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Are Celebrities Turning Single Motherhood Into a Trend?

First comes marriage? Not if you listen to statistics from the UK and US. More women, in fact, are having babies out of wedlock. Correction. It's not 1950: more women are having babies while single.

In the US, teens accounted for 50 percent of unwed mothers in 1970, but that rate is now down to 23 percent. So who are these eager moms? A lot of women in their 20s. And the UK reveals a similar trend: unmarried births are poised to become the majority in the next decade. Already, one-third of mothers are under 25.

Professor Gary Hoppenstand, editor of The Journal of Popular Culture, argues that one reason might be that celebrities are making it more and more acceptable to be pregnant in flip-flops. "Young people see their favorite actresses getting pregnant without serious commitment," he said, "and it's cool for them." Hmmm. Facile and insulting? Or not entirely false?

I don't actually know anyone who got unmarried-pregnant before 30, so help me out. Have celebrities made it more acceptable? Or, are we just so beyond unwed pregnancy being an issue for 20-somethings that the bump is moot?


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Anne26 Anne26 8 years
Pretty much, and I would of been one of them but luckily I didn't...
abigail-rum abigail-rum 8 years
wow, this is absolutely hilarious. this new giggle site rocks.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
I think the social 'acceptance' of single parents has more to do with divorce rates than anything. As divorce started becoming more socially acceptable and divorce rates started edging closer to 50%, it was inevitable that there would be many more single-parent households than before. You can't shun nearly half the population and still have a working community. Teen pregnancies do belong in a separate category, and those may be more influenced by pop culture, but for the most part I think teen pregnancies are more, "Aw crap..." My two rants related to this are from when I was younger and now... I have a lot of nieces & nephews, and thanks to strong family genes we all look pretty similar. I HATED walking around with one of the younger ones when I was under 18 (once I was seriously 13) and having people ASSUME they were my child. GRRR! And now that I'm married (at 25) I hate it when people assume that I must be achin' for a baby, just since we're married! It's such a personal decision that you should only make after lots of intense analysis of your life and situation. If you're ready for a child and you're not in a relationship, have a baby. But don't have one because your favorite celeb had one and she was single. And don't have a baby for an 'accessory' or because you're 'lonely' (Hello Octo-Mom).
GMarie GMarie 8 years
In the main, celebrities have access to money that the average person does not. That money relieves much of the stress of being a single parent, in that there's not so much worry about how they will feed and clothe a child. It can also provide amenities that can be out of reach for your average single parent - nannies, designer clothing and equipment, etc... I don't think being a single parent is ever "easy", but it is certainly easiER for someone who does not have to think about the financial side every minute of every day and so can just enjoy their child with less stress.
SKC-Sparkle SKC-Sparkle 8 years
I don't know if its become more "acceptable" to have a baby before marriage because there is still a lot of social stigma attached to it. However, I would say that it has become more common.
Kkkkkkkkkkk Kkkkkkkkkkk 8 years
Which celebrities are getting pregnant "without serious commitment"? I can't think of any single celebrities who have been pregnant recently. Yes, there have been many unmarried pregnant celebs, but they're all in relationships with the father of their babies, so what is this professors point exactly?
kty kty 8 years
some people aren't married but they live together with their kids,because of that i never considered myself as a single mother,cause i was with the father...but raising the kid by yourself will be a different story and harder
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
I think the idea is that it is a subliminal message they are sending. Not that they are like- Oh in knocked up she got pregnant by some random dude and everything worked out fine, so let's go find some ugly dude and get knocked up. - Just that in the movies it can make it common place and make it like it isn't a big deal. It might teach young girls from an early age that its all good and then when they finally get to where the are being intimate, they don't really think about the consequences because it has always seemed to work out fine for everyone else.
StolzeMama StolzeMama 8 years
Yeah when I got married at 20, everyone assumed we must have had a kid and that was why we were getting married. Or when people would find out I was married they would automatically assume we had kids. We were married 2 1/2 years before our first kid. People have it backwards. I would NEVER have wanted to have a kid without being married. I guess maybe I've seen too many people screwed over by their babies momma/daddy. Even though I know some people think of marriage as just a piece of paper, it definitely gives me some assurance that the dude isn't gonna leave me when things get too rough. And that he wanted to marry me for me. :shrug: guess I'm old fashioned now :P
ElenaEv ElenaEv 8 years
Some decades ago the kids of unmarried women were called bastards, like it was their mistake in the first place. So it's not that bad if the situation is glamorized a bit in order to be more acceptable. Of course it's a huge responsibility -to have a kid- that's much more easy to bear when you are in a solid marriage. But seriously, who can blame movies?! They are supposed to be fiction.
janneth janneth 8 years
And yes, celebs glamorize it. They have the money for nannies and they can pay for all the expenses of babies and children.
janneth janneth 8 years
If single means not in a relationship with the father, it is very difficult to raise a child by oneself.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i have to say that i've thought about it in the past. i've wanted kids all my life and i've really wanted them quite badly lately and if i weren't getting married next week i think that i'd totally consider having one out of wedlock and even being single. i feel like it's not necessary to be married anymore and you're not scorned if you do it.
hyddenstarr hyddenstarr 8 years
"Marriage then babies. Simple as that!" ..... Life is NEVER "simple as that" EVER now THAT'S a movie fairytale!!
caroline_1 caroline_1 8 years
