Fitness gurina Jillian Michaels’ rejection of biological motherhood is hardly an assault on the institution of pregnancy though one wouldn’t know it judging by the reaction of the mom-o-sphere. Blog posts extolling the wonders of birthing with your own vagina and the multitude benefits it bestows litter Facebook and choke Twitter feeds. The choices of mothers should not be so lightly dismissed in the digital age.
For the record, Ms. Michaels did not exhort women everywhere to shun conception but stated that for herself, it wasn’t something she wished to do. Her history with weight issues and her career built upon superior physical fitness means she will personally take a pass*.
How her choice – valid by the way – affects mine, or any other woman’s, is a mystery. Women, I have discovered during my tenure as one, are big on choice only up to the point where one of our own exercises her right in a way the rest of us don’t agree with.
Michaels, correctly, points out that pregnancy changes a woman’s body permanently. That she views this as a negative is her prerogative. Frankly, she isn’t really wrong. Even moms who visually seem unaltered by their pregnancies will tell you that there are things that simply aren’t as tight or cooperative or “virgin” as they were prior to motherhood.
It’s disingenuous to say that pregnancy isn’t going to leave a mark. Any time you stretch the lower half of your body to accommodate a small person and then squeeze it out of an opening that normally only just manages to accommodate a … tampon … for example, it’s going to change things. The fact that we are designed to stretch doesn’t take into account that some of our parts only stretch one way.
Ligaments for example are not rubber bands. Once over-stretched, they don’t snap back. Muscle can be trained to compensate for loose ligaments, but the ligaments themselves will never be the same. Skin also has limited amounts of elasticity that diminishes with age and sun damage.
Weight gain seems to be predetermined genetically as is the ability to lose it quickly or not so much at all.
And pregnancy is only the beginning. The first months of motherhood are a blur of sleeplessness and near constant tending of a small person whose sense of time is non-existent and who believes without benefit of reinforcement that the sun revolves around him/her. When sleep is in short supply even things like eating and bathing are haphazard events, so it is the rare new mommy who is getting back to regular work outs or even has the energy to contemplate it.
If I were a single woman whose body was my livelihood, and had a history of weight maintenance problems, I might think long and hard about the colder, harder truths about giving birth and decide not to go there too.
It’s amazing to me how quickly Michaels was called out and her concerns and her decision reduced to selfishness that bordered on a personal affront to women who feel differently from her.
I applaud Michaels for even weighing the issue practically to begin with. Most people don’t give it any thought at all. Baby fever ignites them from within and sets them on a path that sometimes consumes years and vast resources only to deposit them on the other end of the maternal rainbow with a baby but very little idea about what they have done to themselves or their lives in the pursuit of parenthood.
As for her confusion about adoption being some sort of noble undertaking wherein a child is “rescued”, I chalk that up to general misconceptions about adoption in general. Being a “celebrity” doesn’t mean she is immune from misinformation about a process that few people who haven’t been involved in it know anything about anyway.
If people were required to actually apply for the position of mommy, most of us wouldn’t get the job if our motives were put to close scrutiny. For the most part, I doubt that the majority of us could (before we became parents) have come up with anything more profound, less corny or even remotely coherent rationale for wanting to be mothers. Michaels’ “rescue” fantasy isn’t any more or less awful a reason for adopting than a lot of others I have heard.
In the end, this is just another example of why women do not rule the world. We are too easily induced to turn on each other over nothing.
*I wouldn’t be in any hurry to give up a body like that either.
82 thoughts on “Jillian Michaels is not My Fitness Guru”
Very well put, Annie.
It is hard for women who choose not to have children, whatever the reasons.
“What if all women were to think like you?”
“What about your parents and in-laws? They need to see grandchildren!”
And so on.
There is a huge support system in place for women who choose to become mothers. Not so for those who don’t.
Women who choose not to have children, usually respect others who are mothers or want to be mothers, and Jillian does not mean any disrespect either. It is her personal choice, she is not condemning anyone else.
