Pop Culture

Quit Pitying Cameron Diaz Because She Is Proudly Childfree By Choice

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cameronWhile I technically can’t identify with being childfree by choice since I have always wanted kids, I can identify with all of the annoying questions that people ask you again and again, thinly veiled as small talk. Before I was married, it was, “Are you seeing anyone? Is it serious?” Once my husband and I were officially married, the next set of questions began, “Are you thinking of having kids soon?”

I totally understand that many of these questions are part of polite conversation. But there is also the other side of the coin—where a person is asked multiple forms of the same question by well-meaning friends and family members, until it eventually makes them want to FREAK THE FUCK OUT at the thought of defending their lifestyle choices for the millionth time.

I can’t speak for Cameron Diaz, but since she is an amazingly beautiful starlet in the public eye, I can only imagine that she gets this a lot. In an interview for the August issue of Esquire magazine, Cameron proudly admits what is really no one’s business but is quite obvious if you have a brain in your head: She is “childless by choice.”

“I like being forty-one,” admitted the actress. “I love it. So much s–it just falls away. Fear, mostly. It’s the best age. That’s when a woman knows how to work things, or she doesn’t care about that anymore. You just stop being afraid. You don’t worry about what men think. You just don’t worry that time registers anything awful.”

Perhaps this acquired fearlessness is why Diaz decided to share the reasons behind her decision to opt out of motherhood. Of course it’s nobody’s business but Diaz’s, but her revelation just might quiet the endless commentary and speculation that come with celebrity status and…motherhood and potential motherhood.

I know there is really no reason to pity Cameron since she has an unnaturally beautiful face and a super fancy Hollywood life, but I can identify with the fact that it is annoying to feel scrutinized about whatever stage you are at in your life. Pre-kids, and before I even planned to have a baby, I felt itchy and judged whenever that question would come up, especially when posed by pregnant friends with a beatific smile on their face. Maybe I’m an insecure asshole, or maybe I’m just a normal person who experiences insecurity. It happens.

The point is that Cameron’s childfree status is truly no one’s business, but she was kind enough to proudly share her message and put rumors to rest. She added, “It’s so much more work to have children. To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for—I didn’t take that on. That did make things easier for me. A baby— that’s all day, every day for eighteen years.”

Only time will tell how the media reacts to this information, but I firmly believe that Cameron should be celebrated for her honesty. If you don’t want children, then you shouldn’t have them. There’s nothing worse than choosing to have a child for the wrong reasons because I can tell you from personal experience that the child will definitely suffer down the road.

Cameron is smart. Cameron is proudly childfree. Cameron’s uterus is nobody’s business.

(Image: Facebook)

43 Comments

  1. noodlestein

    July 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    At 37, being unmarried, I can definitely identify with being exasperated about getting the same quesitons over and over and over. Plus, there’s a level of judgement there, as well as condescension. Oh, you’re not married yet? Do you want kids? Well, you’d better get on that, huh? Thanks asshole, because it definitely hadn’t occured to me that my window to have kids is narrowing as time goes on! But hey, you know what will help with that? MOAR PRESSURE! Ugh.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      July 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      So what you’re saying is that it never goes away? I mean, I already kind of figured that out, but I’m getting pretty tired of going to weddings and having my uncle ask me if I’m “taking notes” (on an event that would, for me, be trading roughly $30K for at least a day of pure misery, given how little I like large social gatherings and having to wear nice clothes).

    • noodlestein

      July 9, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Nope, nope, never goes away. Not that I’ve found, anyway. Happy un-birthday! :

    • tinajclarke

      July 4, 2014 at 1:32 am

      My Uncle
      Joshua just got an almost new white Kia Rio Hatchback only from working
      part-time off a home computer. try this R­e­x­1­0­.­C­O­M­

  2. meteor_echo

    July 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I don’t really think those questions are even part of a polite conversation. There are so many topics to make small talk about, aside from “are you even planning to stick to conventional life events, or are you one of those monsters who don’t?”.
    Also, anyone who judges the childfree folks can go swallow a box of Legos.

