Saturday, January 20, 2007

You make me feel like an unnatural woman


I just read a Daily Express article which has, I think, a fabulously hideous headline: "Childless...the price of being famous." The first line of the article pretty much sums it all up: "To get ahead in the cut-throat world of show business as a woman you should forget having children, it seems."

The author then goes on to briefly discuss Oprah and Jennifer Aniston (and of course she mentions the whole Brangelina thing) and other successful "childless" women and why they don't have children, never taking into consideration that these women are choosing not to have children because they do not want to be parents. No, that can't be. It must be because they are scared of younger ingénues or worried about their figures:

"Helen Bartimote, a chartered psychologist, said many factors conspired against successful women in show business choosing to have children. “There is a fear of what is going to be taken away from them if they have a child,” she said. “For men, there is simply not the same threat."

“Once they start becoming more successful in their careers, even more opportunities open up for them and they feel they have to take on more to stay at the top and compete with male counterparts.”

I'm sure that much of what Bartimore says is true, but I find it incredibly annoying that she never even mentions that not all women want to be moms. This just further reinforces the tired idea that in order to be fulfilled as a woman you have to be a mom.

The "conspired" comment also irked me. These women are worth more than most of us will ever earn and they have the ability to have children if they want. They can hire nannies or decide to not work at all. When you are worth $100 million or so I think you have plenty of options. (Mom, I think you would agree with me on this one, right?)

Another gem from the article about these poor, childless women comes at the expense of Renee Zellweger: "Cameron Diaz... has not ventured into motherhood. Nor has actress Renee Zellweger – just like frustrated singleton Bridget Jones, whom she played in two films, helping her to accumulate a £25million fortune."

Nice that they are calling Renee Zellweger a frustrated singleton. I am no Renee fan, but I don't think it's fair to liken her to Bridget Jones and assume that she is unhappy with her status. Gracious, she just got divorced last year. There was a blurb from Renee in a recent People Magazine where she said on her single status: "I'm not single, I'm just really busy." I am starting to like her more.

The most annoying bit? Of the top 10 women earners, 5 have kids. That seemed to take the wind out of her entire argument. Here they are along with the money they've earned and the number of kids they have.

The Haves and Have Nots:

1) Oprah Winfrey £750m 0
2) J.K Rowling £500m 3
3) Martha Stewart £320m 1
4) Madonna £165m 3
5) Celine Dion £125m 1
6) Mariah Carey £115m 0
7) Janet Jackson £75m 0
8) Julia Roberts £70m 2
9) Jennifer Lopez £55m 0
10) Jennifer Anniston £55m 0

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