Why is it hard for women who want children to offer similar respect to women who don’t want to be mothers?
I think it stems from this odd belief that motherhood is endangered. Which is not true. 80% of U.S. women over 40 are mothers. But there is a sense – from the media perhaps? – that single women rule.
I’m childless by choice as well, so I don’t fault anyone like Jillian for her personal choices. My issues with Jillian are conveyed by the title of this posting–“Jillian is not my fitness guru.” The positive thing about Jillian is her insight into the fact that many weight issues are induced by the harmful foods we eat and the chemicals we use–Bravo!! I agree 100%. On the other hand, I get the feeling that like many Americans, she believes that “healthy” and “aesthetically pleasing” are one in the same–I don’t agree.
I know the feeling. Our choice not to bear or have children was due to both extremes–we can’t have one naturally and adoption is just too expensive and too late at this stage of our lives. However, I feel for Jillian because of the amount of women who look at you cross-eye’d if you are a couple and do not have a child. If you say you can’t have children, adoption comes up and they think you hate children because you won’t adopt. If you say you chose not to have children, you are labeled. Family is no different. We weighed our options having no disillusionment about children. We love other people’s children, but for ourselves, God deemed we had a different purpose. :o)
People should really mind their own lives more than others. I think we get unsolicited queries the most from people who are unsatisfied with the choices they have made themselves but that’s jmo.
Thank you. Yes. I agree. :o)
I agree with what was said about pregnancy and changing your body. I’m 27 and in the Army. I’ve had other women in my unit saying that they just can’t seem to loose the wait like they use to before kids. Anyone who’s had a cesarean birth will tell you it’s effects are long lasting. I’m going through this debate right now. I’m not sure I want to have kids (with my body). I much rather adopt. I would rather my body stay as it is then make it harder for me to be in the Military. I understand how some women might think I’m being selfish but It’s my body and the choices that I make will effect me for the rest of my life. I see women that I knew in high school that have 2-3 kids in a row and they look stressed out, fat, and unhappy with their situation. I would rather die childless and have passed my legacy on to those who needed help and I was there.
You make a good point about career. Why is it that women aren’t allowed to factor career goals into the whole breed or not debate? Men are never really questioned much about their lack of offspring and are allowed to make “selfish” choices in terms of lifestyle.
I wouldn’t say that. My hubbie got his fair share. :o) lol
My husband already has a son and he is so great and I feel if we had another kid it would effect not only me but his son as well. The whole debate about weather you can love your child and a step-child equally is not a can of worms that I ever want to open. I’ve seen family’s fall apart because of the “favoritism” of the child that has your DNA. I rather adopt because in my defense I don’t have a DNA tie to anyone. It may seem strange to some but to each his own.
I agree with you 100%. I’m all for motherhood and women conceiving but her opinions are hers.
this is exactly how I feel about the whole hoopla. And I especially agree with your * I would probably think long and hard if I had a body like hers too. And for that matter stretch marks are ugly my stomache looks like a warped zebra splatted on it. I am too vain to show it ever again. i love my children-I have four twin girls, a girl and a boy, but my body understands what Jillain Michaels said.
So happy that you put into words exactly what I was thinking!
LOL about why women will never rule the world I LOL again.
What a wonderfully written post. Your perspective is clear, thoughtful, nonjudgmental…Wow. Great conversation topic too! Awesome.
Very insightful post! When I first read about this case, it resonated with my own views regarding pregnancy, birth, and body. I also struggled with weight, and though I am nowhere near as fit as Michaels, the idea of what pregnancy will do to me physically puts me off the whole process. I do view myself as a “selfish” person in the sense that I care about my self first and feel that I must be satisfied with my self before I can give to another. Until I can accept the thought of what pregnancy will lead to, I cannot see myself having a child. Given my own experience when talking to family/friends, I think Michaels was rather brave to voice her views in such a public manner.
