Why are we so obsessed with celebrity wombs? It's time to ask the question!

Jamilah-Asali I. Lemieux
Sep, 06, 2011

Beyoncé is pregnant! I’m happy for her, as I am for any woman who is excited to be embracing motherhood. I hope one day to be a mother myself and that I, too, will have the support and enthusiasm of those who know me when I make my announcement. As nice as it is that many people are cheering on the future Knowles-Carter kid on, the whole hoopla surrounding Bey’s bundle of joy raises the question: why do we care so much about what celebrity women do with their wombs?

It’s bigger than our obsession with the lives of the rich and famous. The obsession with the procreation habits of women like Beyoncé says a lot about our attitudes about gender, motherhood, etc. While many people simply said “A baby for the happy couple? Nice!”, there were others who have made it seem as if the girl (who just made thirty this week) was finally pregnant after waiting forever to have a child. Because all that other stuff she managed to accomplish before hitting her third decade was cool, but it’s having a baby that really counts, am I right?

It’s crazy how many people still believe that motherhood must be a goal for all women, even though there are enough of us out here who are willing to be moms that we balance out the ones who either can’t or don’t want to, in terms of keeping the population growing. We don’t all know your cousin Sarah, who has two degrees and zero babies, or your boss, who never “managed” to have a kid in spite of all her career success. But we all know about Beyoncé; hence, its easy for the public to have discussion after discussion about what she’s doing with her eggs and when.

A ‘regular’ person’s pregnancy can be plenty stressful and scary, especially early on. I can’t imagine trying to balance that while having the eyes of the world firmly fixed on your uterus. Not all women can get pregnant easily; I wonder how many famous women have quietly tried to deal with their fertility issues, as the tabloids and blogs of the world demand that they prove their feminine value by producing a baby. How many of these women may have suffered false alarms or even miscarriages, as total strangers weighed in on when/where they should be giving birth?

Would Beyoncé have been less of an icon had she never decided to have a mini Bey-Z? Would her contributions to the world not be good enough without an heir or heiress? And what if this child is born possessing no artistic inclination or without mama’s stunning looks? The scrutiny this little future person faced before being conceived was already insane… how are people going to act when the child is here?

Most of us would be totally annoyed at attempts by family members, friends or even spouses to get us to ‘hurry up’ and have a child on someone else’s schedule or by speculation over when/why/how we choose to have our kids.

I think we should be mindful of those feelings when it comes to famous women, respect their choice to procreate when they please, and offer little more than “best wishes” when someone like Beyoncé comes forth with baby news.