Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Jillian on the Hot Seat
Fitness guru Jillian Michaels is in hot water with moms over a recent comment she made in an article in Women's Health Magazine and now she's doing some serious damage control (and from the looks of it, a bit of backpedaling too).
In the article, she commented on her feelings about pregnancy: "I'm going to adopt. I can't handle doing that to my body. Also, when you rescue something, it's like rescuing a part of yourself."
Immediately, the media pounced on her, sensationalizing her comments by stating she wouldn't get pregnant because it would ruin her body. Of course, this sent moms everywhere in a collective hissy-fit. How could she choose a beautiful body over MOTHERHOOD!?? What kind of woman would put her looks and physique above pregnancy and childbirth - the pinacle of womanhood???!!! What a horrible, selfish creature!!!
On and on it went - I saw this story featured on every celebrity/entertainment and morning news show I flipped past. It was the hot topic of the week.
And there in the middle of the uproar is Jillian, steadfastly defending herself and expressing hurt feelings over being misinterpreted. Misinterpreted? Yes. Apparently, when she said, "I can't handle doing that to my body" she didn't mean ruining her body. She meant that she has some serious, deep-seated body issues that make it impossible for her to handle pregnancy. Okay, Jillian, we'll give you a pass because we know you're really getting slammed and you have a lucrative empire to protect, but truth be told, you're not fooling us.
The fact is, pregnancy DOES ruin women's bodies. Sure, the media likes to create sensational frenzies over the beautiful post-baby celebrity bods, but any real woman with two brain cells in her head knows that these women are freak-of-nature exceptions to the rule - privileged women with private chefs, nutritionists, personal trainers, nannies and unlimited access to plastic surgery. The vast majority of women do not look like Halle Berry or Heidi Klum after giving birth. They look like this.
Let's not forget that in Jillian's case, her rockin' physique is her livelihood, so it seems not only forgiveable, but completely reasonable and prudent that she forego wrecking her body with pregnancy and childbirth.
And here's an angle that nobody's taken yet: how about some praise for Jillian for stating that she will adopt - a far more generous and selfless act than bringing another human being into this already-overcrowded world? I find it very telling that no media outlet has touched that part of her quote. Her comment on adoption makes her sound nice, and good, and selfless - in other words, not the vain, selfish, narcissist they want to make her out to be. Nice, good and selfless are boring but vain, selfish narcissism sell lots of magazines.
Our culture is so warped when it comes to celebrity. And it is even more warped when it comes to motherhood, putting both on ridiculously high pedestals that are just begging to be toppled over. It's time we take celebrities AND mothers off their damned pedestals and stop holding celebs accountable as model mothers. Or in Jillian's case, as potential mother.