• Mon, Sep 23 2013

Alarming Percentage Of Parents View Celebrity Parents As ‘Inspiration’

Daniel Deme/WENN.com

Daniel Deme/WENN.com

If you want yet more evidence that we’ve become increasing isolated as people raising children (the anti-it takes a village, if you will) I urge you to consider why a large percentage of parents view celebrities — generally the most removed people from planet earth next to astronauts — as parenting “inspiration.”

Daily Mail reports that an unspecified number (suspicious) of parents surveyed by the supermarket chain, Asda “revealed that 86 per cent of mothers look up to celebrity parents as inspiration.” Topping off the list was Victoria Beckham, working mother of four who seems more aware of celebritty nonsense than most. Including Victoria, the list reads from top to bottom:

1.   Victoria Beckham

2.   Angelina Jolie

3.   Holly Willoughby

4.   Princess Diana

5.   The Queen

6.   Peter Andre

7.   David Beckham

8.   Karren Brady

9.   Non-celebrity mothers

10.  Myleene Klass

At least “non-celebrity mothers” made the top 10 list. Truthfully, I didn’t even expect them to rank considering that celebrity parents drive a considerable chunk of our country’s tabloid sales.

There are some deeply admirable names on that list, specifically Princess Diana and Angelina Jolie who don’t forget confronted the possibility of breast cancer with six kids to think about. But the admiration for celebrity parents in general is incredibly troublesome and grossly eclipses those true parenting heros among us. Mere mortals who are making it happen one day at a time with no money in the bank, no support system, no nice house to go home to, no childcare, and nothing but disdain from our culture.

Celebrity parents undoubtedly must navigate their own one percent challenges, but the notion that their quotes about work-life balance and how tough it is to be a working mom resemble any flecks of plebeian inspiration are laughable given the actual struggles that define in day-to-day parenting.

Say what you want about the Daily Mail readers, but a quick perusal of the comments revealed this perspective bomb:

inspirationalmom

Hell yeah, she is. That’s the mom I want to look to when I feel like I’ve hit a wall.

Furthermore, I can match that with a pull from our very own comment threads in response to our Anonymous Mom with a cousin hogging all the family support:

singleworkingmom

Please make your own list of inspirational parents in the comment threads.

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  • NicknamesAreDull

    My mom is pretty inspirational to me. She’s a chemist, which taught me that I can be whatever I want. She’s been unbelievably supportive of all of her children. When my brother told everyone that he identified as male, she told him that she didn’t lose a daughter, she found the son she was supposed to have, and she’s been his rock for the last 5 years. I feel like she raised us to be strong people, and it makes me happy that she’s never been judgmental towards any choices we make/made.

    My mom is the person I want to be. Even with her faults, she’s an amazing woman.

  • Momma425

    My grandmothers are both inspirational mothers and my heroes.

    One of them raised seven children- the first four of them being within the same 5 years of age. Grandpa worked at the mill and was a volunteer firefighter- meaning Grandma was a home with all these kids on her own. They didn’t purchase a washing machine until the first 4 were in middle school. Grandpa built their home and remodeled it later- meanng a rage chunk of time that grandma was raising these kids, she did so in half a freakin house. Additionally, grandma held a full time job when her kids got to be school-aged, and volunteered at her church. When she got grand kids, she volunteered in their classrooms (she lived on the other side of the state, but would have volunteered in mine too if not for the 3 hour drive), and in the school’s cafeterias. Even in her last days, grandma was up and out of her death bed making pies for her church to raffle off. I don’t know how she kept it all together. I would lose my mind if I walked in her shoes, and I miss this woman every single day.

    My other grandma suffered the loss of her first born child at 18 months old. Grandma went on to have two more kids (my mom and uncle). She was a SAHM, which is something I truly admire in others because it is just not something I am cut out for. She is one of the most independent, self-sufficient women I know. In addition to being an amazing mom, she is a strong and resilient person. She and grandpa got divorced after over 30 years of marriage when she caught him cheating on her with a woman who is my mother’s age. That happened when I was born, and she was furious and HATED him for years. And yet growing up, my siblings and I knew nothing of this. What we did know is grandma and grandpa came to all of our sporting events, all of our recitals, all of our birthday parties- and they sat together and smiled and got along. I grew up thinking divorce wasn’t too bad because hey, grandma got through it and she and grandpa see each other allllllll the time and she isn’t even upset anymore. When mom was sick? Grandma took us for a sleepover without having to be asked. Plus, she taught me how to make a pie, and she was hilariously critical of my ex and was absolutely right about all of her critiques. And now? She meets my sister and I at the brewery happy hour every month.

    My grandma’s are the best parents I know and I love them both. Couldn’t ask for better role models and support figures for my life.

  • Gangle

    I’m kind of sad that any of the celebrities were that high up on the list, even the ‘admirable’ mums like Angelina Jolie or Princess Diana.. not that I necessarily think that they are bad mums, but how much does anyone even know about their parenting skills outside of a few orchestrated family shots on holidays and some interviews on tv or in the magazines on the subject? When I think of mothers that I admire, I think of my sister and sister-in-law, my mum, my friends, my grandmothers and my aunts.

  • Amanda Rene Slinger

    As sad as this list is, I still have hope because her snottiness Mrs. Paltrow did not crack the top ten, Merica!!!

