Between Lemonade and Game of Thrones, it was a jam-packed weekend. It’s Wednesday, and I’m just recovering. Catching up on stories. Reading things besides Becky and Melisandre theories.
I did see a headline that Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension has been reinstated. I don’t follow sports, but I take it his balls are in jeopardy again – and this time it has nothing to do with Chrissy O.
Coincidentally (I’m sure), there’s a new story up on PEOPLE about Gisele Bundchen. She parents (it’s demanding), she models (but less), she travels and horseback rides and meditates and does yoga and all of this is in service of living in the moment, which helps dissuade her guilt. Her guilt about… doing so many things, I guess.
Look, I’m a Gisele apologist. I get yelled at about it all the time. I read the emails saying that she is a sh-tty mom, a sh-tty woman, a know-it-all and yes, I’ve read the ones that tell me “she’s not that pretty, I’m prettier than her!” For me, Gisele hasn’t been that offensive. Her breastfeeding selfie? Ahead of its time, really. Her comments that breastfeeding should be a law? It shouldn’t be a law for women to have to breastfeed, but breastfeeding plays into a larger discussion about paid parental leave for those who want and need it, time to pump at work, and people not freaking the f-ck out over breastfeeding in public or on social media – which still happens all the time.
Unlike Kate Hudson or Jennifer Garner or Katie Holmes, Gisele doesn’t get the MiniVan Majority vote when she says the generic “I love my kids but boy is it tough!” statement. Last month, Kate Hudson talked about how boring homework time with kids is in a “Sometimes I Feel Like a Bad Mom” essay. She didn’t get sh-t for that. When Gisele talks about guilt or juggling a schedule it infuriates people as much as Gwyneth saying she has it “harder” than someone who works 9 to 5 and I defended her for that, because I do think she meant different, not harder. G & G excel at everything, including enraging people with their gilded existence.
Does Gisele have struggles? Does Gwyneth? Of course, but the problem with the celebrity mom package is that it is supposed to be aspiration and inspirational, but also relatable. They are trying to elevate their parenting advice beyond the parenting advice you can get on Baby Centre or Facebook groups or from other parents in real life. And 9 times out of 10, the advice is not good. Gisele’s advice – keeping a schedule and scheduling in “me time,” – sorry who doesn’t keep a schedule, parent or not? Who isn’t short on time, parent or not? Who doesn’t feel pulled in a million directions with work and other responsibilities, parent or not?
Articles like this want to show you how special celebs are, but also how common. Relatable, extraordinary. Just like us, but better. It’s a precarious position, and Jennifer Garner does it better than anybody. If this article were about Jennifer Garner, the comments would be glowing, instead of “she makes $100 million dollars and has nannies up the butt” (paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of it). Ben has an affair with the nanny, women rally for Jennifer Garner. What would those same women do if Tom had an affair with the nanny?
And I say “moms” because it’s no doubt we are the target audience and this is how low the discourse on parenting has gotten – somehow, this non-story story passed muster. Apparently we are so wrapped up in banalities, so devoid of interests outside of our tiny world, that we would be fascinated to learn Gisele keeps a calendar of her family activities. This is supposed to bond us to her. It’s a lobotomized form of entertainment journalism. I don’t care about Gisele’s son’s hockey tournament. I do care about how Chrissy O got those rings though, can we talk about that?
Attached - new photos of Gisele in New York today.