Pregnant Angelina Jolie on magazine cover“The media fetishizes celebrity motherhood to the extent that it’s practically become pornography,” writes Kiri Blakeley in Forbes.  Trashy celeb mags have whole website sections dedicated to famous moms and babies, as I noted in a live chat yesterday.

All this paints an outlandishly unrealistic portrait of motherhood, and adds to the pressure on all women to have kids.  “Who could blame regular women for beating themselves up for not living up to this ideal?” asks Blakeley.  “After all, it looks so easy!”

But, as Blakeley explains, it looks easy because celebs have a secret weapon that only money can buy: nannies.  “[M]ost celebrities not only have one, but one for each child.” Not to mention “the housekeepers, the stylists, the trainers, the cooks, and the plethora of personal assistants.”

The nannies are kept well-hidden, lest they detract from the image of a hands-on, always-together, celeb mom who can do it all.   

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As Jennifer Senior wrote in New York magazine’s recent ode to miserable parents, nothing will make a parent feel more like a wretched failure than unrealistic expectations of parental perfection. And what could more fuel the fantasy of motherhood being glamorous and stress-free than celebrities with multiple children acting like they do it all themselves — and work and look amazing and have a sexy marriage?

And think of the carbon impact of the Jolie-Pitt family jet-setting around the globe with an army of 25 staff members in tow.  That’s right, 25 — or so Andrew Morton claims in his tell-all on Angelina. 

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In our celeb-obsessed culture, it’s hard to penetrate the chatter about Siri and Violet and Maddox and their gorgeous moms to have an honest discussion about the real pluses and minuses of parenting, environmental or otherwise. 


Read more about population and the childfree option: