• Thu, Sep 1 2011

Celebrating 40+ Women As ‘Sex Symbols’ Is Bad For Your Fertility, Ladies

More and more women are trying to conceive at later ages and The New York Times has singled out exactly three culprits: Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, and Salma Hayek. These 40+ actresses not only have the gall to claim themselves as “sex symbols” well beyond their 20s but also to have babies and still be regarded as sexy and gorgeous all at the same! This is unacceptable because seeing such gorgeous older women with babies tells other women that their eggs aren’t aging. Right? Not really, no.

In The Times mockery of older women trying to conceive, they single out the celebration of older actresses as the reason why women don’t understand their own fertility:

The unreality is reinforced by Hollywood, much to the growing dismay of many obstetricians and gynecologists. Not only are stars in their 40s now celebrated as bona fide sex symbols (Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Salma Hayek, the list goes on), but judging from media coverage, they seem to be reproducing like rabbits.

“All women see is celebrities over 40 getting pregnant,” lamented Shari Brasner, a New York obstetrician and gynecologist.

The piece goes on to collect pitiful quotes from women, slaves to their pilates and diet regimes, who don’t understand that they’re encountering conception problems in their 40s. The article not only depicts older successful career women in a poor, pathetic light — reducing them to vanities about hair and teeth and the tautness of skin — but also suggests that the acknowledgement of older, beautiful actress is a bad epidemic among women.

I suppose under those sentiments, women of 40 should just be seen unglamorous, unsexy, undesirable, and completely barren. That’s perhaps what we really we should think of them, right?

Share This Post:
  • Pingback: Kate Winslet Breaking The Unsexy Mother Stereotype One Dress At A Time | Mommyish

  • Todra

    How dare women think of ourselves as sexy past a certain age. What’s the world coming to? I saw a candid shot of Demi Moore dancing at a club and she looked crazy sexy. You know what the headline said? Something along the lines of “desperate attempt at being sexy AT HER AGE.” WTH??? The media really wants to portray sexy as something that only belongs to 20 year olds. Youth may be theirs exclusively, but sexy knows no age.

  • Pingback: Labor Pains: Sure, I Was Happy To Be Pregnant – But I Missed My Barren BFFs | Mommyish

  • Christy

    While of course, women at any age can be sexy, I get the point….it has now become a common belief that having babies in your forties is perfectly fine (medically-speaking). Except it’s not fine. Any pregnancy over 35 is automatically deemed high-risk and with good reason. I remember being 30 and telling some older women how bad I wanted a baby and they were like “oh, you have all the time in the world to get pregnant. Enjoy your thirties” Wtf?

    Meanwhile, my sister had a baby at 41 and her son has a genetic disorder (he’s missing about 25 genes) that may very well have been caused by her (and her husband’s) advanced age. Having children that late in life is not to be taken lightly. If you want a baby, do it while you are still relatively young and the risk for such things is much lower.

  • Pingback: Older Moms Are At No Greater Risk For Postpartum Depression | Mommyish

  • Pingback: Profiling 40-Year-Old Hopeful Moms As Clueless Infertile Yoga Bunnies Has To Stop

  • Loes

    This whole situation could be fixed with subsidized daycare. Many women feel the need to wait until they’re financially stable before having children because daycare costs $1,000 a month. Unfortunately we’re going to see our population dwindle until as a society we decide to prioritize (and pay for) population growth.

    • Makabit

      Agree we should have daycare, but the United States is at replacement rate, in terms of fertility, and we have a healthy inflow of immigrants.

      The idea that somehow women just aren’t having babies that accompanies these freak-out articles doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. We have a higher fertility rate than nearly all European countries with much better safety nets for families.

  • Lila

    The media wants women to think that if we’re not causing bon3rs everywhere we go, we’re worthless. Women and girls need to hear the message that there’s more to life than sexiness and gaining the approval of men. There’s a good chance that someday you won’t be sexy and what will you have then if you haven’t developed other values?

  • Ally1

    What kind of negative, mysogynistic article is this? Are they joking? Women can be sexy at any age. Especially, if you are healthy, intelligent, classy, and attractive. I see alot of women in their 20′s are so not attractive. Alot of yoing women lack style and dress skanky for lack of a better word. Many young movies stars seem lost and in trouble all the time. Many of them are still trying to find out who they are at that young age. They don’t have a real identity yet. Older women are more secure with themselves and know who they are. That is sexy in itself. Confidence, intelligence, & class. As far as fertility is concernced, I know many women who had babies older and never had any problems. I dont think the problem is that big. If you are really concerned start early but they have tests you can take early on to see if everything is alright.

    • Ellen

      Ally- yes, they are joking. the Times article is the one blaming actresses who get pregnant later in life for other women’s misguided notions about fertility. The title and content of this article are meant to be sarcastic.

  • Manderlay

    I had my baby at age 38 and my paperwork was labelled “advanced maternal age”. I ended up getting a barrage of extra treatment though…was offered all sorts of genetic testing and etc. I ended up with a perfectly healthy baby and a completely problem-free pregnancy. (Not a day of morning sickness.) I know women 10 years my junior who went through much more difficult experiences with pregnancy. I also got pregnant extremely quickly. Perhaps I was just ‘lucky’. But it might have had something to do with the fact that I eat a very healthy diet, do not smoke and rarely consume alcohol. I have kept my weight healthy and have no issues with diabetes, high blood pressure or other chronic illness. IF you adapt a healthy lifestyle in your 20s and 30s, you can remain “youthful” for an extra decade or two (or more!) Age is a factor. (I decided that I would not go for a second child based on my age.) But I would rather see a woman wait awhile and be truly ready for the sacrifices required for parenthood than rush into parenting without forethought just because the ‘meter is ticking’.