Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sad, Regretful Baby-less Celebs

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?


CFVixen said...


I cannot STAND these rags. I also cannot fathom why anyone is interested in celebrity babies. Get a life, people!

Childfreeeee said...

Thanks, cfvixen. Glad you enjoyed it and I agree with you!

belicoso said...

The only reason I give some of these celebs a free pass on the sales of their baby pictures is that I know most of the time the money is donated to some sort of charity. When that is the case I really don't see the harm. But in cases of sheer exploitation like Larry Birkhead something is terribly wrong.

Sandy said...

Yea, I don't think it's totally fair to lump the parents who sell pix for charity together with the parents who sell the pix to further exploiting their children, a la Larry Birkhead.

Childfreeeee said...

Good points, belicoso and Sandy. In most cases, though, I don't think the media's obsession with celebs and their babies is driven by the celebs themselves...I think it's driven by the public and the media. For example, the magazine in question in my post...OK Magazine...that main story about Jen and Angelina and Jen's jealousy and regret over not having Brad's babies is definitely fueled by the media, not Jen and Angelina. And the public eats this stuff up.

GeorgeK said...

They make such a big deal over these folks having babies, yet forget to mention how many kids of celebrities lead unbalanced lives and are the products of unstable homes supported by two people so involved with their careers and egos that they barely have time for these kids!

Vagablonde Bombchelle said...

Nothing would make me happier then to have Jennifer Anniston become the poster child for the childfree American woman. Jennifer, come out of the proverbial childfree closet and proclaim you are happy, healthy and fulfilled and that having a child would jeopardize your career by limiting your opportunities and you don't feel like you are missing anything. Now that story would be one I'd buy off the news stands although sadly it would never happen. Admitting she's happy and childfree would be career suicide in an environment where people obsess over baby bumps and well-dressed tots. Poor Jennifer must sit and watch as her ex-husband continues to be the baby daddy to Angelina's ever expanding brood; the Mia Farrow of the 21st century (and we all know how that love story ended).

DormantDragon said...

In the light of all this, I must say it was refreshing - and curiously satisfying - to see an article in 'Woman's Day' (Australia) that merited the cover title 'Brad & Ange's Kids Out of Control - Fighting, Junk Food, Tantrums, No Friends'. The article covered at some length the disruptive and dysfunctional life these children are supposedly leading.

Fancy that - all the celebrity and wealth in the world doesn't necessarily make you a competent parent.