Bonnie Fuller at Hollwood Life has written a lengthy post lauding Angelina Jolie as Mother of the Year. Pish-posh, I say! You can’t start an article espousing how “real” someone is with the disclaimer, “Yes, she’s got an army of nannies and a bank account of $100 million, but that’s not what makes Angie a mommy role model.”
No, not at all. What makes Angie a mommy role model is that she’s covered in tats and drinks blood, right?
Fuller thinks Jolie is a great mère (her kids speak French! cuz they spend half the year in a 15th-century palazzo in Paris… just like us…) because she embraces the chaos of having six kids. Have you ever seen a photo of the entire Jolie-Pitt clan together? Ever? All 8 of them? I haven’t. And just how many nannies does Angelina have? I’ve heard one for each child. And we’re all aware of the rumor that the nannies travel with the family at all times, but are not allowed to be photographed with the kids. You’ve already lost me, Ms. Fuller. And yet there’s more…
“Angelina swears that she and Brad have made their kids, not their careers, their #1 priority.” Sure. Which is why, according to her IMDB profile, Jolie has four films in development, one in post-production, is currently filming one, has one in pre-production and one that releases in theatres next week that she will surely have to tour to promote.
It’s about time someone tells it like it is. This pedestalization of Angelina Jolie as a supermom is one of the major contributing factors leading to the have-it-all, do-it-all, be-it-all attitude mothers have today, resulting in the deep feelings of parental unhappiness so boldly splashed across the cover of New York Magazine. We. Cannot. All. Be. Angelina. Jolie.
When my daughter was born, in 2005, I was married, living in Harlem, getting really good at stand-up and becoming noticed for this weird, wacky party trick I seem to have, the ability to freestyle rap. I was just beginning to make some TV appearances, and I really thought my career was about to take off. As laughable as it may seem, on some level, I looked at women like Angelina Jolie and other actresses with children as role models, thinking, “If they can do it, why can’t I?” I had a husband who was willing to watch our daughter as I needed to travel. I flew to LA to film ego trip’s Miss Rap Supreme for VH1 the week of our 5th wedding anniversary. I met my daughter and husband in Holland after taking a flight a day later by myself to make the shoot schedule work. I reasoned that this type of thing was just part of the deal. If I wanted to be in entertainment, I had to make sacrifices.
But eventually reality set in, like on the day my daughter had a febrile seizure right around her 2nd birthday and I had to drive 8 hours to be with her because I was on the road for a gig (that I of course cancelled). I didn’t have an “army of nannies” and my husband didn’t have the luxury of traveling with me as manny (since we also had his travel-filled career to contend with), so my daughter wasn’t with me when I was on the road. The pressure of that lifestyle, along with everything else going on in our marriage, eventually became too much, and I realized I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I feel much more balanced as a result, and I only say yes to really high-quality gigs that are (hopefully) doing more to advance my career than running around saying yes to everything would.
I’m sure Angelina Jolie loves her children very much, and she’s clearly able to offer them the world – literally. But let’s all agree to stop looking at celeb moms as if they’re dealing with the same struggles we are – and succeeding. Instead, it’s time to get real about how much help these women have, and for regular moms to give themselves credit for everything they accomplish without those advantages.