Sunday, 1 December 2013


  We all know tabloids are far form the best source of fact based information. They’re sort of like post ‘The Hills’ world reality television, it isn’t just that some people were aware, these days we all know it’s mostly scripted with odd blurbs of reality.

  Nonetheless, I can barely recall the last time I stood in front of a magazine stand and didn’t see Jennifer Aniston’s face on a cover/side-line. Always with the same titles. ‘Baby bump’ / ‘Is she upset there isn’t a baby bump’ / ‘she’s finally found love’ / ‘Jen has her heart broken’ / ‘Jen has baby without love’ … Oh you get the picture.

  She’s in her forties, she’s been single for a while, she’s incredibly successful, funny, sexy and would appear to have done quite well for herself and her bank account. No kids, not yet (re) married, however engaged and looking happy.

  Now let’s consider the ultimate bachelor, George Clooney. Having now entered his fifties, classis good silver-fox looks, and known to move through relationships, always having a beautiful woman on his arm at big events but not necessarily the marrying kind. No kids.

  First off, without getting stuck in that side of the debate too much, imagine the potential truth behind those ‘bump’ picture. . These things happen. Food babies come and go. I have them daily. There are more pressing matters in the world, but it is still not particularly confidence-boosting. Now imagine having your picture with said food baby on magazines in every supermarket and corner shop you could wish to set foot in. Around the world.

  Let’s face it. That has to suck.

Most girls I know think she’s beautiful. In most conversations about the actress, however, her lack of kids/potential sadness  over this/love stories are always a part of the story. Perhaps because a lot of the people discussing / reading about her are women it’s a recognizable subject. The pressures of when to get pregnant, how to make sure you find a good guy, the fear of hitting forty with neither… It’s thrown in our faces daily.

  When it comes to George it’s a debate of whether he is, in fact, as hot as the hype. Yes. But there is also discussion of his recent roles. His career. His villa in Italy. The fact that he’s a bachelor and isn’t voted most-likely-to-settle-down is, at most, touched upon with a quick joke. That’s his choice and a lot of men would probably say he’s living the dream. Who knows what his reality is, perhaps he loves it or maybe he’s looking for the real deal, only he knows and only he is entitled to that knowledge.

 Why do us women (because again, let’s face it, we’re in the gossip column readership majority) feel such a need to put this pressure and expectation on each other? Who’s having babies with who, at what time, and heaven forbid they wait too late. Sad old spinsters, Bridget Jones fear-style. It’s a running joke in sad times among friends, what are the crazy-cat-lady-spinster odds.

  The ‘lads’ however have none of this (biological) time pressure.  There are no lack of baby makers related to their age, and so the idea of living free for longer (in particular as modern day culture prolongs the possibilities of living out your twenties well into your forties) is understandably quite appealing.

  So while George personifies the idea of the hot bachelor (now in his fifties!) living free while fulfilling his creative and career goals, Jennifer has become portrayed almost as the sexy US Bridget Jones. With a sad tone to each headline detailing her lack of kids and throwing theories of why she hasn’t walked down the isle with Justin yet in the wind of suggestion.

  I’m not saying it’s going to change anytime soon, the gossip culture will surely live on for a long time (especially now kids are coming up thinking ‘fame’ is a valid profession). But the underlying cultural causes that encourage us to treat these female and male celebrities so differently should be some cause for concern.

  Perhaps, at the end of the day, much like I’m sure Clooney embodies some bachelor’s dream lifestyle perhaps Aniston has become the representation of mass female-fears.

No one can say the girl doesn’t have a stellar career and a solid income. Has Jennifer become the modern ‘can we have it all’ question mark? Did we unintentionally put the weight of proving a strong career and a happy family was possible on her shoulders, and then latched on with a mix of fear and acceptance when we interpreted her to not fill all criteria (despite many other successful women having healthy family lives, and many full time moms not working yet being happy, many stay at home dads allowing the moms to further their careers, and crucially many men and women living full and happy lives without children)?

  Like with George we have no right to ask or pry into her reality. Her reasons for not having kids (at time of writing) are her own. They may be by choice or they may be due to nature, but it is certainly not our business and not something she should be judged on or pitied for. Nor do we have the right to ask her to represent our own fears, in particular if we plan to shove the question marks and accusations back in her face every time she strolls by a magazine stand.

  She’s a badass lady with a great career, and she is beautiful and seemingly has a very healthy life style. All these things are inspirational. George has some stellar roles on his resume, proves, like Aniston, that 40+ certainly doesn’t mean any less sex appeal. They both clearly work hard and the frequently pictured smiles and happy interviews seem to indicate they’ve got something right about happy living.

  Let’s perhaps judge them more on that, and leave the baby making and romance reporting to the side for now. Any facts, feel free, but until then there’s enough pressure and stress for women to deal with anyway… #teamaniston #teamclooney



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