Baby number 7 is apparently on the way. Really?
So I'm in the grocery store checkout line the other day, and the headline jumps out at me in big yellow print: Angelina's Pregnant! I must admit, my first question was (a weary and somewhat bored): "seriously?"
Yes, a baby is a miracle, a blessing, a mitzvah, cause for celebration, especially when the baby in question is being born to celebrity royalty (which perhaps leads us to another question we should ask ourselves: why do we care?). But honestly, my first reaction—perhaps because I'm a marriage and family therapist—was that Angelina really has something to prove.
At first glance, this seems absurd. I mean, she's stunningly beautiful, has Brad Pitt and six other children, both biological and adopted (best of both worlds there); add in an Academy Award, a successful film career and the eyes and interest of the world, and you've pretty much got every dream covered. What could she possibly have to prove? Call me crazy, but for some reason, this last pregnancy announcement just smacks of desperation to me. Really, Angelina? Seven?!
I'm ashamed to admit I read the article. I guess you could call it research. What I read just solidified my gut reaction. According to the magazine, not only does Angie feel "at her most womanly" when pregnant and "love her voluptuous curves" (apparently she's stricken by food guilt every other moment because there's so much famine in the world; of course) but the sex she and Brad had in order to concieve was nothing short of miraculous, earth-shattering, mind-blowing...add your impressive adjective here. Is Angelina Jolie A Kinky, Sex Toy-Loving Freak In Bed?
Maybe I'm old school, but it seems to me that when you have to trumpet how amazing your sex life is to the whole world, it seems a little, well, false. Actually, as I'm thinking about it, that might be my whole beef with Angelina. She seems fake, and this latest carefully staged, glowing announcement is no different. Frankly, my stomach turned just a little when I read that "though not her primary concern, of course, the fact that a seventh baby with Brad really sticks it to Jennifer Aniston is a side benefit". Yuck! And then I thought: could a woman as lovely and accomplished and famous as Angelina really be that insecure?
The answer of course is yes. Why not? She's still human, after all. Please let me be clear: I do not hold having any insecurity against her in the least; in fact, it would probably make me like her more if she was honest enough to share it. Insecurity is real. Everyone has had or currently has some measure of it, and I've been a therapist too long for Angelina or anyone else to be able to convince me that she's the one exception. C'mon, Angie...it's okay to admit that the fact that Brad was married to Jennifer really chaps your butt. Hmm, maybe that's it? Jen had the one thing Angie doesn't: a ring. That would explain why they both make such a big show of not caring about being married, wouldn't it? Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt's Kids Wonder Why They Aren't Married
I don't know, and frankly, I've invested too much thought into this already. All I do know is that when I come across someone who is as heavily invested in trumpeting her perfection as Angelina seems to be, it stinks of insincerity and insecurity. I personally don't think you give anything up when you admit that yes, life isn't perfect. As in, "yeah, I'm not treasuring those sudden trips to the bathroom to vomit from morning sickness." Or, "yeah, I worry that my self-worth is tied up in being stick-thin and getting movie roles." Hmm, maybe Brad actually grosses me out sometimes (shave, Brad! Please shave!)
Listen, I don't think for a second that those words would ever make it into print (what a heyday that would be!) But Angie, between you and me: it's okay! You don't have to pretend you're perfect—maybe baby number 7 will finally free you of that. Maybe you could learn to be gracious about Jen, and genuinely happy about her happiness, instead of constantly worrying about being upstaged and missing out on the best years of Brad's life (too deep too fast? Sorry, girl). Besides, you're not really fooling us (well, some of us) anyway. You're just perpetuating the myth that perfection is an attainable and worthy goal. Honey, it isn't. You've got a lot to be happy about—congrats! Maybe even you could learn to be content with a movie star partner, unlimited resources, fame, and 7 children, ya think? Jennifer Aniston: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, HA!