Posts Tagged ‘ celebrities ’

What Happened to Moms? How Dads Became the New TV Role Models

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Family Watching TV

When you think about the best TV moms, who comes to mind? Clair Huxtable? Carol Brady? Lorelai Gilmore? Or perhaps June Cleaver? But what about moms currently seen in primetime?

Nurturing moms appear to be getting less-and-less screen time while, let’s say complicated mothers are becoming the norm. The so-called “Momsters,” as coined by the New York Daily News, include characters like Games of Thrones’ Cersei Lannister, Mad Men’s Betty Draper, and Scandal’s Maya Pope, who just happens to be a for-hire terrorist. (Yes, Rowan Pope is no saint either, but at least he’s not a terrorist…yet.)

While there certainly are still positive mom characters on TV (Kristina on Parenthood, Lily from How I Met Your Mother, and Claire from Modern Family come to mind), doesn’t it seem like moms are getting a bad rep recently? Even moms that don’t make regular appearances on shows can’t catch a break. In The Big Bang Theory, one of the most popular shows currently airing, the moms of the four main characters can seem less than ideal – they include one who’s emotionally-unavailable to her son, one who, though loving, is judgmental of her son and his friends’ ‘alternative’ beliefs and lifestyle, one who screams at her son from another room, and one who’s constantly pressuring her son to marry, preferably within their own race.

What gives?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, though, dads are getting a nice boost in the positive role-model department on TV. Have you noticed?

Burt Hummel on Glee is incredibly supportive of his openly-gay son and often encourages Kurt to follow his seemingly impossible dreams. Danny Williams (aka Danno) on Hawaii Five-0 is a single dad who moved more than 4,000 miles just to be closer to his daughter. And the Reagan men on Blue Bloods have proven time and time again how much they value family time.

For years, we’ve heard complaints about how dads are portrayed as absent or the ‘dummy,’ but as the number of stay-at-homes dads continues to increase, and more fathers are spending more time at home.

A 2012 Wall Street Journal article asked, “Are Dads the New Mom?” and declared “the age of dads as full partners in parenting has arrived.” And apparently popular culture has followed suit.

So, is the demise of the good mom character connected to the rise of the good dad? I certainly hope not! Why can’t we have co-parents who love their kids, support them emotionally, and don’t murder people? That’s not too much to ask for, right?

 

Tell us! Who are your favorite TV parents?

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How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity
How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity
How Tech Impacts Your Child's Creativity

Image: Young family watching TV together at home via Shutterstock

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Why I Pity Gwyneth Paltrow…Sort Of

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Let’s face facts: We all love to hate Gwyneth Paltrow. And she makes it really hard not to hate her. She still looks like that all-too-pretty popular girl from high school, with her over-whitened teeth and sleek blond locks. Her dating pool has been A-list all the way (we’re talking Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck before she settled down with her soon-to-be ex, Coldplay rock star Chris Martin). She has an Oscar, for God’s sake. And as the celebrity daughter of a celebrity couple, she’s never really ever set foot in the real world, which explains why she doesn’t quite get why we won’t be spending $450,000 on our spring wardrobes. Nor does she understand why her recent comment about how much harder she has it, working 14-hour days on a movie set, than those of us with “office jobs,” is setting the social media abuzz. (Don’t even get me started.)

But as she’s undergoing this divorce (ahem…conscious uncoupling), I’m feeling a teeny, tiny bit bad for her. Because in some ways, she’s just like you and me (or at least, like those annoying acquaintances we haven’t had the heart to unfriend yet). We’ve all been guilty of trying to make our lives look better and more perfect than they really are. We shove the dirty clothes out of the Instagram shot we’re taking of our kiddos finally playing nicely together for once. We gloss over the fact that we fed our kids chicken nuggets five times this week, and instead showcase the awesome tofu stir fry we whipped up on Sunday. (And we also neglect to mention how the kids made barfy noises when they looked at the dish.) Gwyneth’s just kicking her efforts to look perfect up a notch by getting some pseudo experts to reframe her crumbling marriage as a success, and by name dropping all her famous friends into interviews (Beyonce, Jay-Z, etc., etc. ad nauseum).

Gwyneth also has a tendency to get (more than) a little judgy. Like when she said that she’d rather die than let her kids eat Cup a Soup. Or when she talked about how she couldn’t wait to get back to Europe, because America’s such an “adolescent culture.” But let’s face it—we’re all judgy. Even with our very best BFFs, and most especially with strangers. (Have you ever seen some of the comments on blogs and Facebook pages? Seriously, it’s enough to make even the Grinch cry.) And didn’t we all have a lot of fun dissing her choice in baby names? (Apple, anyone?)

