Celebrity Mother Knows Best?

Gwyneth Paltrow, Image By Virgin Media

There are many celebrity moms who are taking the media by storm as “pregnancy pundits,” touting parenting tips, fitness advice and more. Stars like Angelina Jolie, Bryce Dallas Howard and celebrity bloggers Kourtney Kardashian and Bethenny Frankel, dazzle audiences with their openness and cute photos. And people are reading it.

Now, the list of pregnancy pundits continues to grow beyond the third trimester. Gisele Bundchen is a champion for breast-feeding and home births, while Gwyneth Paltrow is releasing her new cook book and revealing her struggles with postpartum depression. “I was confronted with one of the darkest and most painfully debilitating chapters of my life,” Paltrow wrote in her newsletter, GOOP.

Yet, these moms aren’t the only ones willing to share their family secrets and personal insights on motherhood. A number of celebrity mom and babe sites are filling the Google search engine, baby powdering the web with photos of  A-list babies and the products their famous mommies use, sometimes, without their permission. So, why all the interest in these leading ladies and their broods?

Gisele Bundchen in Vogue

Well, I think there are a few things at play, first, people are nosy and they want to know everything about these women’s personal lives. Second, pregnancy, birth and motherhood are no longer taboo to discuss. Over the last ten years the pregnancy bump has become a trophy, rather than a reason to stay out of the spot light (or off the red carpet) for a few months.  And, thanks to women like Angelina Jolie, women are can still land high-powered and interesting roles after mommy-dom.

Even in India, things are changing. Look at actress and former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai, she’s one of the few actresses to continue her successful career in film after getting married to actor Abhishek Bachchan. Often, after an Indian actress marries, in Bollywood it can mean bye-bye career. Hopefully after Aishwarya Rai has kids she’ll be able to continue acting if she wants too.

Anyway, back to the point, I think the paparazzi’s obsession with celebrity baby photographs is a little scary and potentially dangerous, but if the mothers are willing to give photos and speak about their experiences, I think that’s great. People obviously want to read about their lives as parents and who doesn’t want to see their cute babies?

I mean, truth be told, when they do comply and offer advice, I’d be willing to follow their tips if I were shopping for a friend’s baby. They have access to the best fashion, beauty and baby products — why wouldn’t I want to know what’s the best? In fact, when it comes to style these moms know best.

Not sure how to tap into all these celebrity parenting tips? Well, here are a some websites where these moms are featured:

Babble.com — Famecrawler blog

People Magazine — Moms and Babies

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63 thoughts on “Celebrity Mother Knows Best?

  1. Hi,

    My name is Tanu and I live in Melbourne, Australia. Came here via wordpress’ freshly pressed. I wanted to use some of your work for a parentng page of a small community magazine I work for.

    I was wondering if we could do that with due credits given to you and your blog.

    thanks and regards,
    Tanu

  2. I would definitely like to know more about the fertility issues they face. Although there are a lot of celebrity mom’s who have a lot to learn and were not the best examples of a perfect mom, it’s good to know that there are some who deserves to be called the perfect mom.

  3. I write a lot about celebrity brands because the cult of celebrity is such an epic argument on it’s own and your post is right on the money. I saw your blog from the wordpress homepage – so congrats on getting so much love from them! Keep up the great writing – I’m glad I clicked.

  4. I feel for the kids and kids to be, and just hope that as they get older the moms stay supportive of their children and do not let them get carried away by the spot light. It is easy for them now to say and give advice but when those children hit their teenage years is when it will be interesting to see how they turn out. I honestly hope for the best and I do enjoy reading their tidbits on their parenting experiences

  5. Although there are a lot of celebrity mom’s who have a lot to learn and were not the best examples of a perfect mom, it’s good to know that there are some who deserves to be called the perfect mom.

  6. Pingback: Top Posts — WordPress.com

  7. I am amazed how the “cult of celebrity” hangs on in our media and common consciousness. That is not to say the (some) celebrities do not have something of value to say or share… but let’s face it… most of their experiences are so far fetched from the lives of “ordinary people” that in my opinion haty just add entertainment value….

  8. Hallo Christa,
    I have seen and read your article. I am italian and I don’t know very well your langage. I leave in Florence.
    Sometimes articles are ‘appetibili’ not only for the content of them, I mean the ideas, that are also very important. Sometimes you are involved in readin an article to look for an explanation of them. For istance
    when I see a woman smiling with dark glasses I ask often myself if a woman is really happy behing
    dark glasses, even if she smile. Once, when I was in Modern Art Gallery (working) of Palazzo Pitti in Florenze, I saw a painting of a contemporary painter, perhaphs american, but I don’t remember his name. He painted
    a very beaugtiful girl, blond, smiling, with RayBan glasses, with a little ‘lacrima’ descending from her eyes.
    I hope you loved this history. My compliments for your articles.
    Paolo Campidori
    http://www.culturamugellana.wordpress.com

  9. A celeb has the ability to hire a considerable amount of help so I am not sure their world matches the average individual. It seems Hollywood has a history of setting up standards that the average indivdiual can not handle. I hope this is not another example of such a standard.

