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Ok! Magazine May 20 2013_Child Free By Choice


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Quoted in an article discussing whether or not celebrities are selfish to choose not to have children

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Ok! Magazine May 20 2013_Child Free By Choice

  1. 1. Cameron Diaz claims she’s happyon the A-list, with her glitteringcareer, packed social calendar andbursting bank balance. ‘I reallylove my life,’ the 40-year-old starsays. But according to the courtof opinion, the actress couldn’tpossibly be happy with her lot because shedoesn’t have a husband and 2.4 kids.‘The media and society in general tendto follow the belief that it’s natural to be ina relationship and then settle down and havechildren,’ psychologist Danya Braunsteintells OK!. ‘This reinforces the attitude that it’snot “normal” to want to stay childless, andputs added pressure on people that there’ssomething wrong with them if they aren’table to have children or don’t want them.’Actress Portia de Rossi admits she andpartner Ellen DeGeneres once felt underthe pump to start a family.‘There comes some pressure in your mid-30sand you think, “Am I going to have kids soI don’t miss out on something that other peoplereally seem to love?”’ the 40-year-old Aussiesays. ‘Or is it that I really genuinely want todo this with my whole heart?’ But the actressrefused to cave into society’s expectations.‘I didn’t feel that my response was, “Yes” to thelatter. You have to really want to have kids andneither of us did,’ she explains. ‘So it’s just goingto be me and Ellen and no babies – but we’rethe best of friends and married life is blissful.’It isn’t just a Hollywood thing. In Australia,as in other industrialised countries, rates ofchildlessness are rising. Why then, are womenwho make this choice often maligned for it?‘Thejudgmentisaboutthechoicebeingseenasselfish,’clinicalpsychologistDrJanetHalltellsOK!.‘Allparentsexperiencethecompromisesin time and money availability andresent those that are childless bychoice as freewheelers who have noresponsibility or obligations to family.’But Dr Hall believes this is an unfairconclusion.‘Many men and women have simplynever wanted children and live a full‘Mum’isnotthewordforeveryone–butpreparetobejudgedOKornotOK?CHILDFREESELFISH?B MAY 27, 2013
  2. 2. OPINIONTheCREDITHEREPLEASElife without them. It’s as if they are “wired”to enjoy being childless,’ she tells OK!. ‘Somepeople actually don’t like children!’Comedian Chelsea Handler claims herdecision to stay child free is unselfish. ‘I don’tthink I’d be a great mother,’ the 38-year-old says.‘I don’t want to have a kid and have it raised bya nanny. I don’t have the time to raise a child.’Aussie pop star Ricki-Lee Coulter says shealso can’t squeeze a bub into her schedule.‘[The entertainment industry] is not really theclimate or environment to raise a kid in. Plus,it’snotsomethingIdesire,’the27-year-oldsingersays.‘I saw my aunties and my mum give upa part of themselves and their dreams to havekids. There were things they wanted to achievein life, but they had kids instead. I’m not sayingthat women who have kids can’t be successful,but it’s really hard, especially in my business.’Lackoftimeisonereasonsomewomenshunparenthood,accordingtothestudyChildlessnessin Australia. Undertaken by Dr BronwynHarman,lecturerintheSchoolofPsychologyandSocialScienceatPerth’sEdithCowanUniversity,theresearchlookedatwhypeoplechoosetonothavechildren.Ofthe330womensurveyed,250werevoluntarilychildfreeand80involuntarily.‘The main reason for not having childrenis, simply, they just don’t want them,’ saysDr Harman. ‘One analogy was it was likea Lamborghini: you might want to drive[one] but you don’t really want to own one.’Renée Zellweger, 44, agrees. ‘Motherhood hasnever been an ambition,’ she says. ‘My brotherhas two children now, so I’ve been playing auntRenée.It’schaos.Mumsoutthere,kudostoyou.’If there’s any celeb who’s been plagued bythe baby brigade, it’s Jennifer Aniston. The44-year-old star says the constant speculationover whether she’s ever going to have kids is‘narrow-minded’. ‘That doesn’t measure thelevel of my happiness or success in my life,in my achievements, in any of that,’ she says.While Jen may be playing down herdesireforbabiesnow,thestarhasadmitted‘MOTHERHOODHAS NEVER BEENAN AMBITION’BYCHOICESMUG?MAY 27, 2013
  3. 3. OPINIONThein the past that she wants to be a mum– or does she? Rumours swirled when shesplit from Brad Pitt in 2005 that the couplehad clashed over Jen’s reluctance to starta family. She vehemently denied the claimsand has been speaking out about herdream to be a mother ever since. Butis that because of a genuine desire,or is Jen just telling her female fanswhat they want to hear?Psychologist Danya Braunsteinthinks it makes Jen more relatable.‘JenniferAnistonhashadadifficulttimeinrelationshipsinthepastandmostlikelypeoplefeelasenseofsympathyforherandwanthertoachieveherdreams,’shesays.‘Thefactthatshehasbeenquotedsayingthatshewouldliketohavechildrenbutwon’tbedisappointedifitdoesn’thappenshowsamatureandacceptingattitudetowardsherlife.’Ofcourse,therearethosecelebswhosaytheycan’timaginelifewithouttheirbabies.