Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sexy. Superhuman. Mom.

The other day, I was sitting in a waiting room reading a magazine. The Oprah show was on the t.v. and her guest was Christina Aguilera. So I watched for a bit. Oprah asked Christina if she has enjoyed her "break" from music and Christina talked about what she's been up to, most notably becoming a mom. Listen to Christina describe how motherhood has transformed her - she's sexier now! She miraculous! She's superhuman! She makes it sound like reproducing is some tremendous accomplishment - a pinacle of human achievement, instead of the mundane, ordinary, base act it really is.

I am happy for people who truly enjoy whatever it is that they have undertaken in life, but I think celebrities do a real injustice to women by portraying motherhood in these kinds of over-the-top, rapturous terms. The fact is, all living creatures reproduce. It is not an achievement. It is not superhuman. It is not miraculous. It is ordinary. It is expected. Billions upon billions of people do it. Sand fleas do it. Garden slugs do it.

I would argue that to not reproduce is extraordinary. To not succumb to societal pressure is an achievement. To minimize one's carbon footprint (instead of multiplying it) should be applauded. To take one's energies and direct them toward making a positive difference in the world is truly admirable. Ironically, Oprah herself is the prime example of what a childfree-by-choice person can accomplish, and yet she brushes her childfree status under the rug and kisses up to mommies at every opportunity.

Anyway, here's the clip. Let me know what you think. Christina's effusive gushing over motherhood begins at the 2:45 mark.

9 comments:

Mudflappus said...

Hi, I'm new here. (Really killer Blog you've got BTW) Yeah it's real easy to be "Supermom" when you can afford a whole staff of nannies to do all of the dirty work when you're not feeling up to it. I seem to recall Celine Dion going off the deep end to the point of writing baby books after she pumped out a unit. It's really sad to see them promoting such an insanely wrong view of parenthood. Of course the image of a 39 year old white trash mother of six sitting in her singlewide watching Christine Aguilera gush about being a mommy on Oprah is kind of ironic to me anyway.

CFVixen said...

Okay, that was just hilarious. What exactly was she trying to say? It made no sense! I almost wonder if Oprah was being sarcastic when she said something about a baby "coming out of your womb!"

Amy Guskin said...

What was interesting, actually, is that Oprah really seemed to hone in on the truly admirable work Christina is doing for the UN's World Food Programme. She said "Doesn't that just change your whole perspective on your own life?" Up to that point in the interview, she let the "I have a child" stuff just roll right on past. Really, the superhuman things that Christina has done include: having a hugely successful music career, and doing incredible, and probably emotionally difficult, celebrity charity work. Why must people puff up an ordinary biological function to the status of an act requiring beatification?

I also thought it was funny that as Christina waxed euphoric about how much more confident and sexy she feels after having a child, and all the reasons it was so great, Oprah intoned with a kind of comical gravitas, (*I* think to sort of derail Christina from going on and on and on), "Yes...that a child came from your womb." Kind of like, "Yeah, we get it." But done in that ultra-diplomatic way that Oprah has perfectly nailed. Probably if *I* were the interviewer, I'd have sounded snarky saying that. :-)

R_Squared said...

I have to laugh every time a smoking hot celebrity talks about feeling sexier after having a child. Of course you feel sexier, honey-you have a personal trainer, a nutritionist, and a plastic surgeon. You have a hired team to keep your ass in line, and monitor everything you eat and how often you work out. We regular people can only dream of such luxury, so cram it.

Kerry said...

I'm curious - why do we never hear a conversation about Oprah's choice not to have children? I'd be fascinated to hear her ideas on Childfreedom...

Childfreeeee said...

Kerry - most likely because Oprah's audience is primarily MOMS and she doesn't want to put them off. We all know the kinds of negative assumptions that are made about the childfree, especially childfree women, and I am sure Oprah knows this too.

Spectra said...

Celebrities who act like they are so incredibly awesome just because they have a baby really bother me. Like others have said, EVERYONE has children; it's expected. If anything, it's a curse...it was part of the punishment that God gave to Adam and Eve when he kicked them out of Eden. Why go through the pain of childbirth/child rearing if you don't absolutely have to?

C.S. said...

I think some celebs have a baby as a PR move, and to pull in even more fans -- since the majority of people do have children. They squirt one out, then the nannies take care of it till it appears later as a young adult, either a druggie or a starlet wanna be.

Tresie said...

I know it's kind of late to post, but Oprah has said she chose not to be a mother because she felt she was poorly mothered.

She also had a son who died soon after he was born, when she was 14. I thought the emotional trauma of losing a child was what kept her childfree.