With reality TV, tabloids and Twitter, oversharing has become a part of our culture. The contents of your diet, every appointment in your calendar, every hook up or break up… we’re used to hearing about these things. And as celebrity lives become more and more transparent, we get used to seeing their families as part of the package. Shiloh Jolie-Pitt has become a major fashion influence, Suri Cruise bums around movie sets and Violet Affleck graces the cover of every weekly tabloid. These mini-celebs and their parents rarely have a choice in their press coverage.
But what about the lesser celebrity children? Seeing the press coverage garnered by big-name babies, some smaller stars use their children to gain more publicity. Reality stars like Kendra Wilkinson, Kourtney Kardashian and Bethenny Frankel all gave numerous interviews about their pregnancy, new motherhood and losing their baby weight. Newborn pictures were sold to the highest bidder and weekly magazines published every mommyhood update. Pregnancy and motherhood are amazing processes, but I’m not quite sure that it makes a person newsworthy.
And if a pregnancy isn’t enough to get a cover of OK, some celebs are pushing their oversharing even further. Enter, the fertility battle. That’s right, minor celebrities everywhere are beginning to blog, Tweet and Tumble their battles just to get pregnant! (They’re going to need that EPT “Save Your Stick” kit. I bet it would make a great eBay auction.) Mark McGrath, Khloe Kardashian and Giuliana Rancic are opening up about fertility tests, in vitro and even miscarriage. But are they going too far? Pregnancy is a personal issue, but it’s a little difficult to hide from the world. Trying to get pregnant, it’s about as personal as you can get.
When most people imagine trying to get pregnant, they think of two things. Lots of sex and lots of money. Both of these are true, making a baby starts with sex and it can end with thousands of dollars in fertility clinics. But more than anything, trying to get pregnant can be an agonizing and depressing journey. For about two weeks every month, you get to read signs into every time you have heartburn, or your boobs itch or you get a little emotional. Every time you’re in the mood for french fries, the back of your head says, “See! I have to be pregnant!” These great little hints build and build. And then, after two weeks of confidence… your period comes. And let me tell you, you’ve never in your life hated your period so much. I don’t care if it came on your honeymoon. I don’t care if it bled through your prom dress. I don’t care if it was 20 days of cramps and misery. You’ve never hated your period until you’re trying to get pregnant. You think it’s bad when tampons dance and spin in circles? Just wait til they laugh in your face. Wait until your optimistic ass doesn’t buy them because your head is sure that you’re pregnant. Then you need them at 11 o’clock at night. The entire feminine hygiene aisle is laughing at you now. (Ok yea, it’s been a long, hard road here.)
My point is, Giuliana Rancic had one thing right, fertility is a taboo subject. It might be taboo precisely because it’s an extremely personal and heart-wrenching process. So, are these stories merely another form of tabloid fodder or are they shedding light on a difficult struggle that many women go through? To be honest, I’m not sure I know the answer. Trying to pregnant is one of the largest emotional rollercoasters of my life. Yet here I am, blogging about it. Are we helping couples by relating to a deeply personal problem? Or are celebrities just reaching a point of oversharing that needs to be contained. Does anyone want to hear about Mark McGrath’s busted ball sac or Khloe’s pee sticks? Probably not. But the Rancic’s opening up about their miscarriage is touching and sad. Maybe these celebrities are simply using their uterus issues for another magazine cover, but that doesn’t mean the fertility discussion is a bad one to open up about.
What do you think? Oversharing or Enlightening?