When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I did was post about it online. I had been writing for years about my journey and struggle to achieve those two lines on a home pregnancy test. When those two lines finally appeared I couldn’t imagine not wanting to share it with anyone and EVERYONE.
I wrote openly online about my pregnancy and parenting my son — and then I stopped. When my son was in preschool I realized what I was writing had stopped being my story and had become my son’s. It completely shifted how I approached writing and it was a necessary shift. There are no take backs in the online world, so everything I shared about my son demanded a great pause for consideration.
But all of that was within my own control. Imagine being a stunning international superstar, rumored to be in a long-term relationship with another stunning international superstar. You can’t leave your house without photographers tracking your every move. You can’t take a romantic vacation without every move being analyzed. In other words: imagine how ridiculously hard it must be to preserve your privacy if you are Eva Mendes in a relationship with Ryan Gosling.
In September, Eva Mendes and Ryan Gosling welcomed a daughter into the world. Mendes was able to successfully avoid a “bump watch” for most of her pregnancy, something she has since revealed was 100% intentional.
Mendes recently opened up to Cassandra Huysentruyt Grey in an exclusive interview in digital magazine Violet Grey about her feelings on pregnancy, early motherhood, and privacy:
“Whether we like it or not, privacy is going to be very difficult for Esmeralda. I think it’s unfair but that’s our reality. So Ryan and I decided early on to give her as much privacy as we could. And my pregnancy was the first opportunity to give her that. It’s such an intimate time for the mother, too. I know that it seems all very innocuous when you’re flipping through a tabloid at the doctor’s office or see a photo of a pregnant lady online, but I find the media’s “bump watch” obsession to be both intrusive and stressful. So I made a decision to eject myself from it completely. I was like, “Annnnd I’m out.”
What I admire about Mendes is this doesn’t appear to be some sort of pious gimmick, but a reflection of a history of privacy preferences. I will confess that I thought she was kidding when she said in a 2013 New York Magazine interview that she wished magazines would blur the faces of her and partner, Ryan Gosling’s dogs, to protect their privacy. She also expressed how upset she was that the paparazzi knew the names of her dogs.
“I’ll go somewhere and they’ll be like, ‘Hey, Hugo!’ and I’m like, ‘How do you know Hugo’s name? That’s so creepy!’
We all know how well Mendes can keep a secret, something Ellen Degeneres enjoyed lobbing back at the star on Mendes’ recent appearance on her show. When Degeneres recently greeted the new mom with, “Congratulations, liar!” she was referring to a February appearance Mendes made on her show where she denied pregnancy rumors.
Let’s talk about this: we’ve got an actress who has very clearly established firm privacy boundaries. So then does it make sense that a woman who is squeamish about the public even knowing the names of her dogs to publicly announce the name of her newborn daughter?
Something isn’t connecting here. I absolutely get the comments Mendes made about wanting to give her daughter privacy from the get go. I think many of us parents can understand that. Why then announce her name, especially when it is not a particularly common name? My suspicion? She didn’t.
Mendes says: “We both love the Esmeralda character from the Victor Hugo novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame and just think it’s a beautiful name. Her middle name is Amada, which was my grandmother’s name. It means ‘beloved’ in Spanish.”
Esmeralda is a cool choice for a name (I say this as a card-carrying member of the unusual name club), but I just don’t think this is what her name actually is. Even the character from The Hunchback of Notre Dame she is supposedly named after, well her birth name is actually Agnes.
While I did rush to tell the world that I was pregnant, I don’t use the name of my son online. I want as much of his identity on the web to be up to him and I am hopeful keeping his name off the Internet will help with that.
I really hope Eva and Ryan were able to keep their daughter’s name to themselves, too.
Image Credit: PCNMore On