that’s coming out in a couple of weeks because I was like, ‘I’ve got time on my hands. I’m craving cereal,’ so I started making recipes for it, which is only something a crazy person would do, but topically enough, I would say my biggest craving has been cereal.”

What recipe are you most excited for your baby to try once they’re old enough?

“Oh my god. I don’t even know what he likes yet. I think about this all the time like, what if he doesn’t like the same things I like and what is his palette going to be, and god forbid I get a picky eater?

I think more so than sharing a recipe with him, I just can’t wait to see the world of food through fresh eyes again. I know it’s cliche and corny, and all parents say that’s what parenting is like, but specifically filtering it through the lens of food and eating is the thing that I’m most excited about.”

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