I think she was rather brave too, and it is sad because the reactions will cause other women to not be so in the future.
I had no idea about this debate raging (I spend most of my cyber-time on craft blogs) but thanks for this post. It is sickening how we as women turn on each other… and the whole ‘stay at home’ vs. career choice AFTER birth gets and stays ugly in my experience.
The changes to your body are the LEAST of it when it comes to having kids. I like that ad that says, “INSANITY IS HEREDITARY. I GOT IT FROM MY KIDS”….
My pet peeve are the syrupy commentators on motherhood — the reality is so much more interesting and challenging and peppered with very dark moments. And the truth is, because we can’t live in parallel universes, those of us with children have NO IDEA really, what we’ve given up to have them (the body changes are easy to observe — everything else, less so). (and, BTW, we DO get to see how they enrich our lives).
On the other hand, I’m not a huge fan of these writers who seem to be trying to make a living bragging about what terrible mothers they are!
so what’s left that I approve of, one might rightly wonder, and I guess that’s part of the point of this post!! I need another cup of coffee!
It does seem like a bad way to sell the “sanctity of motherhood”, doesn’t it?
well, i feel if she doesnt want to give birth JUST because she’s afraid of ruining her body, then she is a little selfish. im sure she have the discpline and courage to lose those extra pounds. and if she eat healthy and excerised while carrying the baby the pound should quickly melts off. and for her im sure she can do it.
now, it’s her choice so i just feel like she’s giving up a really amazing exprience of creating a life inside of her.(which i am going to do later on but not yet.)
still waiting for my mother instinct to kick in!
i used to not want a baby because im afraid of the wish-i-was-dead pain.also i cant stand crying babies. but hey i met someone special and i would like to bear children for him someday.
so maybe childbirth wasnt for everyone but the weight problem is selfish.
and, about the “cant go back to ur before birth self” of course u cant! but u can do ur best to make sure ur body go back to being before childbirth by making the right choices.ex: not eating cold things. it takes about a month.
and yes, i was selfish too, just because i cant stand crying babies and the pain to decide im dont want a baby? but i changed my mind already and yes i will have 3 children, my own. so that equals 3 times the pain, the weight gain and loss, and 3 times the crying.
but its her choice, we cant make her.
but we can express our feelings.
Just as your perspective changed over time, hers may too. We have different needs at different times of our lives which is another reason not to be to put out about the outloud musings of Michaels.
Um…with all due respect colorspice…it’s really none of anyone’s business if a person decides not to have a child. My reasons are also selfish, but we also prayed about it for two years. We couldn’t have children nor could we afford to adopt, but we also did not want children. God deemed us childless and told us He had another purpose for our lives.
I applaud your change of mind. Children are a blessing, but I implore you to think of the feelings of other women when you choose to express your feelings. You have a right to express them, but please use discernment when choosing to express them. Judgements like yours have hurt me in the past. People who wanted us to have children, pressed and pressed, and I thought, “Good thing I prayed for two years and have peace about it or these determined, well intentioned people might put me in emotional turmoil.”
I watched a mom wannabee almost tear her marriage to pieces because she wanted a child so badly. This is another reason why us women need to use discernment when expressing ourselves. Jillian’s reasons are valid. Not selfish. It is her choice and she has peace about it. What ticks me off is how judgemental people are to childless couples. Have some sensitivity and caring, please!
You are correct. My choices and yours and colorspice’s are our business alone and there is an undue amount of “community” input into choice when women are the primary deciders – not to say that men don’t have their input but they are not really the bottom line on this one.
My friends and family members who are partnered but do not have children have encountered judgement – though hopefully they have never felt that I have held a negative opinion b/c I feel that their personal lives and decisions are none of my business.
There are pros/cons to having children and not having them. We weigh them and decide. It’s really very simple but it’s the simplest things that wind up causing the most complications it seems.
