Or any of the other female celebrities who remain awkwardly unmarried and childless after the age of 40?
Because they’re making everyone confused and uncomfortable, especially in Hollywood. How are we meant to view Hollywood’s ‘It Girls’ when they’re no longer young but they’re not wives or mothers either?
They must be unhappy. They must be disappointed. They must feel like failures.
Because the implication in every media story is that these women are failures; failures at life. They haven’t made that expected transition from ‘It Girl’ to ‘Yummy Mummy’, so we mock their plastic surgery and we tut-tut with faux concern about their biological clocks.
Cameron Diaz has reportedly said she’s had a gutful of this idea that her life is incomplete. Not true, she says.
According to RadarOnline: “During Oscar weekend, Cameron insisted to friends that she is fine and dealing well with life, despite not having a steady man for the last few years.”
Cameron’s very frustrated with how often she has to remind her friends how great her life is, right down to telling them that she has $50 million in the bank and her pick of any man she wants.”
Hollywood loves an ‘It Girl’. We all do. Hot, young, sexy women who ride the zeitgeist wave of fame, selling movies, albums, beauty products and magazines.
Julia Roberts. Gwyneth Paltrow. Charlize Theron. Beyonce. Jessica Simpson. Pink. Victoria Beckham. Kim Kardashian. Giselle. Elle. Angelina Jolie. Kate Moss. Liz Hurley. Reese Witherspoon. Jennifer Lopez.
They’ve all captured endless media attention. Many still do. But after that initial rush, all these women have had kids. And thank heavens, because it’s saved them from the incessant mindless question, “So…do you want to be a mother some day?”
Of course, regardless of age, we prefer our celebrities to remain hot at all times, even after kids. Preferably, they should also appear sexy during pregnancy and within days of giving birth.
The pressure to be a ‘yummy mummy’ should not be underestimated. But the idea that you’ve somehow failed as a woman unless you’re a mother is an even more destructive and condescending crock.
Like any story that seems to be about celebrities, this one isn’t really. Cameron and Jennifer and Renee and Kylie are simply the famous examples of a stifling ‘Incomplete syndrome’ that affects every woman in her late 30s and early 40s.
I have several friends in their 40s who don’t have kids or husbands, and they’re all exasperated by society’s refusal to accept that they may be at peace with their lives. Happy even.
“If one more person earnestly tells me, ‘It’s not too late! There’s always donor eggs!’ I’ll lose it,” says one.
“The fact I’m divorced makes people less uneasy than if I’d never been married,” says another. “But the no-kid thing is always met by unspoken sympathy or condescension.”
Even in 2014, we’re just not comfortable with the idea of a woman being happy if she doesn’t have a child or a ring on it.
There’s no shame in wanting those things but by choice or design, it’s not the default for every woman. Sometimes life has different plans for you.
And to suggest that the next 40+ years of these women’s lives are somehow a second-rate consolation prize is an insult.
No need to send flowers to Cameron or Jennifer just yet.