But still, who really wants to be in her expensive shoes right now? No matter how you try to spin it, divorce sucks. And it’s got to be even worse to break up your marriage when you’re always in the public eye and you have small kids you’re trying to protect.

So maybe we don’t really believe her (and we kind of roll our eyes) when she comes out with a gem like: “I’m just a normal mother with the same struggles as any other mother…There’s absolutely nothing perfect about my life, but I just try hard.” But she does have a struggle that many families are facing right now—and one I definitely don’t envy her.

Tell us: Do you love or loathe Gwyneth Paltrow?

 

Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail
Mom Confessions: My Latest Parenting Fail

Image: Gwyneth Paltrow by DFree / Shutterstock.com

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People Magazine Declares: No More Paparazzi Pictures of Celeb Kids

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

paparazzi taking picturesAnyone who has watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians or TMZ knows that the paparazzi can be relentless when trying to get photos of famous people, even when the celebs are just going about their daily business. This guerilla-style method of photography allows us to get our fix of candid shots in our celebrity magazines and tabloids. However, celebrities and, most importantly, their kids suffer from constantly being stalked in the process. Luckily for our favorite famous kids, there could be an end to this madness in the future. One major magazine is changing its policy: New People magazine editorial director Jess Cagle has decided to put an end to unsanctioned celebrity pictures in the popular publication, stating that “[People has] no interest in running kids’ photos taken under duress.”

This isn’t the first time that the paparazzi’s treatment of celebrity children has come into question. Last summer, Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry testified about paparazzi stalking their kids in the hopes that California lawmakers would pass stricter laws. “We are moms here who are just trying to protect our children. It’s not about me. Take my picture. I get it. But these little innocent children, they didn’t ask to be celebrities,” Berry testified.

Though there was solid celebrity backing behind this initiative, not everyone is in favor of reforming paparazzi laws to benefit celebrity children. People is the only major magazine thus far that has changed its tune on candid kids shots. US Weekly publically defended its usage of paparazzi pictures. “No one told [celebrity parents] they had to have children. No one told them they had to live in Los Angeles. No one told them they had to live in New York … These are choices that they made,” said Ian Drew, entertainment director, in response to efforts to reform paparazzi laws.

I admit that I am a hypocrite when it comes to the debate about paparazzi versus celebrity kids. On one hand, I can’t imagine even one random person taking pictures of my family or me as we go to the grocery store or the gym. Truth be told, it’s crazy that we allow strangers to go around and snap shots of innocent kids trying to get to school, and I understand why any celebrity parent would be pushing for reform. However, I have to admit that I read the tabloids every so often and I enjoy the pictures of celebrity kids (and, yes, we do occasionally use these shots here on Parents.com). Even worse, I read Suri’s Burn Book, a blog that takes celebrity kid pictures and then makes fun of them. I think I choose to believe that celebrities and their families are a different breed and can tolerate crazy paparazzi and bullying.

In reality, celebrity kids are just like our kids, give or take a few million dollars. We shouldn’t allow people to harass them and take pictures of them when they are simply trying to do their day-to-day activities. I am glad that People magazine is taking a stand against paparazzi photography of children, and I hope the publication follows through. I just might be its next subscriber.

Take our quiz to find out what parenting style you have, shop trendy baby clothes for your little one, or, if you still can’t get enough celeb news, see which celebrities are pregnant.

Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas
Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas
Rosie Pope Solves Your Parenting Dilemmas

Image of photographers via Shutterstock

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Would You Announce a Miscarriage? Jack Osbourne and Wife Lisa Did

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Jack Osbourne and Lisa Stelly announced a miscarriageAny miscarriage is devastating. From the minute that little strip turns pink or the plus sign shows up on the pregnancy test, your mind starts spinning dreams, and you begin making plans for a wonderful new addition. Miscarriage pulls all those hopes to grinding halt, and can even make a mom-to-be question whether she is at fault for the loss of pregnancy (even though most miscarriages are chromosomal or genetic and have nothing to do with the choices of the pregnant woman.)

Because of the insane amounts of grief that can come with miscarriage, many moms-to-be choose to keep their news private, or at least contained to a small group of family and very close friends. But in late term miscarriages, most people already know that you’re pregnant, meaning that a widespread miscarriage announcement is pretty unavoidable. Sadly, that’s the situation that Jack Osbourne and his wife, Lisa Stelly, have found themselves in. Already a mom to 16-month-old daughter, Pearl, Lisa announced on her blog, raddest mom, that she and Jack had suffered a miscarriage last week. “I have been dreading this announcement,” Lisa wrote, “I needed some time before being able to say it. Jack and I lost our baby boy this week. Having a late term miscarriage is by far the hardest thing either of us have ever had to go through.”