    • Megan Zander

      July 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Or step on them. One at a time.

    • meteor_Whoricorn_echo

      July 4, 2014 at 12:31 am

      Or fall into them, ass-first.

    • Lackadaisical

      July 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      According to child free friends who lack a dangly thing between their legs as supposed small talk goes it is constant and relentless. When the victim replies that they are happy without kids they also get a smug smile and a “you’ll see, you’ll change your mind” or a pitying look that says “I know you are saying that because you aren’t fertile or can’t find a man who will give you the babies all women crave”. Not only that but on many women’s or society issues that touch on kids and youth my child free friends are often shushed because not having kids makes them apparently incapable of understanding. Basically they feel they are treated like a little child who says she will be a space pirate when she grows up or has intruded into a serious grown up conversation.

      Strangely male friends with no kids don’t get the same treatment as their testicles don’t belong to society, although they do get told they don’t understand anything relating to children like the child free women.

    • noodlestein

      July 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      So. Much. This. When I tell people that sure, I’d like to get married and have kids, but that if that doesn’t happen, I’ll still have a wonderful, complete life, they give me the saddest, most pitying look ever. I mean, sorry if you lie to yourself and/or your friends, but personally don’t do that. Really frustrating!

    • AE Vorro

      July 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm

      For the record, that’s a great attitude, on your part!

    • noodlestein

      July 7, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks!

    • AE Vorro

      July 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      Weirdly enough, my husband I get a small amount of push-back in equal doses. His uncle tried to convince him to reverse his vasectomy (thanks Uncle Chuck, if he hadn’t made his mind up, he probably wouldn’t have had surgery. On his genitals). And occasionally my mom’s friends tell me how cute I’d look with a baby. As if babies were handbags or haircuts. I think that fact that I’m nearing 40 will probably make the questions fall away. Fingers crossed…

    • Lackadaisical

      July 3, 2014 at 6:32 pm

      Oh, good grief! As if he treated the vasectomy like choosing whether to wear the blue or the red tie today, or as if your husband is a child who doesn’t know what he wants to do with his balls!

      Yes, perhaps you would look “cute” with a baby, but why does that mean you have to have one? Looking good with a kid (which is just a bizarre concept) or being good at handling them has nothing to do with your freedom to choose. I hate how my child free friends feel they have to claim that they would make terrible parents if they choose child free just to get people of their backs. No they wouldn’t, they are sensible people who are able to love, they would be as good a parent as anyone else … they just don’t choose to be. Why do child free people have to pretend to be incompetent buffoons who would accidentally put the baby in the washing machine with all the dirty clothes or forget to feed it for days just because they have no desire to be parents. If someone put a gun against their heads and forced them to have and raise a child I suspect they would be just as good and loving a parent as I am, but that has absolutely nothing to do with it as they don’t have to.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      July 3, 2014 at 6:56 pm

      It really sucks having to explain anything at all, but some of your childfree friends might actually be truly terrible hypothetical parents. I strongly suspect that I wouldn’t “accidentally” put the baby in the washer or “forget” to feed it–I believe that I would be fully capable of doing such acts intentionally and maliciously because I don’t believe I have that capacity for unconditional love. However, since there is such a stigma against the childfree in general, I fall back on mumblings of perceived incompetence because I feel like I’d be failing a community of otherwise well-intentioned, likeminded individuals–obviously if one of us is an infanticidal monster, all must be, so lock ’em all up just to be safe!

      Bottom line: I totally agree with you that it’s none of anybody’s business why childfree people are childfree. It doesn’t matter what the reasons are; they are perfectly valid regardless.

