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What Kate Winslet Can Teach Us All About Being True to Ourselves

kate-winsletKate Winslet’s new baby, Bear, was never going to be a Rocknroll, thank you very much.

Kate got a lot of press for Bear’s creative name when he was born in December, with debate abounding about whether this little guy would be a Rocknroll, a la Kate’s husband and his dad, Ned Rocknroll (previously named Abel Smith).

The answer is no, Kate told Glamour UK magazine. Actually, it’s a little more elaborate than that.

“We haven’t ever really had that conversation; it was always going to have my name. Mia and Joe have [Winslet] as part of their name, so it would be weird if this baby didn’t. Of course we’re not going to call it RocknRoll. People might judge all they like, but I’m a f***ing grown-up.”

Kate told US Weekly magazine last year that she was never going to be a Rocknroll, either, and that was fine with her:

“I quite like Kate Winslet; in fact I think it’s very flashy. I’m proud of my name because I’m one of three girls and we have one boy in our family so essentially the only person who is going to carry the name along is my brother and he doesn’t have any children at the moment.” 

So there. End of story.

I have always been a big fan of Kate Winslet as an actress and enjoyed her interviews, too. This is mainly because I get the impression that she’s the kind of person who says what she means and means what she says. She will name her child what she wants, and that’s that. She just had a baby and will let you know that the size of her rear end is not her concern. She thanked her mom and said she would “never stop needing her” when she won her Emmy for Mildred Pierce. She’ll have children with whomever she wants, and if it happens to be three different fathers and anyone has a problem with it, whoops. Family is her priority, anyway, so much so that she said she could not have played her part in the recently released Labor Day if she weren’t a parent.

“Ultimately, I was drawn to it because it’s a film about the desire for a family — and family has played such a role in my life. It’s my core, really,” said Winslet.

Everything she says is refreshing, really. I rarely read news items where she’s gone out of her way to make a statement or done anything much but show up, make great movies, and go about her personal business. The sheer range of her roles and the quality of her parts makes her acting the focal point — so much that that when she married a guy who renamed himself Ned Rocknroll, it’s merely an interesting accent, rather than the centerpiece. I’m a fan of the real deal, and I think that’s what I’m looking at here.

If I needed convincing, she told Glamour UK that she’s not interested in talking about her “post-baby body,” either.

“Having just had a baby, I’m not going to be thinking about my arse.”

I have never had a baby, but if I could give one instant thing to the many women I care about who have, it would be this kind of confidence and joy in motherhood, focused on their babies and their families, and not their bodies. I see and understand the pressures that can make this so difficult, the constant bombardment with messages that women need to “bounce back” mere days after they’ve created a new human being. I know it’s much, much easier said than felt, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing it were as easy as saying it, Kate Winslet-style.

I’ve given a lot of shower gifts in my lifetime, but I think I’m going to switch it up. I’m moving on from only onesies and hooded towels (because who can stop giving onesies and hooded towels, let’s face it) to a wish for contentment with naming children exactly what sounds right to the parents and the parents alone, to freedom of choice in building a family, to freedom from judgment, and, most wonderfully for all of the women I love, freedom from concern about their arses.

Yes, I’m pretty convinced we’d be best friends, Kate Winslet (not Rocknroll) and me. It’s fun to think about anyway.

Image credit: Pacific Coast News

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