CELEBRITIES, MISSISSIPPI, OLE MISS, TELEVISION
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‘Pregnant in Heels’ star revels in Mississippi ties

dab37-bildeFans of Bravo!’s show “Pregnant in Heels” know it’s a docu-drama that follows fashion designer and maternity concierge Rosie Pope as she helps million dollar mamas-to-be prepare for the arrival and care of their babies. But they may not know this:

•Pope was a ballet dancer with The London Contemporary School of Dance, who moved to New York City at 18 to model. One of her gigs was posing for photographer Steven Meisel in the pages of Italian Vogue.

•She attended Columbia University on a Presidential Scholarship to study neuroscience.

•And her unique accent is a blend of British and Southern because her husband has Mississippi ties. That’s right – hubby Daron Pope is a Mississippi native, and his dad, Mike Pope, was an Ole Miss coach before landing a job with the New York Giants.

“I think the thing about growing up in England and growing up in the South – there’s a lot of tradition,” Rosie Pope said by phone. “It’s really important to have a family foundation in how we raise our children. I think both of our families value that incredibly, and that makes us a good match.”

Pope is the creator and designer of Rosie Pope Maternity. She also created MomPrep, a company that helps expectant and new moms find solutions to the challenges of motherhood, from how to find the best nanny to selecting the right fitness class.

And you can read motherhood tips at rosiepope.com, where she talks about potty training, offers a Mommy I.Q. test on scientific baby basics, and answers questions about parenting and prenatal advice.

“It’s always a blend of education, health, fashion and beauty,” she said. “Our whole business tries to be a one-stop shop for pregnant women.”

“Be prepared” for the arrival, and “Worry is good,” are two things Pope often tells clients.

“If you are prepared, you will have so much more time with your baby and be able to enjoy it,” she said. “If they are worrying, that’s a good sign because I know they are going to do well.”

The first season of “Pregnant in Heels” documented Pope’s struggle to get pregnant. She was told having a second child might be impossible because of medical complications, but through in-vitro fertilization, she had another. Now sons J.R. and Wells are awaiting the birth of Pope’s third child, due any day now.

This season, Pope said viewers can watch her plan a home birth, help a single mom-to-be date during her eighth month of pregnancy, throw a babymoon (pre-baby vacation) in the Dominican Republic and rig a paranoid client’s house with video cameras to spy on her nanny.

“You have an opportunity to learn more about me, my husband and the business behind the scenes,” she said.

d7ac4-bilde-3Daron Pope was born in 1978 in Oxford.

“The woods behind our house in Oxford had tons of kudzu, hornets, snakes and other wildlife, which was clearly a different environment than northern New Jersey or New York City,” Daron said.
Moving North was a culture shock, even for a 5-year-old, he said.

“My brother and I (got) laughed at by the other kids when we responded, ‘Yes, Sir’ or ‘Yes, Ma’am,’ to an adult,” he said.

When he attended William and Mary, he preferred telling people he was from Mississippi rather than New Jersey.

“Now I explain the entirety of my dichotomous background and love leading with the fact that I’m from Mississippi,” he said. “I have a habit of writing ‘y’all’ in emails/texts.”

Pope’s Mississippi connection has been mentioned on the show, as well as how the couple’s English and Southern roots blend well in parenting.

“Southern tradition and English tradition seem strikingly similar to us,” said Daron Pope. “From art and literature to food and music, we’ve grown to love both.”

Pope said he’d love to bring his family to Oxford one day for a football weekend.

“Eli Manning is my only indirect connection to Ole Miss and to Mississippi,” he said. “Eli makes me incredibly proud – to have spent my earliest years in the great city of Oxford, to have come from one of the best college football towns in the country and to be a life-long New York Football Giants fan.”

North Carolina native Mike Pope said his family lived in Oxford’s Deer Run subdivision during his Ole Miss coaching days.

At Ole Miss, Mike Pope, now a tight ends coach for the Giants, said he was responsible for recruiting primarily in the Delta, Jackson and Memphis area

As for his daughter-in-law’s Bravo! show, Pope said he’s “absolutely crazy” about her and admires her tenacity.

“She’s very bright. She came to this country as a dancer planning to go to medical school,” he said. “Her parents are all doctors, and that’s what she intended to be. She’s quite charming and a wonderful mother.”

While Rosie’s the one with the parenting advice, Mike Pope said he believes spending quality time with your children and keeping them grounded is important.

“Both of our sons grew up on the sidelines at Super Bowls,” he said. “They have met most of the athletes of pro-football. I was concerned they would be disillusioned about what life was really like and that they wouldn’t have a full grasp of reality. I wanted them to realize that the world is not all Camelot, and they have both been able to deal with that very appropriately.

“I think that’s why (Rosie) and Daron make such good parents. Both have a real grasp on reality. They know the reward is in the little things.”

–LaReeca Rucker, The Clarion-Ledger

Got a comment? E-mail me at endyanna@earthlink.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.

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