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‘That’s real happiness.’ Babies boom in the fanosphere.

October 3, 2011

Childless women age better!

It’s a sad day in the Fanosphere these days, especially if eonline is to be believed. Of late, the only ‘hot’ photos in The Big Picture gallery are of either the royals (pressured to produce an heir, belly watching has ensued) or celebrities with their kids. Barely a fascinating Star or even a Personality among them. Now I admit I am child free. That doesn’t mean I hate children, or that I’m bitter and disappointed with Life. In fact children are, like animals, often nicer than grown-up people. However, as a childfree person, I take issue with the constant images of reproducing/adopting famous people coupled with quotes like:

I’m probably the happiest I’ve ever been…It is the most incredible gift anyone can have and I’m so happy I’m a woman ...” (Beyoncé, who does go on to say she wants it all.)

When you’re having dinner with your kids and your husband and someone says something funny or you’re dying laughing because your three-year-old made a fart joke, it doesn’t matter what else is going on. That’s real happiness.” (Gwyneth Paltrow)

…it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” (Miranda Kerr)

“My point [dissing my boring marriage to Jen] was, the best thing I’d done as a father is be sure that my kids have a good mother …”, and “One of the greatest, smartest things I ever did was give my kids Angie as their mom. She is such a great mom. Oh, man, I’m so happy to have her … I put much more emphasis on being a satisfied man. I’m satisfied with making true choices and finding the woman I love, Angie, and building a family that I love so much.  A family is a risky venture, because the greater the love, the greater the loss.  … That’s the trade-off. But I’ll take it all.”  
(Brad Pitt)

I know many took issue with Pitt’s comments about Aniston but the really awful implication with Brad’s comments, no less insulting to Aniston, is that his life wasn’t ‘satisfying’, that he wasn’t really ‘alive’ because he didn’t have a family; because she wasn’t ‘a mom’.

It is this conservative notion of family that I take issue with. How can one, as a nation, promote acceptance of other lifestyles in the young, when at the same time conveying the same old, same old in the popular media: that the ‘real’ meaning of life/being a woman/man is about experiencing parenthood. That’s it really. Otherwise, I am glad many are adopting.

And then, ostensibly a warning to teenagers against unprotected breeding, there is 16 and Pregnant and Teen Mom. What possible good examples are there for young people on the box and the net these days? A young girl gets to choose between a Kardashian and a no-hoper teenage mom or aging ‘real’ housewife (or ‘girlfriend’ to Hugh Hefner).  The most they can hope for is a pair of tits thrown in and then a foreclosure somewhere down the line. Oh yes, and a drug problem. Call me old-fashioned but I struggle with the notion that ‘reality’ is entertaining or worth following. I also struggle with talented women saying their greatest moment, like ever, is becoming a mother. Really? I mean I’m not saying that one can’t aspire to be a mother but I’m more worried that these women feel they have to overcompensate for being successful and rich by going on about how it didn’t mean as much. (In the old days such success would be termed ‘unfeminine behaviour’.)

A far better, but – alas! -minority example is Dame Helen Mirren, who at least looks and behaves like a celebrity ought to. She keeps her distance and looks like a woman who has sex, drinks cocktails, or perhaps even a fine single malt. She is unembarrased to have starred in Caligula! But, importantly, Mirren states: “It’s not that I don’t love children, they are funny and I just love them, but I never wanted to have them. I really tried to want it at one point. I thought maybe I should. But I never convinced myself. I think some men and women just don’t have a deep urge to procreate. I think still it is very fine not to want children. There are far too many people in the world. It’s my contribution to ecology.

Mirren is great, as are a lot of other empowered and talented actresses: Sigourney Weaver, Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon et al, but they are getting on. Bullock, Madonna – they are aging fast. When they go, who will be left? Kendra? Kim Kardashian? Yup, feminism is pretty much dead I fear. As are the days of untouchable screen goddesses like Garbo, and possibly even actual performers.

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From → Celebrity, Gossip, Topical

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