Monday, November 05, 2007

Julia Roberts: I love ya, but give me a f*%@ing break!

One of's "popular stories" reports Julia Roberts' "dream," snipped of all its context:

"Julia Roberts envisions a future of domestic bliss. 'My dream is to be a highly fulfilled and productive stay-at-home mom and wife,' the Oscar-winning actress tells Vanity Fair magazine. 'The highest high would be growing our food that I then make, and then composting and growing more -- that kind of circle.' Roberts, 40, says that life would involve having 'my own creative outlet, even if it's silly needlework and stuff like that.'"

I don't really know how to take this comment, other than with a grain of salt. If she wanted to leave her fabulous career for a life of compost and kids she could. Really.

But I have to believe that she likes her career as the world's most successful actress. And that yes, some days, she would rather be home with the simple life. But I see her voting with her feet, finding a way to continue to make movies as she raises her three young kids. More power to that. Please don't give it up in favor of "silly needlework."

It's not often I find myself sounding like Linda Hirshman but there's a first for everything.

I hate it that the media always wants to pick up on the thread of "I have an amazing career but really I'm just a Mom" and I hate it that women have to come back to that point, as if they are minimizing or apologizing for their careers. I remember an egregious People Magazine profile of Celine Dion that had the same focus, that she had a one-women show in Las Vegas but was really just a Mom. I think they had a photo of her vacuuming her rug while wearing a satin dress and high heels. The dress fit her great--the vacuum looked really out of place. (Google has finally let me down as I cannot find the original May 2006 article.)

We know we can love our kids and still have careers. Why do we have to pretend otherwise to the media?

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Anonymous Becky said...

Is this it?

5:36 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

You are awesome! Yes, that is it. Looks like I remembered the dress wrong, but my point was that she doesn't look like I do when I vacuum.

I managed to find the text of the original article. They sounded so desperate to domesticate the diva:

"After 18 years of touring around the world, Celine Dion has embraced a life of domesticity – sort of.

OK, so she doesn't really do much vacuuming these days...."

6:31 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

Here is a clickable link to the full-length photo that Becky submitted. Darn, the vacuum cleaner is cropped out of the photo!

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shows that no matter how green your valley is, it looks greener somewhere else. Successful people are unhappy too.

11:20 AM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

I am sure that all of us have days where we wish we could put up our feet and chill out for awhile, or dig in the garden with our kids. I get the sense that Julia was longing for the fantasy "stay at home" experience. Having been home with a sick kid--sick myself as wel--for the past two days, I am reminded that the reality is not always so romantic.

I am not really blaming Julia, but rather the media who always blow up this angle when they can. I'll be interested to read the entire Vanity Fair article to get a sense of the context of her comments.

I know plenty of parents who would love to drop their outside responsibilities for a week or two but then find themselves gravitating back to work.

On a somewhat related tangent, I realized today that my daughter will be away for 3 days and 2 nights on a school trip next spring. I guess that's when I learn what it feels like to see "my heart" walk off into the world on her own.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Claudine Wolk said...

Hey, needlework is actually really hard! Amy, I think you had it right on with the "fantasy" idea. It's another way of saying "being at home is easier." I prefer Felicity Hufffman's response to Barbara Walters myself.

9:43 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

Julia called it "silly needlework," not me!

Don't leave us hanging--what did Felicity Huffman say to Barbara Walters?

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Sarah Zeldman said...

I don't get it. Like you said, she can do the "domestic bliss thing" anytime she wants - espeically because she probably has an army of hired hands (cleaning lady, cook, gardener, assistants etc) to handle everything on the days when she doesn't feel particularly domestic.

Yeah, no sympathy for her here.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Claudine Wolk said...

Oops, Sorry

The interview was actually on 60 minutes with Leslie Stahl.

Leslie asks Felicity if "motherhood is the best experience of her life" and she responds "No, no, and I resent that question because I think it puts women in an untenable position.." Basically, Felicity points out that unless she says motherhood is the best thing that ever happened to her, she will be considered a bad mother. I think that pretty much sums up what many moms feel - they can't be honest about how hard motherhood is.

PS. The Celine picture with the vacuum is eerily simliar to that fifties vacuum ad with the housewife in the poodle skirt and high heels, creepy!

12:11 PM  
Blogger MojoMom said...

Wow, that is a brave comment for Felicity Huffman to put out there publicly. I hadn't heard it before. Thanks for adding it to this conversation. I always knew I liked her as someone who is brave enough to tell it like it is.

1:44 PM  

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