‘MotherhoodisthebestthingI’veeverexperienced,’JessicaSimpsongushes,whileKourtneyKardashiansays,‘Ilovebeingamum.IneverthoughtIwouldloveitthismuch.It’sbetterthanIeverimagined.’Eventough-talkingPinkmeltsatthementionofhertoddler,Willow.‘Havingachildisthebestthingthatcouldhappen,’shesays.‘Ididn’tknowyoucouldloveanythingthismuch.’JenniferLopezagrees:‘They’resoprecioustoyouandtheymakeeverythingbetterinmylife.’Aussie TV presenter Yumi Stynes may doteon her two daughters, but she refuses to buyinto the idea that her life would be nothingwithout them.‘I’ve never understood people who say theydidn’t know about love until they had children,’the 37-year-old says. ‘It must be incrediblyannoying to hear people say they didn’t knowwhat love was until they had children if you’reone of the many people out there who doesn’thave kids of your own.’ActressHelenMirrensaysshehadanopenapproachtomotherhood.‘Itwasnotmydestiny.Ikeptthinkingitwouldbe,waitingforittohappen,butitneverdid,andIdidn’tcarewhatpeoplethought,’saysthe67-year-oldstar,whoadmitsitwasonly‘boringoldmen’whoeverharassedheraboutherposition.‘Andwhenevertheywent,“What?Nochildren?Well,you’dbettergetonwithit,oldgirl”,I’dsay,“No!F---off!”’Prime Minister Julia Gillardwas just as defiant back in 2007when Senator Bill Heffernanclaimed the then-deputy Laborleader was unqualified to runthe country because she was‘deliberately barren’. Julia blastedher opponent for his comments:‘I don’t think Australian womenneed Bill Heffernan or anybody else togive them advice on how to live their lives.We’re pretty good at making our own choices.’So why is it so hard to accept that successfulwomen are fulfilled and happy, not flawedand missing out because they don’t have kids?Danya Braunstein thinks it’s down to society’sfocus on the fairytale that settling down willequal contentment. ‘Many people believe theywill be happier when they have a partner orwhen they have children, however – for some– achieving this only leads to disappointment,unhappiness and lack of fulfilment,’ she tellsOK!. ‘It’s important for people to be happywithin themselves to find life fulfilment andmake personal decisions that suit their goals.’‘Isn’t that on every girl’sradar? You’re born, andyou’re like, “I want to getmarried,”’ Kelly Osbournesays of her desire to donthe white dress. Equallyas open about her dreamto wed is Kim Kardashian.Speaking before herill-fated nuptials to KrisHumphries, she gushed,‘I’ve envisioned the wholething. What woman hasn’tthought about her weddingsince she was a little girl?’Even though her unionlasted just 72 days, she isalready considering saying‘I do’ for a third time, withcurrent beau Kanye West.But Heather Grahamsays a wedding isn’t on her‘to do’ list. ‘I’m not against[marriage]. I would liketo be with someone forthe rest of my life. But I’drather be happily singlethan unhappily married,’she explains. ‘What’s funnyis that if I’d been a man,you would’ve said, “Wow,you managed to never getmarried – good for you.”But because I’m a woman,it’s, “What’s the matter?What’s wrong with you?”’Psychologist Niral Shahsays, ‘Some women are notwired to get married, takeresponsibilities or havechildren. It’s almost [like]men not wanting to dothe same. The difference,however, is you’re a womanand it’s an understoodnorm that women arerequired to do all these! It isunfair, but this is the truth.’NO HURRY TO WEDBabiesaren’ttheonlythingssomestarsdon’twant;theycouldtakeorleaveahusband,too!‘CAREER’IS ANEXCUSETalk show host WendyWilliams says she missed nothaving a man and a childI’m not proud of this,but I judge womenwho say they aren’tinterested in havingchildren. I just do.And the fact thatChelsea Handlerrecently admittedthat she has nodesire to bea mother makesme think she’ssuspect. Along withbeing the greatestspecies inthe world, womenhave an amazingability tomulti-task andbe working peopleand mothers,so Chelsea’sexplanation thatshe wants to puther career first is, to me,an excuse. I had a careerbefore I had my family. Thecareer afforded me a lot ofthings, but what I was missingwas a man and a child.I REALLYLOVEMY LIFEActress Cameron Diaz says theplanet doesn’t need any morekids – we have plenty already!I think women are afraid to say thatthey don’t want children because theyare going to get shunned, but I thinkthat’s changing now, too. I have moregirlfriends who don’t have kids thanthose that do. And honestly? We don’tneed any more kids. We have plenty ofpeople on this planet. Having childrenchanges your life drastically, and I reallylove my life. Children aren’t the onlythings that bring you gratification andhappiness, and it’s easier to give lifethan to give love, so I don’t know. Thatkind of change would have to be eithervery well thought out, or a total mistake– a real oops! I have three nieces anda nephew. I know what it’s like. I’vechanged the diapers; I’ve seen threebirths, so I totally get the whole picture.I don’t think it’s a compromise to havechildren – I don’t think it’s a compromisenot to – I think it’s just a different choice.NOTOK!IT’SOK!TEXTBYOLIVIAO’BRIENPHOTOGRAPHSBYPICTUREMEDIAWHATABOUT CHILD-FREE FELLAS?George Clooney hasadmitted ‘fatherhoodwasn’t for me’ and that hispriority is his work, yetno-one is feeling sorryfor the childless52-year-old!MODELMUMWhile successfullyjuggling both work andbeing a mum to Flynn,Miranda Kerr hasrecently cut downon her modellingcareer36 I WWW.OKMAGAZINE.COM.AU