My desire to have children growing up came from my thirst for love and acceptance. If the men I dated couldn’t love me, I knew a child would love me. Of course, that all changed when I met and married my best friend. All of a sudden, children became the last thing on my mind. All of a sudden, that love and acceptance I had been hungering for was right there. I believe our decision was good. It’s just a shame there is a contingent of women out there whose good intentions tend to unnecccessarily pressure and hurt the rest of womenkind. You did a great job on this article. So well put…
yes, i agree.
but what i mean is when you actually Can have children, then you should have it.
but if you cant, then childless is actually nice.
basically what i previously said about jillan is based on she is able to have children and then choose not to.
not bashing other people who cant have children.
because thats a whole other subject.
for those women who cant have children and wish to have them then children-less is nice because children have their flaws.you wont be able to get much sleep done, and u wont have to go through the pain of laboring…etc.
no one will interrupt you enjoying ur day.etc.
More often than not, the decision to -have- children is based in selfishness. We want to carry on the family name/gene pool, be part of creating a little life form, or have someone that we can turn into little versions of ourselves.
To decide that one doesn’t want to procreate shouldn’t be a frowned upon thing, whatever reason the person in question may have. As long as any potential partners she may have agree with her, I see no problem with Micheal’s decision.
I agree. Our motivations for having/acquiring children wouldn’t stand up well if put to psychological dissection.
Pregnancy is a very personal journey. Apparently, she doesn’t want to take that road and we should not condemn or bash her decision. I even applaud her for standing her ground on the matter.
I am in agreement to the “to each his(her) own” and etc. because this is something that people tend to forget. But, I would really like to thank you for looking at both sides of this debocle instead of completely knocking down Ms. Michaels ideals, or too firmly taking her side.
That is something, as women and human beings, that shouldn’t be dismissed. Everyone has their own stories and all the best to independent opinions!
Jillian Michael’s comments, from what I read, have addressed the physical appearance and condition of a woman’s body after having a child. I certainly do not dispute the truth in what she says but her statement does not address all health issues; specifically a reduced rate of ovarian and breast cancer for women who have given birth. Not giving birth also is a cause of painful fibroids in women. So, there are health benefits – including emotional – that come with bearing children. Having kids is not all bad for your body! Linnie
Everybody is different, and we shouldn’t judge people based on their decisions. I think it took a lot of courage for her to even admit to this. I don’t necessarily agree with this but her career is based on her body and the way she looks. I think someone like herself should be able to prove to women out there that you can get your body back after having kids. Yes, it may be more difficult than before but it can be done. Look at all the celebrities out there who get back into shape in no time. I understand that she struggled with her weight in the past and doesn’t want to go back to that. I just feel that as someone like herself, this big time trainer, she isn’t promoting herself in the best light. Quite honestly, it’s nobody’s business why somebody doesn’t want to have anymore kids. By making a statement like this, she has to expect people to ridicule her.
I can understand that if you are a “fitness guru” you take some pride in your appeareance and you’ve had to slog hours and hours in the gym, and pass many a chocolate cake in your life- and my hats off to you- but how vain can you be that you would not want to have children because of what it does to your body?!?!!?! Yes, each to their own but honestly…
I don’t understand why this is even an issue. If she doesn’t want to have kids, good for her. If she does want to have kids then so be it. It boils down to having the freedom to choose what you want.
Jillian’s choice doesn’t make her right or wrong.
“Women, I have discovered during my tenure as one, are big on choice only up to the point where one of our own exercises her right in a way the rest of us don’t agree with.”
I am not here to slate Jilian Michaels for HER life’s choices, but because it touches on a topic that I am passionate about, and which has become my life’s work, to show other women that you can very much regain your pre-pregnancy body, and then some – all it takes is determination, commitment and action. I am a 41 year old Mommy of three gorgeous children, and I am living proof (with before pictures), that pregnancy doesn’t have to be the end of your body as you know it. I gained over 60 pounds with each pregnancy, and I not only regained my pre-pregnancy body, but took it to new levels and entered my first physique competition in July last year, in which I placed fourth. I will be entering again this year, and hope to be in even better shape than before.