  10. I wonder how many hours the celebrity mom spends with her child versus how many hours the children spend with nanny? It’s easy to be a perfect mom an hour or two a day when that’s all you see the kid.

  11. As a nanny whose worked for high powered and somewhat well known parents on the upper east side I have to say I wouldn’t take their advice. They dress their kids in designer cloths and have nannies around the clock. When I watch kids on downtown who have two loving doctor parents I can really see the difference. They may not have designer cloths, the biggest name products, or the best toys out there, but they are way happier and much better behaved. Kids who grow up with celebrity parents are probably unlucky a lot of the time. It’s one thing not to have stay at home parents, but it’s another to have parents who can afford to have others take care of you 24/7.

  12. I wouldn’t necessarily say that a celebrity mom “knows best” but of course being a celebrity puts them in a pretty unique position as an opinion leader for the rest of us – as unless you’re Lindsey Lohan, people tend to listen to what you say if you’re a celebrity.

    So, I guess it’s incumbent upon celebs that they do it “right” as much as possible and raise good kids, and thereby have some insightful things to write & talk about when they share what they’ve done.

  13. Congrats on the freshly pressed. Very nice post. I am not sure that pele should be turning to celebrities for baby raising tips. I feel family and friends would be a better option. Thye know you & baby, and could provide tips n advice that suit.

    Celebs are probably getting goodie bags of stuff in return for pushing product

  14. i think we’re missing the point – people like Gwyneth are usually being paid to spout their views (or their publicist is pushing them out there because it’s good PR, which raises their wages when the time comes for the next movie) and they have one purpose – to promote themselves (and progeny – just look at Will Smith and his family circus).

    It has nothing to do with their parenting or life skills – or their complete lack of them, having – as Gwyneth has – grown up in Hollywood.

    As others have said (“household 6 hooah” particularly), these women have staff, they’re not struggling mums trying to juggle kids, partners (or the lack of one), homelife, and work. If i was a mother, (and lacking experienced people around me) i’d go read some of the books/sites by ordinary mothers ~ the kind with kids they can’t hand back to the staff after a few minutes.

  15. Since their lives are nothing like most of ours, especially mine. I take what they say with a grain of salt. I don’t have a nanny, so extensive beauty regimes don’t make my to-do list. I loved Heidi Klum pregnant, but I can’t afford her designer maternity wardrobe. So, it’s like thanks for the “advice” but no thanks.

    Nicole Williams
    twentysomethingmoms.wordpress.com

    1. I’m sure her maternity wardrobe was super pricey, I couldn’t afford it either. However, I did read an interview about her advice to real moms about fashion. I found that useful even for non-mommies (since I tend to oversleep and rip a part my closet for an outfit in the a.m.). I linked to the full-length article in this post: https://christawrites.com/2010/08/12/fashion-advice-from-stylish-celeb-moms/. If you want to check it out. Thanks for reading the post 🙂

  16. Personally, I could care less what technique and/or baby product a celebrity uses. Just because they can afford it, doesn’t make it the “best” nor does it mean they know best. If they’re good parents, they’ll keep their kids outta the spotlight so they can have a normal life away from the dangers of the paparazzi and a life of shameless self promotion.

    As for the pregnancy bump becoming a trophy, you’re right. I thought it was about the miracle of childbirth and motherhood, but it seems some celebrities treat it like a status symbol, like carrying around a tiny dog in your purse. Flaunt your big belly in designer gowns for a few months, pose for some pregnancy glow photos opts, then once you pop that sucker out, have all that baby weight pumped, cut, and sweated outta you until you’re back to your previously unhealthy, bony figure.

    Sure, they can have kids now and still have a job in Hollywood… as long as they maintain that image of perfection. If the celebrities and society continue to buy into that, the double standard will remain.

    Natina

    http://humansareassholes.wordpress.com/

    1. It’s sad that we can never be sure if their intentions and pregnancy pride is genuine. It does cheapen “the miracle” in Hollywood. I guess it all depends on each person’s perspective and the celeb in question. I do not like the idea of using children as promotion and publicity bait — that’s very irresponsible.

      I agree that their approach to post-baby fitness gives unrealistic goals to average women. The one good thing about the pregnancy red carpet walks: it’s nice to know one can rock an evening gown while really pregnant, in case the situation ever arises.

