Pregnancy

Are Celebrity Moms Superhuman?

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It all started when Gisele Bundchen told the world that her childbirth “didn’t hurt in the slightest”. Then we learned that Jessica Alba “didn’t make a sound” and was “really Zen” through her labor. And Busy Philips pulled that baby out of her womb with her own bare hands. Now, Ivanka Trump is bragging tweeting about going to work on her due date. Are these celeb mommas some type of superwoman subspecies?

Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing mothers out there who have equally breezy labor and birth stories. There are also women who are put on bed-rest in the weeks leading up to their labor. There are women who have birthing horror stories that I can only begin to imagine. None of these people are failing at childbirth or pregnancy, they are simply having a harder time of it.

I think Koa really hit the nail on the head when she used the word “bragging” to describe Ivanka’s tweet. Every time I read a story about how intensely easy pregnancy or labor is for a celebrity, I think of middle school girls bragging at the lunch table. I realize that they aren’t saying it with this tone, but all I hear is, “Look how totally awesome I am. Having a baby is like, way easy. I so don’t understand what everyone is making such a big deal about. I mean, whatevs.” Seriously, that’s the voice I hear in my head. It’s obnoxious.

These “It was so easy!” statements make it seem like other women are whimps or weak for not being able to pull of “really Zen” while they’re pushing a ten pound infant out of their hoo-ha. It’s not that I want celebrities to pretend that they had a rough time, even if their labor was easy. Personally, I didn’t have a whole lot of terrifying surprises when I gave birth to my daughter. But I also don’t think that I walked around going, “Oh, no big whoop. Just another Thursday, ya know?” I said that I had a great experience and that I knew I was lucky. Is even the smallest bit of humility too much to ask?

It’s not just the pregnancy stories. It used to be that moms were allowed to take time to recuperate after giving birth. Now, we have models walking down the runway weeks after their deliveries. We have celebrities pictured on beaches or smiling in US Weekly as quickly as they can squeeze back into their pre-bump jeans. The message that regular mothers get is, “It’s not that hard to bounce back!” In reality, yes, it can be. This is part of the reason why we loved Pink and her post-baby reality!

Celebrity mothers are not a special breed. They are just like everyone else. And not everyone needs to be completely silent during their birth or go to work on their delivery date. If they’re part of the blessed group without a single complication, good for them! But they don’t need to rub it in everyone’s faces. I’m glad you’re so dedicated to your job, Ivanka, but not everyone gets that luxury. And it doesn’t make you awesome, it makes you lucky.

(Photo: FashionIndie)

1 Comment

  1. Kim Foster MD

    July 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Oh, I so hear you on this. It couldn’t possibly be more annoying for me to hear celeb moms get all self-congratulatory on how easy childbirth/motherhood is. Gisele is particularly irritating, with her supercilious talk about making breastfeeding mandatory. I am a big breastfeeding advocate (I’m a family doctor) and I breastfed my own two kids (with difficulty!), but I also recognize that breastfeeding is SUPER challenging and that it may not be the best choice for every mom.

    I find it much more refreshing when celebrity moms are realistic and humble (and recognize that they have resources that us mere mortals don’t necessarily have).

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