I can relate to how Jilian feels because it becomes almost like a phobia, of becoming ‘fat’ again. For me, having children has been one of the biggest single desires od my life, and I would have gained 100 pounds to have each and every one of them, but those are MY life’s choices, and I’m so happy I made them!
Oh, and just by the way, I breastfed my babies for a total of 5 years of my life! Again, a decision I’m happy I made.
A content, and once again, very slim Mommy!
It is possible to achieve fitness again. But you have to admit that not all women have the genes, the lifestyle or support to be super fit or even sorta fit after a child or two or three. I think that mothers-to-be need to be made aware of the effort and the limitations they will face.
I breastfed too, by the way. 4 and 1/2 years.
I too for the time have chosen not to give birth in the near or far future. There’s a lot of choices going into that, yes your body changes physically, as wll as mentally and emotionally.
It’s a lot of changes, and incredibly hard on the body. Your hips are never quite right again.
I choose to love the children of others. It’s a good solution and fix.
I applaud those who put thought into whether or not parenthood is a good fit for them. Too often children are seen as accessories or milestones that need to be reached. Children are not pets.
“to each his own” – The polar opposite to what the Bible teaches.
I think the benefits(to parents AND children) of parenthood(the natural, old school, traditional, or whatever it’s called these days-way) far outweigh any adverse affects on our bodies.
only because we live in such a body-shape-obsessed culture do we think this is ‘no big deal’ and ‘just her prerogative.’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying she must or has to or that she’s doing anything wrong. But I am saying that her reasons behind it are pretty narcissistic and superficial.
think about the profound influence this gal has on many potential mothers? Could not her decision influence many to give up having children for very superficial reasons? Key is *superficial* NOTE: I’m not saying everyone must, I’m saying the reason’s given should be actual reasons and not such shallow, self-centered reasons.
This is why other countries, not so obsessed with the # on their scales and their skin tone, will soon out-populate the US. We’ve become so in love with the external, that we’ll basically extinct ourselves.
sadly (not judgmentally) submitted,
I don’t know how the average woman could not be worried about how she looks in our society. It only pretends to celebrate motherhood and children. If you look at families and see the difficulties with lack of access to health care, poor childcare, underfunded schools – and the general hostility families with small children face when they try to go out into the world – one has to wonder why any woman would procreate at all. And then there is the double-standard in terms of appearance and aging that women face and men, generally, do not.
I don’t know that women have it better in other countries. Third world countries are pretty harsh places for females and children and their numbers are more a result of the lack of family planning options than anything else.
I agree that Michaels needs to be aware of the impact of her words because of her influence. I think she did a good job of stating her case in terms of herself. I feel for her because I too was an overweight teen. The social stigma from that is not easily left behind.
Thanks for your comment.
On her facebook her reasons were great. Plus, she did leave the door open to adoption. Another thought to think about: Look at all the children in the world without families. We get so caught up in having our own and hung up on someone else’s decision whether or not to have one, that we forget about those poor orphans.
I didn’t realize that women HAD to have a “legit” reason to not have kids. I don’t want kids because it would get in the way of my active and busy lifestyle, and I think that’s fine. It doesn’t have to be the case that only people with “deep” reasons for not having kids should do so. That’s ridiculous.
Being extremely fit is Jillian’s job, and the reasonable decisions she makes to maintain that job are valid.
That being said, the rest of us need to lighten up and not worry about looking like Jillian, especially if we have been through one or multiple pregnancies.
Jillian, also, might release the pressure by being more candid about just how much work it takes to get, and keep, a body like hers. Then again, exercise DVDs with titles like, “Hours and hours of hard exercise coupled with extreme dieting” probably wouldn’t sell as well as “Five minutes to a GREAT BOD!”
Quick and easy. That’s the American way.
