The past few years have been the trend of celebrity babies. Stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Christina Aguilera, and Gwen Stefani have all become moms. The trend recently however seems to be celebrities having children out of wedlock. Which leads me to question: Are these celebrities making it trendy to have a child without being married?
As a never married mother to a beautiful two year old, this is a sensitive subject for me. I am proud of the stable, healthy, and loving environment I have provided for my son. However even with becoming a mother being my most proud moment, I hope that celebrities are not making it "cool" to become a mom without marriage.
Statistics show around 40% of all births are to unwed mothers. Most people associate that number with teen moms, but actually the growing birth rate is for women in their 20's. This is most due to the fact that young couples are living together before getting married, or even choosing not to marry at all. In addition, young women find that society nowadays is more accepting of unwed mothers than in say the 1950's. Unfortunately statistics also show that unwed mothers are much more likely to live below the poverty line than their married counterparts. While there are many successful single moms, celebrities who are role models for young women and choose to become unwed mothers may be setting the wrong example.
In 2009, many celebrities announced their pregnancies despite not being married. The Girls Next Door star Kendra Wilkinson announced her pregnancy with fiance Hank Baskett of the Philidelphia Eagles last summer. They were married June 27 at the Playboy Mansion, and Kendra delivered their son on December 10, 2009. Another E! reality star, Kourtney Kardashian shared her pregnancy on Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Kardashian, who has a famously rocky relationship with the child's father Scott Disick, delivered their son Mason in December also. The two currently have no plans to be married. Bethenny Frankel, one of the stars of another reality show The Real Housewives of New York, announced her engagement and pregnancy almost simultaneously this winter.
Then there are they couples who seem not to even want to get married. Most infamously, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been a couple since his divorce from Jennifer Aniston in 2005. The couple have adopted three children, and have three children of their own. When asked about marriage in interviews, they usually say they have no plans to marry. Another couple, Nicole Richie and singer Joel Madden, seemed very content having daughter Harlow without any nuptials. They reportedly just got married this past fall after having their second child, Sparrow.
Young women have such impressionable minds. Celebrities affect not only what they wear, but how these girls act in their own lives. As a single mother myself, I applaud all women who become responsible, loving mothers. I just hope they are not setting a skewed fantasy version of what it is like to be an unwed mother. Without cutting down celebrity moms, I will say they have much more money and help than any normal single mother would. That's why my hope is that young women will see that it's not trendy to become an unwed mother.
For more info: Unwed mothers and marriage