    • Lackadaisical

      July 3, 2014 at 7:25 pm

      That’s fair enough. There are people who would be struggle to cope with the emotional roller coaster of parenting or who wouldn’t feel the emotional roller coaster at all. However, so long as they aren’t parents and harming their child I still think of it as nobody’s business and I think no less of them. I am not saying that all child free people would automatically get a mother of the year award and would find it easy, but I also think that those of us with kids shouldn’t put so much pressure and stigma on them that they have to insult themselves to fit in with our perceptions of family choices. You know yourself better than anyone else can and if you feel that is how you would react to parenting then your decision sounds a sensible and responsible one and I respect your self awareness. Having said that if you chose to go for permanent sterilisation because you really, really don’t want a child regardless of what kind of parent you would be then I still understand that decision as it is your choice and I believe you are the only one who has a say in something like that.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      July 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm

      It is truly awesome to hear that someone who does have kids gets it! Life would be so much easier on everyone if the prevailing attitude were, “You do you, I’ll do me, and as long as neither one of us is harming anyone else, we can all live happily!”

    • SunnyD847

      July 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm

      I could not give any logical, articulate reason for why I wanted kids. I just knew I did. No one made me justify or explain my decision, why should child free people have to explain theirs?

    • AE Vorro

      July 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      Amen, sister.

    • TheMightySquirrel

      July 4, 2014 at 8:44 am

      I love you.

      Can I carry you around with me in a rucksack so that you can answer this for me every time some idiot tries to tell me what I would or wouldn’t be good at? Soooo tiring.

      I can’t pay much, but you can have kitten snuggles and I make great sandwiches. 🙂

    • meteor_Whoricorn_echo

      July 4, 2014 at 12:33 am

      When I hear that particular bingo, I’m like “Nah, I’m just too much into anal. The boyfriend doesn’t mind either!”
      Suddenly they scoot away, to never open their gaping maws again.

  3. Megan Zander

    July 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    I read things like this and I think, ” man, my family is weird”.They flipped shit when I got engaged at 23 bc I was waaaay too young and begrudgingly accepted my getting married at 25. One day when I was almost 27 I mentioned to my aunt that we were thinking of trying to have kids soon. Her response? “Aren’t you a little old for that? I just figured you weren’t having them.”

    • Bethany Ramos

      July 3, 2014 at 3:07 pm

      I think that sounds cool! My family isn’t too bad – but I’ve had a few smug pregnant friends that I wanted to punch years ago…

    • Megan Zander

      July 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      The smug pregnant friend is a particular breed of obnoxious. I like to grit my teeth while secretly hoping they get ALL the stretch marks.

    • Bethany Ramos

      July 3, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      YES.

    • Lackadaisical

      July 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

      So was there a tiny window of a month when your family considered it the right time to marry and have kids? Nice that they didn’t badger you constantly about having them though

    • SunnyD847

      July 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      When we got married at 24, my husband and I told our families we would not be having kids for 5 years, so don’t ask. Everyone respected it and didn’t bother us.

    • Alice

      July 14, 2014 at 8:45 am

      I got married at 23, which while very much accepted was clearly deemed surprisingly young. Now I’m 28 and apparently my biological clock is ticking. My mother was still having babies into her late 30s, and my grandmother had my mother aged 46. I don’t mean to sound blasé, and in fact don’t intend to wait much longer (don’t tell my mum, she’ll piddle herself with excitement!), however this mythical ‘ideal age’ runs on a pretty tight timetable!

  4. Rodiansinger

    July 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Every time the subject of kids comes up with my mom and I mention that don’t plan on ever having any, her response is always “yeah that’s what I though to when I was your age.” She hasn’t given me any of the more typical “you’ll change your mind someday”, but I resent the implication that she is 100% absolutely positive that I’ll make the exact same mistakes that she did.

  5. 2Well

    July 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    I’m pretty sure it is the pattern in my family for there to be two sisters, one with kids and one without. My grandmother and great-aunt, my mom and aunt (though I had two aunts die young), and now there’s my sister and me. I don’t want to give birth to my own, and she’s way to young to be even thinking about it. On the one hand, she seems more likely to want the “conventional” route. On the other hand, she has about as much patience as I do.

  6. Ursi

    July 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I thought my family had let it go but just last week I got “you’ll have a child in a year, trust me” from someone in my family.

    Oh, okay. Well I hope someone is willing to adopt it.

    • meteor_Whoricorn_echo

      July 4, 2014 at 12:35 am

      “Wanna bet me $1000? Lemme go get a notary up in here!”