  • Evelyn

    If we are saddened that non-celebrity mums barely got a look in please remember the Daily Fail making a study by interviewing shoppers in ASDA is already a suspicious study without delving further. There is nothing wrong with ASDA or ASDA shoppers but it is a big British supermarket chain at the very cheap end of the market (and currently owned by Walmart, I have no idea if they compare to their American sister company so that may not be much of an indication for demographics for you). By interviewing at ASDA exclusively you are ensuring that the only people interviewed are low income families. Yes, that doesn’t make the people there any worse or better than the rest of the population, but it does skew the results, particularly if they conducted their interviews at a particular time of day. I think if they had interviewed in Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrison’s and Waitrose then each of those would have provided a different demographic to the study.

    On top of that the Daily Mail is actually a fairly dubious paper with a reputation for badly conducted studies that are then wilfully misreported. Yes, the Mail is one of the main papers in Britain but most British people dismiss stories that originate from the Mail as being a bit … iffy.

    • Muggle

      I’m just surprised that the Daily Fail actually ran a story on something in the UK, as opposed to some sordid child abuse story in the US. I swear the Fail reports more on shit going on in the US than anything else. American child abusers, American serial killers, American freak shows, American celebrities… America America America. They report on America more than American papers do!

    • Evelyn

      If only, but while they do love stories set in America (decreasing the chances of someone calling them on bad reporting) they are happy to do UK stories if it involves twisting facts to shame teachers, police officers, doctors, nurses, posh people, any woman with an education or anyone else in a trusted authority position over their working class roots. Of course when they don’t do that they shame the poor and uneducated, particularly anyone on benefits. When I think about it they really are an equal opportunities hate rag.

    • TwentiSomething Mom

      So its our version of the NY Post

  • LiteBrite

    I don’t look to celebrities for inspiration because I don’t move in the same world they do. Most of the time they have money and can afford nannies and private schools and personal chefs and sorts of things that I can’t. So their lifestyle and thus their perspective on parenting is usually going to be different than mine. I don’t mean that as a judgment against celebrities – I’m not going to denigrate someone for their success – but my life will never be theirs.

    (Plus, as someone else said, how much do you know about their lives outside of the paparazzi shots you see in the media or an interview with Conan O’Brien?)

    I do, however, look to people in my life who have had major influence in my life: friends, co-workers, sisters, even my own mother and grandmother.

  • G.S.

    Just sort of throwing this out there, but concerning celebrity parents being inspirational, what about Brooke Shields, since she brought a lot of attention to Postpartum Depression? Because even though celebrities don’t really have the same problems that the poor, peasant folk do, depression and mental illness can happen to anyone and if a celebrity or well-known and admired person can talk about how a mental illness works, how it affects them, spread awareness, and just say “no, you’re not a freak if you feel this way or have this,” then that’s a good thing.

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    No Gwenyth Paltrow?

    • Evelyn

      Anyone who tried to follow Gwenyth Paltrow’s example would be unlikely to shop in ASDA. They pretty much specialize in the cheap, processed food that she hates.

  • That’s Hedley

    You would not even believe all of the things my grandmother endured. Someone could literally make a movie out of it:

    My grandfather died when he was 38, leaving her with 3 kids
    She instantly became THE FARMER, tending to the fields and livestock
    My uncle dropped out of high school to help run the farm (her biggest regret in life)
    Her sister (and best friend) and brother – in – law were tragically killed and she took in their 2 very young sons
    Then her father passed away
    Then just years and years of struggle to keep it all going and keep everyone fed and in shoes

    I just can’t even wrap my head around all of that. The closest I have come is hearing a story she told near the end of her life, when dementia seemed to have brought up old memories. She said one night she woke up in the middle of the night and remembered she forgot to bring the dairy cow in. If she didn’t go get her, the kids would not have any milk for breakfast, and some mornings milk was all they had. So she grabbed a flashlight and hopped in her truck to go out to the pasture and find the dairy cow. But the truck died. She said there wasn’t anyone in the world who could help her. They were all dead and she had a house full of sleeping kids. She said she cried and cried walking the cow back to the barn and it was the most alone she had ever felt. I will NEVER forget her telling me this.

    This women was / is my biggest inspiration for shouldering SO MUCH and always making sure her kids had what they needed. Her home was impeccable, her food was delicious, and there wasn’t a thing in the world she wasn’t the best at. And she was just so loving and so strong. When I feel sorry for myself because “Its hard” or “I’m so stressed” I can bring myself back down by thinking of her. You think it sucks that your baby isn’t latching right or your husband doesn’t help as much as you want or your mother – in – law slighted you in some way? No. It sucks that you have to get up in the middle of the night and walk a dairy cow in so your kids can eat before school. Or that your kids are excited for Thanksgiving and Christmas because they get to eat meat on those days. That sucks. And my grandmother is my inspiration.

  • CW

    This is clearly a British list because I’ve never heard of #3, #6, #8, or #10 and I spend a lot of time stuck in doctor’s & therapist’s waiting rooms glancing through tabloids. An American list would probably have Mayim Bialik on it as she has a popular parenting blog.

  • T

    OMG….I’m way flattered…literally sitting at my desk blushing…

  • EmmaFromÉire

    Silly as this list is, I do quite like that Peter Andre made it.