Amen, Middleagedplague! Interesting name by the way… I’m finding out how hard it is to lose inches. I lost 20 lbs since the day after Christmas and have approximately 50-60 lbs more. Sigh. I don’t diet, but I do eat better. :o) There was a story in the news where a physically fit man decided to get fat just to walk in our shoes for a time and found out how hard it was to lose all that fat again. Good results comes by no other way than hard work.
Well put Annie.
I have heard much worse justification to have kids: save a marriage; fight depression.
No one should have to justify but if they do, no one gets to argue what is best for Jillian Michaels.
I recently read a book called So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore. Incredible for one word but it also explains the “mommy wars” and why we can’t support our fellow women. I suggest every woman reads it!
Thanks for this article. I don’t follow the Celebs, but I do watch Biggest Loser and know a little about how hard it was for Jillian Michaels to go from fat, hounded teen to physical fitness paragon.
She has every right to make this very personal decision, and the catty-female-types (and media) can retract their claws; it’s simply NOT their business. I personally have never understood these types of women. Tend your own garden and family, if you have one. Sisterhood is not about gossip; it’s about inclusion.
I never recovered my body after one pregnancy and look like my grandmother did after 4 pregnancies (unless it mostly happened after #1). It’s just reality. I don’t know if anything can ever return you to a pre-pregnancy body without you hounding your own to try to get in shape (with other “costs” to doing so) and not breastfeeding your child.
As breast-feeding IS part of motherhood, I hope our society will revisit it’s views of “Beauty”. There’s nothing more beautiful than a caring mother, who’s doing the best she can for her children and herself … whatever that may be.
But, for Jillian, she will help more people than just giving it all to one child or two. And, that’s her gift, and her decision. Brava!
Do what you know is right in the bigger picture. There’s nothing worse than having “parents” who don’t end up wanting their children or taking care of them well. It’s happening more and more.
My “Wendy” of a youngest sister just took in 3 homeless teens (“good kids”)(1 boy and 2 girls) who’d banded together in their small rural community, but where no-one else helped them.
One girl had been adopted, and promptly at 18 was abandoned by her “family”. One has gotten a job; the other 2 are trying to (it’s hard)and all are pitching well in to make a menage of 5 adults function well (my sister has a nearly 18 year old daughter, too).
The world is littered with broken hearts from people making poor-choices, safe-choices, no-choices etc. Have you helped a child today?
Again, Brava! Jillian.
Best to all — Em
Hey who cares?
She worked quite hard to get her abs solid. Why wreck them? It’s her opinion.
Sometimes, America forgets that it’s a free country. And that people have freedom of speech.
Watch some youtube videos and read some tutorials on workouts and off you go.
Exercising is great for the mind and body,
I never had any strong maternal instinct but I am kind to other people’s children (believe me I have seen some really nasty parents, in my culture it is common to emotionally blackmail adult children). I decided early on not to ever have any biological children because:
1. they come with no users manuals;
2. their programming is hard;
3. rebooting is not possible and
4. there is no return policy (everyone knows I am pretty tech challenged)
5. Earth is already over populated and more children especially in the developing world are destroying the earth with their ever increasing carbon foot print.
I have no reservations or preferences about adopting based on rescue fantasies nor fulfilling my destiny. I love my body I work out(it is not my profession I have a advanced degree in social sciences), I love my freedom to move around when ever where ever I wish. I give good parenting advice because I am not a parent. I wish I should spoil other people’s kids because I don’t have to discipline them (I only wish that I haven’t tried it yet). Yes, it makes my friends with children resentful of my life :). They made their choice so they should find peace with it. I am at peace with mine.
Am I selfish? I pay my tithe and practice kindness to all people, places and things. WTH, I love my mind, body and soul call me what ever you want. If you ain’t paying my bills I don’t care what you think about me…
Leave Jillian alone find another tree to bark on…She is not theartening your right to motherhood but you are…
Correction: instead of …especially in the developing world are destroying the earth with their ever increasing carbon foot print.
