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Celebrity Pregnancies

By Amil Niazi

Wednesday December 5, 2007

Ever since Britney popped out her Irish twins, baby fever is the new hotness in Hollywood. The explosion of uteri in the celebrity world is akin to that of troubled teens, and L.A. ladies are not just duplicating the irresponsible behaviour of lecherous youths, they’re reinforcing it. The founder of a British maternity wear site was recently quoted as saying: “the celebrity endorsement of pregnancy has made it a glamourous phenomenon.” Meaning that this crazy prego is implying that because J.Lo is having a baby it’s OK for you to have one too, because like spritzing yourself with Glow or Hurricane or whatever her K-Mart scents are called these days, having babies is like being famous!

Procreation is one of those tricky things that, though it seems like you should have to be pre-approved to participate, there really is no discrimination policy and anybody can do it. It’s not quite an accomplishment to actually get pregnant, though it is undoubtedly a big deal to rear a healthy and emotionally un-fucked up kid. But thanks to a steady diet of TMZ and the Slice network, the part where the child comes out and you have to take care of it is superfluous – a mere side note in the heady glamourousness that is being up stick.

The obsession with baby bumps, designer pregnancy wear and getting back your post-baby body is feeding, with increasing intensity, the appetites of the tabloids and providing impressionable women with a deviously twisted perception of maternity. In the self-created bubble of B-list reality dreamers and rehabbing starlets, a baby is a signifier of accomplishment and eventually, unconditional acceptance, something they are sure not to achieve on their own or through their careers. To Britney Spears and Nicole Richie, talent is an alien word and they are reliant on the star makers that are paparazzi. They need overdoses, sex tapes and fake friend breakups to grasp any relevance; they can only sustain public interest for so long before they burn out, fade out or disappear. For them, the culmination of their careers arrives with a wedding, a reality show offer or a baby. Pregnancy is a gimmick and it works.

Like the pimped-out vehicle, the obnoxious “it” bag and the designer cellphone, some of these tabloid offspring are little more than luxury items to be flaunted and compared. They are no more a product of love than a desire to compete.

Unfortunately for women who are looking to the stars for cues on how to live their lives, these baby-makers are providing nothing more than a pregnancy mirage.

Most women don’t have multiple nannies on retainer. Nor do they have multi-roomed homes in gated communities, a team of security, a fleet of caregivers at their disposal and jobs that permit years of maternity leave. For the majority of North American women, it is impractical enough to purchase an expensive pair of shoes, let alone accessorize with a human life – one that will, at the least, cost upwards of half a million dollars throughout its lifetime. There will be no team of trainers and nutritionists easing you back to your pre-pregnancy weight and Donatella Versace will not step in to make you over post-placenta. And where are the fathers in these celebrity birthings? Ever invisible and lilting in the background, they are little more than glorified sperm donors for women desperate to eke out a place for themselves on Perez Hilton. The example being set is not just neglectful to the child in utero, but deliberately harmful. These kids will grow up spending weekends in Vegas with their deadbeat dad while Mommy goes in for her second labia tuck. Meanwhile these “glamourous” mothers will be dreaming of creating another baby sister or brother for the grown-up tykes because they haven’t really done much with themselves since they were kicked off the Surreal Life (Season 12). At a time when we as a global society are being asked to limit our consumption, is it not fair to ask that Hollywood limit its reproduction?