  17. I wouldn’t take the advice of celebrities for any childrearing or even baby product.
    I have a brain and can read labels and do research.

    The reality celebs really sicken me.

    Kate Gosselin?

    What is going to happen to those poor plus 8s when they are old enough to realize their parents exploited theuir family demolition on television.

    .http://gmomj.wordpress.com/

    1. Agree.. Celebrity mothers don’t know best, and sometimes even give a distorted version of what’s best just to go along with the image theyre portraying.
      Plus, it’s at the point where celebs can advise on anything from baby methods to political decisions, and both media and public lap it up. At the expense of more qualified people.
      Sometimes these advice are really just gossip, not information. 🙂

  18. As a mum, I’m interested in any mothering tips. As a young mum, I often enjoy reading what the celebs have to say about motherhood. Whether I take their advice/tips is another thing. But I think it’s a very positive thing that celebrities are showing ‘normal’ women that motherhood can be fabulous, you can still have a career ( even though the celebs most likely have a team full of nannies & help ) and that at the end of the day, celebrity mothers are the same as ‘normal’ mothers – they just want whats best for their child.

  19. I agree there has been a real increase in the coverage given to celebrity mums recently. Magazines in the UK are filled with them every week. Sometimes it can be quite reassuring to hear others talk about their experience and see that everyone faces similar issues as a new parent. On the other hand when they seem a little too perfect you do have to remind yourself just how much help they have compared to us regular folk!

  20. I think celebrities should keep their children out of their career. I think they use them to promote their image to be honest. great post btw.

  21. That’s an interesting observation about the Bollywood actress Aishwariya Rai, especially since India is still deeply cemented in traditional family values. Hopefully, she will continue to do what she loves after having babies. Let’s see!

  22. Whenever I see that Angelina and Brad are planning to adopt or have another child, I’m like they are just promoting their image. it is kind of sickening to be honest. I respect the celebrities who keep their children out of their career. great post btw.

  23. We all follow the lives of celebrities! That’s why we all clicked on this blog post when we saw it on Freshly Pressed (congratulations by the way). What I’m trying to say is that we should be happy that celebs are projecting a wholesome/family-oriented image, because they have such a great audience reach.

  24. Celebrity parents are doing good to use their fame to really make a difference in people’s lives. Back when I was a child the celebs that were a mainstay in our house was Jackson family (not really the Cleavers), the Cunninghams, Jeffersons and the Bunkers. So not really a good level of growth. But todays celebs are educatied and aware of the global village, Even as an adult, I can learn alot from these individuals…

  25. Since when was having children ever “taboo?” Are you sure that word means what you meant? I’ve never been under the impression that an actress hiding her baby bump had anything to do with people looking down on expectant mothers, but more because of the role they play or a desire for privacy. I think there’s a dangerous blurring of the line between “I’m proud and happy to be this-or-that” and “Everyone needs to know that I’m this-or-that!”

    1. From what I’ve heard from family and what I’ve seen in photographs of celebrities and other women, even as recent as the eighties and early nineties, women hid pregnancy bumps with large clothing, instead of wearing fitted clothes that were stylish, flattering and what they would want to wear. Also, ten years ago, the presence of a pregnant woman on a red carpet was “new,” “brave” and “surprising” because many celebrities weren’t “willing” to show themselves in a “not perfect” physique. And, in the past, women were not allowed out of the house when they were pregnant and they NEVER spoke about child birth, postpartum depression or other topics related to their bodies and reproduction. Thanks for your comment, the distinction between need and want to know is important with any celeb topic.

  26. Well, like a lot of the other commenters, I’m somewhat skeptical about these celebrity mom PR trends – how many are the primary caretakers for their kids? Nothing against working moms, but these working moms are probably not struggling with the same things as others do…and the fact that they are all inevitably back to their pre-pregnancy weight 6 weeks after giving birth just perpetuates unrealistic physical standards for women I think.

    All that being, said, I take your point on beauty and fashion tips. And often when these moms do say things re: parenting, it leads to public discussions that are worthwhile I think – like some of Angelina’s recent comments on why she lets Shiloh wear boy’s clothes for example. And stumping for breastfeeding is never a bad thing, as long as it comes with good, balanced advice on where to get help for women who encounter problems with it. And I do think that lifting the taboo on mother and women-themed topics in the public sphere is a good trend…

    1. I’m also grateful women’s health, pregnancy and parenting challenges are in the public sphere. It’s fortunate that celebrities can bring up these topics in a way that spawns discussion among women about their own lives. The physical standards that these women set are still not good, as you said, but hopefully, in time that will become a topic of discussion too. Thanks for the comment.

