All the Pregnant Ladies
The Bump Seen 'Round the World
I'm sure all of you have heard about Beyonce' and her impending bundle. And while the speculation, hype, and excitement builds, it got me thinking. Women in entertainment who want to balance a high-powered career and a family are no different than women in the professional realm who struggle for the same kind of well-rounded life as well. So I decided to evaluate some of Hollywood's moms and how there careers have evolved since they decided to pursue motherhood. I'm going to tackle this issue by field and not by individual.
Movie actresses are committed on a project by project basis. For some, that is okay because they tend to attempt several projects a year, for actresses with less clout the waters get murky.
Take for example, the recently announced pregnancy of former Disney starlet Hilary Duff. She was cast in a Bonnie and Clyde redo and was let go because she couldn't begin shooting to fit the schedule of the studio. Now let's be honest, Hilary Duff hasn't really done that much aside from the occasional fragrance launch or random red carpet appearance since her show "Lizzie McGuire" went off the air in 2004. And while it is evident that her pregnancy is already costing her jobs, it doesn't seem to matter as much to her now that she is preparing for motherhood.
On the flip side, there is Gwyneth Paltrow. By the time she announced she was expecting her first child in 2003, she had already established herself as an Oscar-winning actress with plenty of star power to boot. Even though it seemed like that she didn't plan to become a mother, she immediately put it first. She made a dramatic comeback last November as the fun-loving substitute on "Glee" and had a dramatic turn in theaters "Country Strong." She has a couple of more project lined up including an album and a new movie, "Contagion, " but it's obvious that she is still trying to reclaim her high profile status of the late '90s. Only time will tell if that will happen.
Women in movies have one or two options when it comes to families, either go behind the scenes and remain active or slow down and do less projects. Going behind the scenes seems to be a good idea, but is not practical for everyone because not every actress possesses the talents and qualities to do so. Less projects seems to be the only option, but with ageism still an issue there's no real way to guarantee lasting success.
- The Star Market: Gwyneth Paltrow Is Suddenly Everywhere, But Can You Call It a Comeback? -- Vulture
Paltrow's got 'Country Strong' in theaters, but many people in town think her future might be in television.
- Hilary Duff Gets $100G For Being Dumped From 'Bonnie And Clyde' Flick | FoxNews.com
Hilary Duff received a $100,000 severance package after she was dropped from the remake of the film classic Bonnie and Clyde due to her pregnancy.
The music industry is hard on women already because of expectations to remain vibrant and attractive. Becoming a mother is another stressor that can either derail or maintain career longevity.
Ashlee Simpson is the less famous Simpson sister, but became infamous for her lip syncing incident on "Saturday Night Live." After somehow recovering, she had a decent music career until she got pregnant and married Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz. Since then, she has remained out of the spotlight except for a failed stint on the "Melrose Place" reboot and her divorce from Wentz. Should she decide to recapture her musical career, it'll undoubtedly be hard because of the time away from the industry as well as changing tastes.
On the other hand, there's blonde bombshell and No Doubt frontwoman, Gwen Stefani. She has become as famous as a solo artist and a fashion designer/icon. The fact that she waited over ten years to start a family is reflective of how much pressure she probably had to deal with to remain relevant in her career. Gwen Stefani has never pulled any punches about the struggles of having a family and a career, but has decidedly put her family first rather than second.
The music industry has another challenge for women. That challenge being that touring is still the primary source of revenue for most artists. That means that women either have to bring their families along or make arrangements so that their children can be cared for. While that has worked from some artists like Sheryl Crow and Britney Spears, there's always the nagging tension between the road and home, especially when so close together in situations such as this.
- Gwen Stefani in ELLE talks about motherhood, music, and turning 40 - Parenting on Shine
Carter Smith/ELLE When we were first introduced to Gwen Stefani she was a young, aspiring star. She was a single woman, and had all the time, ambition, talent and style she needed to take the music scene by storm. Nearly 15 years after No Doubt's
- Ashlee Simpson | Ashlee Simpson\'s Beautiful Motherhood | Contactmusic
Ashlee Simpson's Beautiful Motherhood | Ashlee Simpson-Wentz Thinks Children Are A 'Beautiful Gift'. The 25-Year-Old Singer And Actress, Who Has 15-Month-Old Bronx Mowgli With Husband Pete Wentz, Admits More Babies Are On The Cards For The | Contactm
The Common Denominator
When I was thinking about his article, there was one thread that seemed to come about constantly. That would be clout. Or in other words, how much power a celebrity has in shaping their career.
In the case of Beyonce', I'm thinking she decidedly chose this point in her career to have a child because of the distinct fact she's established enough to push back a tour and/or a movie to have a family. While Hilary Duff, unfortunately was the victim of the project being more powerful than she is.
To my way of thinking this relates to real life is that women in certain positions have more options than others. Women who are managers, supervisors, and department heads are more powerful than women who are assistants, programmers, and analysts. Hollywood is the same way. There are power players who will always have the upper hand and there are second tier people who struggle to find a project. Only time will tell if things will change.