i think that its become less taboo to have a baby out of wedlock.. here in conservative preppy new england it is still looked down on, but i do think that celebs waiting until after kids to get married (richie-maddens, etc) kinda help pave the way
RaCheer RaCheer 8 years
Marriage then babies. Simple as that!
hyddenstarr hyddenstarr 8 years
Well first there is a BIG difference between unwed teen mothers and unwed mothers in their twenties so I would suggest not lumping them in the same category! Second to say people have more freesex then in the 60s and 70s...?? I think thats a bit incorrect I feel it is alot more acceptable to "continue" with the pregnancy if you are single or unwed then in the 60s and 70s and that makes a difference (meaning not giving it up for adoption, abortion or marrying the father of the child just bc of the pregnancy-all of which I do believe is a personal choice). I feel movies making it "cooler" to have a baby out of wedlock might influence someone say 16 or so (MAYBE) but influencing someone that is 25 or so...I do worry for that child if their parent at that age is that immature to be influenced that much over a film! BUT that being said to worry about a child being raised in a single parent household is quite ludacris in my opinion in this day and age, especially with the divorce rate as high as it is (not that all divorces mean the parents drag the children into it) however there will always be obstacles in life and JUST having two parents present and married will in my opinion no way completely and soley shape the person you will become in your life...obviously I am speaking from experience and usually never post comments but this struck a chord for me.
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
As a former single mother, I was supportive of it. But, it was hard as hell and I'd never want to venture that way again. However, to tell the truth, having the father in the child's active life on a daily basis makes an extremely big difference. Let's be real. A single parent of either sex cannot replace the opposite parent. It doesn't work 8 out of 10 times. Single parenthood isn't a trend that anyone should take lightly without thinking about the consequences.
care0531 care0531 8 years
aimeeb- the difference is that when you are in a marriage you take a vow and you are suppose to take it seriously- that means if there is a problem you work it out- you don't just give up. People who aren't married see it as having an easy way out without having to deal with a court system and split up everything you own. It's much easier to walk away from a relationship then it is to get a divorce. Also- when there are kids involved and you hit a rough patch in your marriage- you think of that child and you make it work for their sake.
care0531 care0531 8 years
I don't think it's a trend to be a single mother but I do think that Brangelina is setting a trend of 2 people feeling that they don't need to have a marriage certificate to be in a commited relationship and couples are just living together and having kids and thinking it is okay. I know several people who have gotten preganant before an engagment or marriage. Most of them got married after or before the kid came and the others that aren't married but raising a kid together aren't married because they don't have a great relationship so regardless that kid is going to be a product of a broken home. I think its very important to be in a serious commited relationship before bringing a child into this world. It's a responsibility and I think a lot of young people see a kid as a cute accessory and that pisses me off!
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
I don't know anyone who's had a kid before getting married here, and my friends are fairly unconventional. I think the limit is living together. I have friends in France that do it - it's very common there to be in a loving partnership that is not marriage. I think it's quite possible. I think that the US is definitely more conventional than most places when it comes to this sort of thing. Personally I don't even want to live with my boyfriend before we marry (well, I'd be happy if we were engaged) so having a kid without being married wouldn't satisfy my sense of security. But yeah, anyone who follows celebrity trends like this, esp. when it comes to life decisions, is a real moron.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I'm with Mädchen. I ave a few friends who have young babies who are not married but in very committed relationships. I don't see anything wrong with it, I mean heck people have kids and then get divorced so what's the difference.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
If you have a "monkey-see-monkey-do" relationship with celebrities, then maybe you shouldn't be making any decisions until you've seen a professional.
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
People seem to have a I'll do what I want when I want attitude these days and if a woman wants to have a baby she'll have one. I personally wouldn't have a baby alone but if others want to do that then it's their right to do so. I wouldn't blame it on celebs flaunting their out of wedlock pregnancies. I think it comes from how and where you are raised. Where I come from women are not popping out babies in their teens or early 20's. Most wait until they are in their late 20's early 30's or later and it's still frowned upon if you are a single pregnant woman. That's just how it is here.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
I don't know if it's become more *acceptable* - there are still plenty of people who are totally against it...but it does happen more often, so I mean what are you going to do about it? The babies are already born, they don't deserved to be shunned because of the circumstances of how they were concieved - somebody's got to raise them. I'm 22 in the South - there's been a mix of pregnancies in my age group. Some of this intersects with cultural and socioeconomic factors. There's a group (about 5) girls who are my age, who are all married and have children/are pregnant. There's another group, about 10 or so, who are single mothers. Their ex-boyfriends/fiancess/SOs pretty much knocked them up [some under the guise of "of course I'll still love you, we'll get married and have a family"] and left the women to raise the children. Three are going through the courts to get child support. Terrible situations for everyone, especially the children. These situations are pretty independent of whatever is happening in Hollywood...both groups of women, I know, are too busy working/taking care of their kids [even BEFORE they were pregnant] to pay attention to that at all.
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