Cameron Diaz is happy, healthy and successful at the age of 41. She also still doesn't want children. Ever. And she’ll explain it very slowly and clearly if she has to.
Speaking with Esquire magazine, the actress said her forties had brought a self-assuredness she had not enjoyed as a younger woman. “It’s the best age,” she told Tom Chiarella. “That's when a woman knows how to work things, or she doesn't care about that anymore. You just stop being afraid. You don't worry about what men think. You just don't worry that time registers anything awful.”
It wasn’t long before the conversation turned to Diaz’s unmarried-childless status, as all interviews with female celebrities are wont to do. (And don't even get us started on the fact that the article begins with an exclamation: Cameron Diaz can whistle! Subtext: like a man).
Cameron Diaz: ""Having children changes your life drastically, and I really love my life. Children aren't the only things that bring you gratification and happiness, and it's easier to give life than to give love, so I don't know. That kind of change would have to be either very well thought out, or a total mistake — a real oops!" Photo: Steve Granitz
“You’re rich… you’re beautiful… you don’t have children,” Chiarella said to her, suggesting her life, and career, might be easier as a result. Later, he writes that he had assumed “a reverent silence” might follow, “since most Americans seem to consider having children to be the holiest of holy creeds, the sacred mission of all women, the thing that many assume compels us all to happiness. But Diaz jumps on that.”
And jump she did. While not having a baby might make things easier in some ways, Diaz explained patiently, her decision wasn't an easy one.
“I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother,” she said. “I have it much easier than any of them. That's just what it is. Doesn't mean life isn't sometimes hard. I'm just what I am. I work on what I am. Right now, I think, things are good for me. I've done a lot. And I don't care anymore.”
Diaz reminds us the decision to not become a mother is deeply personal, whether you're choosing to do it in Hollywood or elsewhere. While celebrities continue to be asked to defend their choices publicly, women everywhere are making the same decision based on all number of reasons, ranging from simply not feeling the urge or wanting to retain their independence, to inadequate maternity and paternity leave and a lack of affordable childcare.
Cameron Diaz loves her life and knows it’s "because I don’t have children," fellow actress Eva Mendes enjoys a good night’s sleep too much, while for Eva Longoria having children is “just not in my future.”
It really is as simple as that. So, let's let the mothering v child-free discussion gather dust like an old issue of Esquire and focus on more pressing matters, shall we? Like, what Diaz looks like in a near-transparent shirt, for example, or how amazing it is that she can whistle with her fingers.