Please read …especially in the developed world are destroying the earth with their ever increasing carbon foot print.
And another reason for being childless by choice there is too much violence I don’t think I have made peace with my anger against discrimination and stereotypes. Every one is entitled to their opinion and choices.
great blog, i agree. I love the fact that we have freedom and can decide for ourselves as women what we want in our lives – we are not “RESPONSIBLE” for pushing out a bunch of kids if we don’t want to. I don’t have any desire to have children, either. It’s not something every woman needs to experience: to each her own. I mean, her body is worth her whole career! Come on! hehe.
Ladies, can we just support our right to choice? Be nice to each other, no attacks on someone’s femininity or womanhood because they are different than you.
Too bad she’s ugly as hell so why anyone would want to follow her advice is mind-boggling.
Ugly? That’s harsh. She has an enviable level of fitness which perhaps has inspired a bit of sour-grapes sabotage mind-set in some women.
Is her choice threatening to you? Because it sure sounds like from your vicious reaction to someone you do not know that a little jealousy has crept in…
Anniegirl1138, you have a great way with words.
Thanks and thanks for your comments.
It’s funny… If a person wants to have children, or not, that’s a personal decision that really isn’t anyone’s business. (Especially people that don’t even know the woman personally!!!)
That aside, good for her that she voiced her opinion on having children! There are those of us that either don’t know if they want children, or are in a similar situation to her (meaning having dealt with weight issues through life, and are in an internal battle with “do I have a kid and lose the body?” or “maybe I’ll keep my life for ME right now..”)… And the fact that other women that ARE moms, and have made the decision to sacrifice their figures for a little while, are judging her for HER decision… It’s horrible!
It makes me think that either these “angry moms” are really really really judgemental and don’t know how to keep a focus on their own lives instead of the lives of others… Or they’re just really really really unhappy with the decisions that they have made themselves, and in turn think that everyone else should do what they do. (Misery loves company, right? 😉 )
Maybe the “angry moms” should be taking care of their kids instead of spending their time passing judgement on women that may not want children.
Plus, I’d think it’s better that a woman who doesn’t want children, just doesn’t have any instead of giving in to the pressures of people who think ALL women want to push a watermelon through a straw…
For some women, those who don’t conform to the group-think appear to be threatening the validity of choices they made. Key words being “appear to be threatening”. Another woman’s choice does not invalidate my choices.
I don’t know where this comes from, but it undermines our quest for unquestioned equality in the world.
Great post btw! I just read the article where Jillian talks about her choice…Above all, what sticks out about this for me -apart from the very honest expression of her choice not to opt to give birth – was that women are *still* commodifying themselves…I can’t help but think that, hmmm, maybe if a bunch of us stopped doing that we could actually stop perpetuating the myth (well, it’s a reality now practically) that our true power is not the miracle of our bodies of vehicles of creation or strength and resilience; but that our power lies in being beautiful, desirable, sexy, emotionally absorbent and vapid…Whether that be via plastic surgery, obsession over dieting/exercise, or any other form of sabotage we put upon ourselves by trying to fit into a skin that is not of our own true nature…K, I babbled a bit but hope you get my point…I did have one, lol! Thanks for reading. E PS read Women, Food and God – Geneen Roth PPS I am not a hippy dippy mom who eats grass either : )
Thanks for book tip.
Commodities. Yep. I was just commenting on FB to a friend about the recent mom-roar about the essay on why the next Supreme Court pick should be a mom to that effect. Aren’t we more than wombs? It seems in the public arena, no one can fathom the idea of a woman being a whole package rather than female specific parts.
Great blog! I agree completely. I’d never even heard of this woman until a few days ago, when I read about this supposed controvesy, and I couldn’t understand what the big deal is. Heck, I’m a man, and I chose not to have children either. I just don’t have, and never have had, a strong paternal instinct. So I’m happy just being “Uncle J.R.” or “Big Brother J.R.” to other folks’ kids, but don’t want the responsibility of full-time raising. Does that make me “selfish?” Well, YEAH. So? It’s my live. Same as Jillian’s.