I’ve never suffered a miscarriage myself and will not say I can imagine what it feels like (because I can’t), but a few years ago, a friend of mine went through the horror of losing a pregnancy. She had just announced that she and her husband were expecting, and we were all psyched for another cutie in her brood. I popped a fun little present in the mail to her—only to find out the next day that she’d miscarried. I felt horrible, not only for her immeasurable loss, but also because my cheerful “hooray baby!” package likely arrived in the days after her pregnancy ended, pouring unintentional salt in her very fresh wounds. We never spoke of the gift, in fact, I like to think it’s something her husband deftly intercepted from the postman and never told her about—but I’m sure mine weren’t the only well-wishes with terrible timing.

Neither Lisa Stelly nor my friend had the option of privately dealing with their pain—but many other women do, especially since most miscarriages occur during the first eight weeks after conception, before the big baby news has typically been spread. But even some of those women who could keep the whole things under wraps choose to talk openly about their losses either to gain support of their friends and family when they need it most, or to help erase the stigma of miscarriage and show others that they are not alone. Earlier this year, Beyoncé revealed that she had previously suffered a miscarriage, and explained why she kept it a secret until after having Blue Ivy.

If you miscarried, would you (or did you) tell anyone besides your partner and your closest family members? Was it helpful to have all the support possible? For Jack Osbourne and Lisa Stelly, I’m hoping that’s the case.

Image of Jack Osbourne and Lisa Stelly via s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

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Should the press be allowed to take photos of celeb children?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Actress and mom Jennifer GarnerFrom the Star Shots of Star to the Hot Pics of US Weekly, from the Startracks of People to the News in Photos of OK! magazines compete to get their hands on the best snapshots of celebrities and their families. Photos of celebrity children are in demand because readers nationwide clamor for them.

We want to know that stars are just like us, juggling kids and diaper bags and carpools. (In fact, US Weekly dedicates a whole page to the callout “Stars—they’re just like US!” and now a full page to “Kids Stars—they’re just like US!”) But do we stop to think about how the paparazzi that feed into these publications managed to snag these shots?

Halle Berry described one situation during her custody battle that bordered on a verbal assault of her 5-year-old daughter Nahla, “[The photographer] said,  ‘How do you feel, Nahla? You may not see your father again. How do you feel about that?”

Now pregnant with her second child, Berry is taking action by supporting strict amendments to a bill known as SB606. The existing law states that it is a misdemeanor crime to “harass a child due to the occupation of his or her parents or guardian.” The proposed amendments to the law would allow the attempt to photograph or record a child without parental consent to be classified as such harassment and would escalate the punishment of these crimes (from an up to $1,000 fine to an up to $10,000 fine and increase the maximum imprisonment from six months to one year). The new law would also allow the parents to file a civil action against perpetrators.

Of course, the media is up in arms waving First Amendment rights and Freedom of the Press. Motion Picture Association of America and other organizations oppose the bill for these reasons and for the unintended consequences that could result: What if you take a picture of your kid at soccer practice and Suri Cruz just happens to be in the background?

But, in truth, the MPAA need not worry about this. The law, as it is currently proposed, bans harassment. Taking a photo of a child in public in and of itself is not harassment, but can be considered harassment if the act “seriously alarms, annoys, torments, or terrorizes the child” to the point of “substantial emotional distress.”

Listening to the stories of these celeb parents, the paparazzi’s behavior is not just an invasion of privacy it is potentially harmful to these kids. On August 13, Jennifer Garner—actress and mom of three—testified to the Assembly Judiciary Committee in Sacramento, “Large aggressive men swarm us causing a mob scene, yelling, jockeying for a position, crowding around the kids. My 17-month-old baby is terrified and cries.” Berry stated that her daughter is afraid to go to school because photographers are always jumping out of the bushes.

The bill passed the Judiciary Committee and now awaits judgment by the Assembly Appropriations Committee before becoming official law. While Berry and Garner are the public supporters of the bill, I can only imagine that other actors and actresses feel the same way. One could argue that along with their career choice, they have opted in to a life in the public eye. But should their children’s daily lives be fodder for our daily entertainment by default?

Garner nearly burst into tears as she pleaded her case, “I don’t want a gang of shouting, arguing, lawbreaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are all day every day to continue traumatizing my kids.”

Since much of the intention behind these pictures is to show that celebrities are just like us, perhaps we should consider if us average Janes would put up with the constant camera flashes and provocative shouting every time we went to the grocery store or school or piano lessons or T-ball. Do the kids of stars have a right to the same treatment as our children?

Let us know your thoughts below!

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