  27. I had my baby at home in a poverty stricken hovel 25 years ago. Being a mom is the best thing I ever did despite many hardships. Being a mom supersedes all aspects of our society including stardom. In our minds and culture we create many barriers between us because of wealth or celebrity, but in the end, we are much more similar to one another than we think. We fundamentally have the same goals, dreams, ambitions and desires for health and happiness. A mom is a mom and social status, hovels, poverty, or wealth doesn’t change this. Go Gwyneth and all others trying to give their children a good life!

  28. i’m sorry but celebrities have all the money in the world to pay for nannies, to buy expensive clothes for their kids and can afford the best trainers to get them back in shape after giving birth so i won’t call them more impressive than the rest of regular mothers out there.

  29. Parenting is so not about beauty, fashion and baby product tips. For parenting advice, celebrity moms will never be on my list of resources.

  30. I think it’s great that these issues are on the table nowadays and not a taboo and that moms can still be actresses, but I don’t think it’s a good idea to take advices from them and set them as impossible role models for the average moms out there, those moms without the means to afford an army of nannies and those moms who don’t look like Gizele right after giving birth.
    Also, a lot of these celebs have their first child late into their forties, but they don’t talk about the expensive and risky fertility treatments they must have done.
    I don’t know, many times it feels to me that these babies are just used as props to complete the actresses’ public image. It’s like a necessary accessory nowadays…

  31. Hey, if someone wants to pay ME what they earn, I’ll happily share my parenting advice and tales of PPD with the world. Anyone? No! Oh well, I’ll just fade deeper into anonymity then.

  32. It’s interseting that celebrities are now actually putting their children in the spot light and how they are showing their parenting skills but I’m not sure that it is good for the kids to have themselves plastered all over the magazines, television, and internet. I know that being “star children” they won’t grow up and have a normal life without that atmosphere but they should be very careful as to how much advertising they do of their home life.

    Celebrities are people too, even though many are drug/alcohol and face ridden people, but if they want to be parents, let them, just don’t try and gain fame off of the fact that you can reproduce, anyone can.

    Thank you for this article it was really an interesting read and I enjoyed going through the links!!

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed all the links. I’m sure being a celebrity is really tough at times, I can’t imagine being faced with the publicity challenges they encounter, but it’s true, they shouldn’t use motherhood to gain fame.

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  34. Just the other day I was thinking about this topic. Pregnant celebrities are everywhere, but I’m glad to see they are starting to talk more openly about Postpartum Depression. Hopefully women out there who are struggling with it will hear their stories and get the support they need.

  35. I think people just like hearing the views of other women they can relate to/look up to, so we listen to celebrity mother’s baby tips. But at the end of the day most women will take the advice of friends/family/doctors much more seriously when it come to their children.

  36. I hear what you are saying… and I don’t follow celebrity tips on how to be a parent or give birth because I am not a mom… but what came forward for me while reading this was that they don’t so much claim to be the best or know the best tips (for every person)… they are just doing what the rest of us do in regular conversation which is talking about what worked for us in our personal experience. I find we are all here to help one another and that comes about through communication talking about our triumphs as well as our struggles…. it just so happens that more people know who they are (celebrities), so they talk about it in a public forum. I find that when I talk about my personal life, I never ever claim to know the “best” way to do anything, I just speak from my own experience and what I learned and what worked and what did not, as we are all different and find unique and eclectic formulations (of advice, tips and feedback) to help us find a comfortable path for whatever we are experiencing.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Currie

    1. You may be right about the fact that they are just talking like the rest of us, but I still wouldn’t take much stock in what they have to say. They are not in my circle of reality. Their idea of motherhood seems closers to the reality of any of the “Real Housewives of…” shows.

    2. Hi Currie,
      I really appreciated your thought about shared human experience. I totally agree, I’m one of those people who likes to relate and give advice too. It’s how we connect. While some don’t think it’s the same for celebrities, I’m sure in some cases it’s probably genuine and others it’s not. I guess that’s true of non-celebs too. Thanks for reading the post 🙂

  37. I don’t really give a rat’s ass about how a celebrity raises her children. Like the other commenter, I’d rather get my parenting tips from those who I know in real life. Aren’t insanely rich, etc…

  38. With all due respect, these mothers may have their finger on the pulse of what is stylish and in fashion, but I don’t think that their advice is any better then any other mother. I don’t want to hear how hard it is for them to raise children or they handle things when they get rough. Many of these moms (and not all of them) have nannies, personal trainers, housekeepers, and other things that only money can buy that makes their ideas about motherhood very different then the average mom.

    I get my advice from the women that I feel have already done a wonderful job at raising their children. And they would be my mom, grandmother and many aunts and cousins from my large and very well behaved, if not celebrity status, family!

    1. Well said! Thank you very much for commenting and getting the discussion going. It’s so important to appreciate and absorb advice from our family members, especially those who are good parents.

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