Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hollywood's Baby Obsession Not Affecting Everyone

It looks like even the boldface name journalists are noticing us. Next thing you know, Page Six will be supporting Steve Martin's vasectomy and open childfree choice, and George Clooney's right to buck the trends.

Well, maybe eventually. They'd eventually have to stop obsessing over baby-spotting and bump-watching.

Jenice Armstrong Childless by choice

BABIES MAY BE the hot new "accessory" in Hollywood, according to a cheesy celeb magazine I found myself flipping through recently.

Britney Spears is having her second one with Kevin Federline. Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are showing off their love child, Suri, on the cover of this month's Vanity Fair. But out here in the real world, an increasing number of women are deciding to skip motherhood.
. . .
According to the latest census data, roughly 81 percent of women ages 40 to 44 have children. In 1976, that figure was 90 percent.

"With a lot of people, you've got to have a baby to become an adult... it's almost a given," said Kate Prioli, 24, a biophysics major at Temple University. "I feel like my life will be full and complete without ever having children," said Prioli, who wants to become a doctor.

Gwyn McVay, 33, a professor of English at Millersville University, is on the site. Despite some wavering on her husband's part following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, McVay said she's committed to their child-free lifestyle.

When people question her about her decison not to be a mother, she tells them she has cats. Of course, that immediately puts her into the weird-cat-lady category, but she's OK with that. She said it's better than hearing yet another person tell her what a great parent she'd make.

"There are so many reasons why it would be wrong for me personally," said McVay, who suffers from a host of medical ailments, including depression. "I think that people should give credit to the person for knowing themselves."

Girlfriend's got a point. When a woman gives birth, she's treated to a baby shower and other attention, essentially affirming her life choice. But aside from strange looks and intrusive questioning, what does the woman get who decides to remain child-free? Shouldn't there be some sort of way to recognize and applaud those who've looked inside themselves and decided to embrace another lifestyle?
. . .
Regardless of what you think of his choice, you have to hand it to him and the rest of the childless-by-choice folks for knowing what they want - and what they don't. Too bad more people don't ask themselves the same hard questions.

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