Are Babies the New Boyfriends?

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Are Babies the New Boyfriends?
Young Hollywood thinks so. Why diaper duty might be preferable to dating.

But it's not really that surprising when you think about it. For many stars, babies may be a better bet than most boyfriends (at least in Hollywood, where there's a nanny to change diapers and get up for 3 A.M. feedings). Babies don't dump you, sleep with your friends or get caught making out with strippers in Vegas. They don't sell sex tapes of you. They don't whine because you make more than they do. And babies actually like it when you gain 30 pounds (it means they're getting plenty to eat). Their toys are a lot cheaper, and they don't expect you to bankroll their careers (at least not for a few years).

And nothing can change your image from Train Wreck to Saintly faster than starting a family. Before becoming a mommy, Angelina Jolie was best known for her penchant for porn-star-ish publicity stunts: She made out with her brother…at the Academy Awards! She wore a vial of her (unlikely) second husband Billy Bob Thornton's blood around her neck. She stole Brad Pitt from America's Sweetheart, Jennifer Aniston. Then there were the tattoos and rumors of drug use and lesbian affairs. Jolie seemed destined to be the brunette Anna Nicole Smith…until she adopted an adorable Cambodian baby she named Maddox. Six years and three more kids later, Angelina has been transformed into a latter-day Mother Teresa—with a better wardrobe.

Katie Holmes is another example of how a baby can give your reputation a much-needed makeover. When she first contracted a relationship fell in love with Tom Cruise, the whole world seemed convinced she had sold her soul to boost her career. But her tenderness with daughter Suri (helpfully chronicled by the paparazzi) has almost made people forget her Scientolo-palling husband.

But one caveat before you try to keep up with the Angelinas, the Katies and the Halles: Just getting knocked up isn't enough. You have to be a good mom (or at least have your Mommy Dearest moments in private). Britney Spears is the perfect example of how motherhood can be the ultimate What Not To Wear. Pre-kids, Britney's career was red-hot: She was the hardest working girl in show-biz, renowned for her discipline and good nature, if not her smarts. Now her antics, while probably no worse than Charlie Sheen's soberest weekend, subject her to much harsher judgment, because she's a mom.

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