Angelina Jolie, Oscar®-winning actress, UN ambassador, and mom of six, has admitted that she has it easier than most. This is refreshing to hear, as usually celebrity moms are at pains to tell how they do the primary care of their children, but then they are constantly photographed with several nannies in tow.
However, in an interview with the New York Daily News, Jolie said:
I actually feel that women in my position, when we have all at our disposal to help us, shouldn’t complain. Consider all the people who really struggle and don’t have the financial means, don’t have the support, and many people are single raising children. That’s hard.
At last a celebrity mom who admits that her lifestyle and success afford her as much help as she needs. Many of us struggle as moms to raise our families, work several jobs, run our households, and find time for ourselves — and yet we compare ourselves to these über-successful women who seem to glide through life in the press, always looking immaculate with angelic kids in tow. These moms seem to be able to have it all. At last, Jolie lifts the lid and says she is in a rarified position.
“I’m not a single mom with two jobs trying to get by every day,” Jolie continued. “I have much more support than most people, most women in this world. And I have the financial means to have a home and health care and food.”
Jolie was refreshingly honest about her luxurious position, stating, “When I feel I’m doing too much, I do less, if I can. And that’s why I’m in a rare position where I don’t have to do job after job. I can take time when my family needs it.” Most of us can’t do this. Her statements are in direct contrast to those said by Gwyneth Paltrow in a recent interview. She stated: “I think it’s different when you have an office job because … you can do all the stuff in the morning and then you come home in the evening. When you’re shooting a movie, they’re like, ‘We need you to go to Wisconsin for two weeks,’ and then you work 14 hours a day and that part of it is very difficult.'”
However, Paltrow took to her website, Goop, to clarify what she had said after the interview caused a huge backlash. She claimed she was misquoted:
A few weeks ago during an interview, I was asked why I have only worked on one film a year since having children. My answer was this: Film work takes one away from home and requires 12-14 hours a day, making it difficult to be the one to make the kids their lunch, drive them to school, and put them to bed. So I have found it easier on my family life to make a film the exception, and my 9-5 job the rule. This somehow was taken to mean I had said a 9-5 job is easier, and a lot of heat was thrown my way, especially by other working mothers who somehow used my out-of-context quote as an opportunity to express feelings (perhaps projected) on the subject.
Paltrow went on to question why we felt so entitled to opine, often negatively, on the choices of other women. My response is that if more stars were like Jolie and acknowledged their charmed life and immense wealth and didn’t compare themselves to those doing the daily grind and earning minimum wage, then we would all feel much less likely to throw “heat” their way.
The media’s portrayal of celebrity mothers shows them perfectly manicured and seemingly always camera-ready, with headlines screaming “Star Back in Skinny Jeans, 3 Weeks After Birth!” We are treated to bikini selfies and belfies and all types of social media uploads, showing us just how thin/rich/styled/pampered they are … while we all wipe baby sick from our hair and dash off on the school run.
What we need is more Jolies saying, “Yup, I have it waaay easier, I get it.” Or photos of bellies and stretch marks and “I’m not worried about losing the baby weight — after all, I had a baby.” We need more honesty amongst women and less competition. Angelina, thanks for getting that ball rolling!
Photo credit: Twitter