Apprentice’s tale: mums don’t lose personality in birth
I have four children. That’s not an easy thing for me to admit in public. It’s not that I am ashamed of it, far from it, but it brings with it an expectation from people about how I should be/have that I don’t always live up to. Let’s just say it’s one of many well-worn-out stereotypes I don’t do well.
It bothers me though that I feel compelled to somewhat mask this side of my life, not out of privacy, but for fear that my own identity will be drowned out by the din of social constructs that requires one’s personality to drop out of your vagina when giving birth to your first child.
I can’t believe that “motherhood” is still in need of an image shake-up in 2009, or we at the very least we need to extend the parameters of how we expect mothers to behave.
No man has done a better job to expose this recently than Donald Trump - yes, the same man who just put on the gala spectacular that dressed some of the world’s most beautiful women as fruit. (That was the Miss Universe theme right?)
Some of you may be familiar with The Apprentice - a US television series where participants compete to win a job as an apprentice in one of Trump’s companies. And if any of you are familiar with Channel 9, you’ll know that an Australian version is to be airing soon. Among those competing is Perth woman and mum Heather - whom I happen to know. Nothing much untoward there. She also happens to have some friends who know their way around the internet and set up a fan site for her - weloveheather.com - which included some candid shots of Heather having ... fun. Sometimes mothers do this. Sometimes alcohol is involved.
The site and the campaign for Heather caught the eye of Perth Now, who ran a piece on Heather and her upcoming appearance in The Apprentice. The photo they chose to run was one of her “throwing the horns” and sticking her tongue out. Sometimes news sites do this. Sometimes, they know exactly what they are doing. Perth Now also ran some of Heather’s quotes from the ad promoting the show:
“Everything I have done in my life is to support my daughter,” she said. “She can be whatever she wants to be, just as long as she is happy.
“I know what it is like to be judged . . . for people to think of me as ditsy and blonde. But there is more to me than meets the eye.
“I’ve got something to prove. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I will be giving everything I’ve got.”
And then came the comments:
Change the world for your daughter? Maybe being there for her instead of opting to swan about on a two-bit remake of a US reality TV show would be changing the world in your daughter’s eyes… Nauseating. Posted by: Suzie Q of Perth
Does’nt portray a good mum in the photos! Just looks like a childish trollop with a drinking problem, who is setting a poor example for her daughter.Posted by: Brad of Perth
More like heather likes heather not we. Whats with all the photos with alcohol included on her photo shoot. YOURE FIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: rob of shenton park
Those that know Heather have jumped to her defence. Rightly so. Unfortunately, the true ugliness of this story is not about one woman, but a nauseating (thanks Suzie Q) attitude towards how woman who are mothers should or shouldn’t behave.
Heather’s professional success is testament to the fact that glass ceiling might not be in the boardroom anymore, it’s just shifted above the birthing suite.
And for good measure here’s a picture of me “throwing the horns”. I can have childish fun too. Sometimes mothers do that - and I suspect they’ll be doing it for some time to come.
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