Child-Free Hollywood Celebrities Open up About Their Choice Not to Have Children
Everyone has felt the pressure to do something that they really don’t want to do at some stage in their lives, and it’s certainly not a nice feeling. The pressure to have children is probably one of the most personally challenging of them all, especially if you have never had any intention of becoming a mother. Friends and family will probably always continue wondering and worrying over the lack of babies to coo and fuss over, even if they’ve given up asking.
It’s a whole new predicament if you are a child-free celebrity. They not only have well-meaning family and friends to fend off but the media as well. How many times have we seen tabloid speculation that Jennifer Aniston is pregnant?
“The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I am pregnant (for the bajillionth time… but who’s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children …” Aniston wrote in a July 2016 Huffington Post op-ed.
“Here’s where I come out on this topic: we are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We get to decide for ourselves what is beautiful when it comes to our bodies … We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own ‘happily ever after’ for ourselves.”
Another Hollywood actress who’s uterus has been scrutinised plenty of times over the years is Renee Zellweger. But she says she never had any intention of having babies of her own.
“Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don’t think like that,” she told the London Times in 2004. “I never have expectations like, ‘When I’m 19, I’m going to do this, and by the time I’ve hit 25, I’m going to do that’. I just take things as they come, each day at a time, and if things happen, all well and good. I just want to be independent and be able to take care of myself. Anything else is just gravy.”
Rashida Jones says she is finally okay with not having a family after starting off with a fairytale mindset.
“I had the full princess fantasy: the white horse, the whole being saved from my life, which is ridiculous,” she told the Guardian in 2014. “What do I want to be saved from? My life’s great! But it’s just this weird thing that’s been hammered into my head culturally: that’s the only way to succeed, that’s the only thing that counts for a woman. I’m happy, but the fact that I’m not married and don’t have kids—it’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I actually am OK with that, where I actually don’t feel like I’m some sort of loser.”
“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,” says Cameron Diaz. “A baby—that’s all day, every day for eighteen years,” she told Esquire in 2014. “Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision. I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother.”
Well, she’s not wrong.
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi admit that they’d be wonderful mothers, but again, the work involved seems like too much to bear.
“Honestly, we’d probably be great parents. But it’s a human being, and unless you think you have excellent skills and have a drive or yearning in you to do that, the amount of work that that is and responsibility—I wouldn’t want to screw them up! We love our animals,” she wrote in an essay for People in 2014.
Betty White is another famous woman who has chosen to remain child-free. “I love children,” Betty told Entertainment Tonight in 2015. “The only problem with children is they grow up to be people, and I just like animals better than people. It’s that simple.”
As a mother of four young humans who have just started school holidays, I positively agree with her! Children are a lot of work, and while it is considered a natural urge to fall pregnant and have lots of kids, it certainly isn’t for everyone.
Just as we are told to never ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless you can see the baby’s head crowning, we should never ask a woman if and when she’s planning on starting a family. She may have already tried and had her heart broken in the process. Or she may have never felt like she wanted them and doesn’t have to justify her reasons to anyone.
Either way, it’s no one else’s business but her own, and everyone else needs to respect that.