Megan Fox calls out the impossible demands placed on new moms in Hollywood
Transformers actress Megan Fox got real about what’s it like for working moms in Hollywood, and even for those of us who aren’t rich and famous, it’s infuriatingly relatable. In an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Fox said she felt tremendous pressure to lose her pregnancy weight and look perfect within weeks of giving birth.
Fox, who shares three sons with ex Brian Austin Green, explained that getting pregnant is seen as a drawback in and of itself. She said that’s just always been the status quo for actresses, and it’s past time for a change.
“Hollywood is not adapted to… us actually having lives and being moms,” she told Clarkson. “It’s been a patriarchy for so long. The power’s been in the hands of people who don’t understand and haven’t been made to understand.”
Fox said that lack of understanding also made her feel like she had no choice but to go back to work sooner than she was ready. “The problem is in your brain, you’re delivering, and I’m like, ‘OK, well I’ve got to lose thirty pounds in eight weeks,” she explained. “Those things are really stressful, and you’re supposed to be bonding, and nurturing yourself, and nourishing your baby. That creates a lot of tension and a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety for us to go back to work too early.”
But Fox said she powered through, in part because she didn’t want to miss out on acting opportunities — or give anyone reason to think she was no longer focused on her job. “There is that thing in this industry of like, ‘Well, are you giving up? Are you just a mom now?'”
And of course, because women just can’t win when it comes to societal expectations, Fox said the guilt of going back to work made her feel like a bad mom. “The stress from both sides is really intense.”
Fox said there were no easy solutions on how to make Hollywood more friendly to working moms, but said she believes that as more women rise up the ranks and find themselves in positions of power at studios, change will eventually come.
That’s good news for actresses, but in a way it’s kind of good news for all moms, too. Once we stop holding famous mamas to impossible standards, maybe the rest of us can get a break, too. No one should be worrying about their waist size or fitting into anything but pajamas weeks after giving birth, and no one should have to wonder whether having a child is going to hurt their career.