Are Stars Setting A Bad Example By Getting Pregnant Before Tying The Knot?

Wed, January 19, 2011 1:37pm EST by 9 Comments
Posted Wed, January 19, 2011 1:37pm EST

Mother-of-two Lisa Wexler is co-author of the new book “Secrets of a Jewish Mother” with sister Jill Zarin and mother Gloria Kamen. Hear what she has to say about the single parenthood trend in Hollywood!

Once upon a time, celebrities, like other mere mortals, were not allowed to get pregnant before they got married. If they did, their careers were ruined. Marriages and abortions were hastily arranged, often by studio magnates. No one wants to return to the days when women -– celebrities or otherwise — were scorned and disgraced because they became pregnant out of wedlock.

Nonetheless, there has been a startling display of celebrities proudly proclaiming their status as unwed mothers these days. Kate Hudson is emulating her mother, Goldie Hawn, who was married when her first babies were born, Oliver and Kate, and then went on to have another out of wedlock. Halle Berry, Selma Blair, Natalie Portman, Sheryl Crow, Kourtney Kardashian, Angelina Jolie, the list goes on. They are all unwed mothers. Some are engaged or living with their baby daddys, others are not. Each one of these moms has their own story.

Recent research indicates that many people nowadays consider the institution of marriage itself to be obsolete; if one feels that way, then of course the idea of marrying to procreate seems rather quaint and outdated.

But nobody ever seems to ask these celebrities, “Are you doing what is in the best interest of your baby? Have you considered that your child might like to be raised by a committed pair instead of a solo mom?” The media is quick to assume that if a celebrity behaves a certain way, that way is okay. No one wants to judge anyone else’s life choices because we can all point to stories of single-parenthood that worked out fine, and people who grew up in two-parent homes who turned out to be emotional wrecks. And even with the best of intentions, two parent families often wind up as a single parent household because of death and divorce.

So why do I suggest that celebrities ought to think twice before telling the world they are ecstatic about the prospect of un-wed parenthood? Because the fans who watch, listen and copy these celebrities do not have the money and resources that celebrities do. They are the ones who may get fooled into thinking that one parent is just as good or as easy as two, and that somehow their child’s emotional and material needs will be met by magic.

While celebrity moms have all the money they need to raise their children, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, “nearly six of 10 children living with mothers only were near the poverty line” in 1995, clearly showing that it is no easy task to provide for a family alone. In addition, Children in need: Investment Strategies tells us that “75% of teenage pregnancies are adolescents from single parent homes.” If you don’t believe it, watch an episode of MTV’s 16 and Pregnant. Many of the girls are products of teen pregnancy themselves and not from stable homes.

Parenting is very hard work. Even two parents often are not enough. Hillary Clinton made famous the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child”, because the words rang true to every parent who ever heard them.

Celebrities both mirror and influence our society. Companies pay them millions of dollars a year because people follow their example. More American children than ever are now being born to out of wedlock mothers. Historically, children born out of wedlock and raised by one parent are statistically significantly less likely to have a successful life, as measured by criteria such as higher education, better-paying careers, and more stable personal lives.

Are these celebrities responsible for these statistics? Probably not. But ought they affirm the values of a two parent home? Absolutely.

It’s very difficult to generalize about these things; obviously every situation is different. I don’t know what I would do if I had an unintended pregnancy; it never happened to me. It took me 11 years to have my two children. I also never found myself wanting a child without having a partner with me to help raise one; I’m not sure how I would have handled that either.

But I think that when society drastically changes its mores, and it seems to be doing that, we all benefit from asking questions. So let’s start a conversation.

I wish all the mommies and babies well.

–Lisa Wexler

Lisa Wexler, is a talk radio host and the co-author of “Secrets of a Jewish Mother,” with her sister Jill Zarin and her mother Gloria Kamen, coming out in paperback March 1st. She just celebrated her 29th wedding anniversary.

Leave a Reply

To comment, please fill in the fields below, enter your comment and select the Comment button.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

View Comment


Posted at 11:43 AM on January 28, 2011  

shut up these kind of things have gone on since it could ruin both carrers involved.not all stars use nannies for their kids Paul McCartney didn’t for his grown kids & doesn’t for his daughter Beatrice Anette Benning doesn’t for her kids with Warren Battey and Amy Adams doesn’t so far for her daughter Aviana. you can’t always plan when your going to have children sometimes when you expect to you miscarry instead as for example Joanne Woodward did her first child with Paul Newman though they had three daughters later of course she won the best actress oscar right after losing that child during their honeymoon at least both Natalie and Christina are engaged to be married and not rushing this

Share this comment at Share with Twitter


Posted at 7:46 PM on January 25, 2011  

this article is a bit unfocused and haphazard to say the least- jumping between teen pregnancy and single parent pregnancy, for one. they’re two very different things. a mature professional woman who adopts or has a baby without a second parent in her life is much different than a woman who accidentally get pregnant, or a teenager. moreover, how does this opinion take into consideration the very large segment of our society that actually cannot get married. is the gay community also setting a bad example? if jill’s sister wants to start a discussion about single parenting, she should put a little more thought into her opening comments.

Share this comment at Share with Twitter


Posted at 5:11 PM on January 20, 2011  

It is ideal to have a two parent household. Celebs try to make up for lack of personal attention with money. You missed out in saying that most celeb moms pawn their children off to their nannies on a daily basis, or have paid help around a lot of the time so in turn they don’t spend much time with their children to begin with.

Whether it be homosexual or hetro. I want my child to learn as much as they can from my significant other. I would feel like I’m taking away from my child by not having another parent to teach them skills that I can’t. Isn’t that important too?

Share this comment at Share with Twitter


Posted at 5:27 PM on January 19, 2011  

I think the author of the article is correct. It’s sad to say these people are the heros today. Feel so sorry for the kids.

Share this comment at Share with Twitter


Posted at 5:27 PM on January 19, 2011  

This is ridiculous and totally off base; just because a woman is a single mother doesn’t mean that she can’t lead a suitable life for herself and her child. And these aforementioned preggo and single celebs shouldn’t be viewed as “examples,” they’re just women going about their lives with a baby, and it sure as hell doesn’t matter if they’ve got a ring on their finger!

Share this comment at Share with Twitter


Posted at 5:29 PM on January 19, 2011  

Does it matter to the kids, do you think, that they don’t get a father? They don’t get a family under one roof? Sad.

Share this comment at Share with Twitter


Posted at 10:30 AM on January 20, 2011  

Just my opinion, but i believe it does matter if a ring is on the finger just as making a child and giving birth to a child is making a committment so is dedicating your life to another person and raising the baby in a two parent household. Granted a lot of relationships/marriages can fail, there are alot of factors that can destroy a relationship. Young girls or women can do and be whatever they want to be. Just do it the right way, Live and enjoy life first, get serious in a safe committed relationship, then procreate. Its better in the long run.

Share this comment at Share with Twitter


Posted at 3:36 PM on January 19, 2011  

Do you live in the stone age?
Because getting married guaranties that both parents are mature?!
I strongly believe that worst than having children out of the wedlock is criticizing people.

Share this comment at Share with Twitter


Posted at 2:42 PM on January 19, 2011  

It is a shame that we can no longer look to Hollywood for Heroes and Heroines as we once did. For the most part they set very bad examples for our family oriented principals. They might believe in Jesus but they sure are not following his footprints. I don’t mean to judge but their life is so unlike his. I pray that America wakes up,(me too)before it is too late.

Share this comment at Share with Twitter