Today I thought it would be interesting to spend a little time on the despicable way the media promotes the message that motherhood is the ultimate fulfilment in life and women who opt out of motherhood are destined to a life of unhappiness and regret. Of course, you, my childfree friends and sympathizers, and me know this message is complete and utter hogwash and recognize it as part of the rampant pronatalism designed to keep women bound to their reproductive roles at the expense of other fulfilling endeavors. We are completely innundated with this message from every direction, every second of our lives, but magazine covers like this illustrate it so blantantly and obnoxiously, they just beg for discussion.
I came across this magazine this morning while waiting in line at the supermarket. Just look at the cover...a small off-to-the-side photo of a despondent-looking Jennifer Aniston looking away wisftully as the caption reads, "39 & Wishing she'd had Brad's Babies". Her hair is stringy and she's not looking her best. Meanwhile, a beautiful, radiant and obviously deliriously happy Angelina Jolie, gets a huge, center-stage photo. Her photo triumphs over Jen's and she looks the most beautiful she ever has. Her caption reads, "Angie's Joy, Jen's Pain...After 3 years, ANGELINA'S got it all While JEN'S Still Tortured by "the Woman who Ruined my Life and Keeps Wondering What if..."
Ever since Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt broke up, rumor has had it that their break-up was due to their differences on having children - Brad wanted them, Jen did not. Whether this rumor is true or not doesn't matter. What's interesting is that underneath all this focus on Jen and Brad's breakup, and Angie's subsequent reign as Goddess Mother, is this message:
"See, Jen. This is what you get for being a selfish bitch and not fulfilling your duties as a woman. You wanted it all, didn't you? You wanted to have fun in the sun, pursue your acting career, be caught up in all the Hollywood glamour and be a big hot shot, maybe make it big in the movies and you sacrificed having babies (horrors!!!) so you could be so self-centered! Well you got what you deserved because look - ANGELINA wasn't selfish - she had babies like she was supposed to and LOOK AT HER! She's more beautiful than you, she's far happier, a bigger star than you AND she got BRAD PITT! What do YOU have? You're still single and can't seem to keep a man and now you're sorry, aren't you? You are a sad, pathetic excuse for a woman!"
Oh, and while we're here, let's also take notice of the rest of the this magazine cover because the Angie and Jen story apparently wasn't enough baby-obsessing for OK Magazine this month. We have Jamie Lynn Spears and her beau with the caption "Ready for Baby" (a pretty upbeat tone, don't you think, considering she's 16, unmarried and pregnant?) and underneath, a smily photo of Anna Nicole's daughter and her father, Larry Birkhead, showing that even when mommy celebrities are dead, we must still obsess over their babies.
So in addition to providing enough disgust to make me want to barf up my breakfast today, magazine covers like this beg the question...is there NOTHING ELSE going on in the celebrity world other than the glorification of breeding? Are the stars capable of nothing more interesting to entertain us than screwing and popping out their spawn?
And the scariest question of all: Who's responsible for this fixation on celebrity breeding? Is it the media, or is it US?