Women in the spotlight do a lot to promote women’s issues, particularly pushing the line between career and motherhood. There is no doubt that society in general, and attitudes towards motherhood specifically, are highly influenced by the actions and opinions of women that we see in the press. If you’re choosing to put yourself out there and go on record about child-rearing, motherhood, career and family … you’re opening yourself up to both praise and criticism. And I would hope that famous mothers would go on record in a one-of-the-sisterhood manner. Conceding that motherhood can be tough. And that the balancing act is tricky. Even more so if you cannot afford the paid help that many in the press can.
The first in a series of posts about famous women and what they say about motherhood.
— Gisele Bundchen —
I have a love/hate relationship with what Gisele has to say about motherhood.
She’s notoriously pro breast-feeding:
“Some people here think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think, ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child, when they are so little?’ There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.”
Which is great and appreciated by many … except that nursing doesn’t always work out the way that mothers anticipate it will. An interesting BBC article points out that throughout history, there have always been children who weren’t nursed, due to maternal death, the need to work or the physical inability to do so. And that the non-boob options today are far superior to the wine and honey, soups and eggs, milk soaked bread or donkey milk that infants used to be fed (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25629934).
Taking such a harsh stance when you haven’t seen the other side of the coin isn’t particularly supportive of the sisterhood.
“I think a lot of people get pregnant and decide they can turn into garbage disposals. I was mindful about what I ate, and I gained only 30 pounds.”
A little harsh, Gisele.
‘It didn’t hurt in the slightest.” –Gisele has said about childbirth
Well, I wouldn’t put it exactly that way. While I’m sure that the experience is easier for some than for others, saying that it didn’t hurt in the slightest, may be a biiiiit of a misrepresentation. Plus, it sets up other women for failure and disappointment and gives false expectations of what the experience is.
“When Benjamin eats broccoli, he thinks it’s dessert!”
That is great that your kids love broccoli. We’re all striving for that. But I’m not sure that I can convince my kids that broccoli is dessert and keep it that way. Unless we move to a cave and start up our own cult-like community.
You gotta give her some credit for nursing in public. It’s something that should be socially accepted and she’s certainly helping to push the boundaries of acceptance by doing so. Buuut ….this is probably mis-representative of 99.999% of the population’s motherhood experience. It’s definitely the for-instagram/facebook/twitter version of the breastfeeding experience. Although I do multi-task while nursing … I’m generally much less glamorous while doing so. But I guess she’s a supermodel and I’m in tech … so that’s her equivalent of my trying to find a bug in my code with one hand on the keyboard while nursing. So point taken, I guess.<
I do think that Gisele is trying to promote positive things for motherhood. But I think that she injects too much showmanship and overdoes the perfection lens while doing so. To be truthful about motherhood — you have to admit some self-doubt or some weakness to be truly believable. Unless she is a superhero. Which she might be. But not a warm-and-fuzzy one.