  7. NoMissCleo...JustMe

    July 3, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    Cameron is a beautiful, successful actress. She gets no pity from me, children or no children.

  8. NotTakenNotAvailable

    July 3, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I have a major girl-crush on Cameron right now. She didn’t have to say anything about her uterus to anyone, but I’m glad she did–maybe having one example of a successful woman who doesn’t have and doesn’t want offspring will help the rest of us childfree folks make some headway against the implicit tide of “you’ll never be happy until you conform!” Though I doubt it. Still nice to have an advocate, however.

  9. Lillith272

    July 3, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I’ve been lucky in that my mother raised me to make my career and my own life a priority first. She was terrified I’d run off with a boy as a teenager, put me on the pill as soon as I had my first period and always told me never to get married before 30. I never wanted kids, not even as a child.

    I got married at 32 and I know my mom secretly knocked on wood, thinking “nailed it.”
    My parents have no desires to be grandparents and have supported my decision all my life. So I’ve been really blessed in that regard. I’ve been lucky enough to not get bingoed all the time but when I do, I flatout say that I just don’t like kids, never did, never wanted them, and neither does my husband. I have no hesitations. They don’t like me either, so everyone’s happy.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      July 3, 2014 at 7:05 pm

      I told my dad last year that I had no intention of getting married, having kids, or even getting into another relationship again. He looked reflectively into the distance for a minute, then said, “Good for you!” Cheers to understanding parents!

  10. Spitting_mad

    July 3, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    While we’re on the subject, can we talk about Jennifer Aniston? I know she’s never said that she doesn’t want them, but she’s been playing the “Hee hee, maybe some day” card for actual decades now. Remember her Snl skit where she made fun of the paparazzi constantly asking her when she was going to have a baby? In 1999?

    She will have kids or not have kids when she’s good and damn ready. She’s 45 people, I think she can make up her own mind about this. Back off.

    • Bethany Ramos

      July 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      #teamaniston forever!

  11. Guy C

    July 4, 2014 at 4:39 am

    I think being asked whether there are any plans for children is normal.
    Having to defend a decision not to must be galling. Men will get asked the first one, but if I had said there were no plans for kids no one would have questioned my decision.

    I used to get asked all the time when my wife and I were going to have kids (this was before we got married. We got engaged and then found out bubs number 1 was coming less than a month later!)

    Here in Switzerland it is changing, but there is still an expectation that women can have a career all they like, but it is really just biding time till they revert to their natural role; that of being Mami and Hausfrau.

    • TheMightySquirrel

      July 4, 2014 at 8:53 am

      I agree, asking if somebody has children is just small talk – if somebody is interested in talking to you, they’ll probably want to sound out your background a little bit and family/children is generally quite a useful indicator of potential common interests – but that’s where it begins and ends.

      This is how it should go:
      Stranger: “Do you have any children?”
      Me: “No.”
      Stranger: “Hey, what about this crazy weather, eh?”
      (I’m from the UK. Talking about the weather is practically a national sport)
      It’s when small talk starts to veer towards ‘why not?/when?’ territory that I’m afraid I start getting a bit p*ssed off and I never have quite worked out the socially acceptable version of ‘none of your f*cking business’.

    • NotTakenNotAvailable

      July 4, 2014 at 10:52 am

      MightySquirrel, I would have no reason to take offense if conversations about children were limited to the dialogue you laid out, especially since I’m from Colorado, where discussing the weather can lead to fisticuffs! But that’s rarely the end of it here in the States, so I have had to go with the socially unacceptable, directly stated, “None of your fucking business.”

      Guy C, the ONLY people who should be allowed to ask about your plans for children are potential significant others, because learning early on whether or not they have the same feelings as you on the matter saves a lot of hurt and resentment down the road.

    • SunnyD847

      July 4, 2014 at 12:56 pm

      I agree. Conversation should be limited to existing kids. Being asked “why not?” or “any plans for kids?” could be awful for someone experiencing infertility or who had a miscarriage. It’s just too personal and invasive for small talk.

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