There is less pressure on men in regards to kids or physical appearance though that’s changing – which is not a good thing imo.
I like Denise Austin….Just breathe!
Here, here! Why would other women chastise her decision? It’s hers to make. I’ve thought of this many times myself. I have serious reservations about doing it to my body too. Does that make me a bad person? Let’s stop getting offended by others’ choices that have no effect on our own personal lives.
I have remained childless and at 50, will never regret that decision! I was always a fitness enthusiast and feel a woman has the right to do what makes her feel great and follow her own destiny, mine was to become a personal trainer and guide others to feel great and do the same, no matter their choices, becoming a beachbody coach is the best!
There are a lot of women who hop aboard the trying to conceive train without realizing just what motherhood entails. There are a lot of misconceptions about what it is and what it isn’t. Unfortunately, women don’t tell each other the whole truth. For her to make the declaration that she did was the wisest decision for her. Isn’t that better than her getting knocked up and ended up a bitter and miserable mother who blames her kid for wrecking her life? Just so other women can feel justified for their choices?
As for her adoption fantasy – that’s how children end up getting sent back to where they came from…..
Parenthood is fantasized regardless of the path taken.
I am so glad you wrote this. It’s shameful to womankind as a gender that there has been such a gigantic backlash against her. She didn’t say, “All mothers are fat and ugly” or “Children are evil.” It’s her choice… But apparently no matter how successful and happy a woman is, it’s all worthless if she is messed up enough to not want to have kids. *rolls eyes*
Agree, 100% – especially because it’s not like there’s a shortage of people out there who actually say/believe things like the examples you made up.
As a mother of three, and respectfully, I say “Thank God there are women who don’t want to have children, because the planet is overpopulated as it is!” Women, and men, have the god given right to make their own choices and to express their opinion on their choices, and it is our duty, as adults, and as it says in the bible, to not judge, because “as you judge, so shall you be judged”, so anyone judging should hope that they don’t ever face controversial decisions in their life! Yes, women should learn to support one another and not always be ready to slate another women for her choices or opinions. Sad really!!
I agree. I don’t understand why we need to make Jillian’s decision an issue in the first place. Why do we know or care that much about her life in the first place?
Though, I think a lot of the reason some women get all worked up by it is because they feel guilty or jealous that they cannot make the same choice or look the same way. (I think the whole annimosity over by choice stay-at-home moms is one clear example)
It’s true that her job is literally based on her body being in top physical condition. You can’t really fault her for a personal decision she has made. Everyone is different.
I guess some woman don’t have much of a desire to become a mother but to each is own.
The pressure is that we are supposed to want to and it makes us suspect if we don’t.
I have to admit, I like her decision and the reasoning for it. It makes sense considering her own life journey and her attitude towards ‘owning’ your attitudes. How many of us say we want kids for no other reason than we want them? How many people hope for a “mini me?” Or a pal/buddy? Parenting is tough enough without all of the selfish reasons we parents bring to it.
I think men do get angry when one of them leaves to be the stay-at-home-dad. But like everything else, they do not talk about it.
My husband would love to be a stay at home dad. He keeps waiting for the day when I get something published that will let me keep him in any style at all just so long as he can stay home in it.
if changes in her body would make her resent giving birth? she’s clearly made a thoughful, personal decision. nobody’s business but hers…
this case – like the ‘mommy wars’ – makes me again wonder why women must shoot down other females piloting a personal course. when you add the two words “For me”? why do women hear “Your choice is wrong! Defend it”?
do men get defensive and outraged when another man gives up a career and stays home? when he makes a considered decision not to breed?
Again, this is one of the reasons why women aren’t equal yet and why the women’s movement grinds along congratulating itself on a few successes here and there. We can’t act as a unit when push comes to shove b/c of issues like this.
yes. to each her own.