Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Naomie Harris has a message for everyone asking when she’s going to have children

rexfeatures_8343332fi.jpg

Moonlight and Skyfall star Naomie Harris has been nominated for a bevy of awards, including Best Supporting Actress at this year’s Oscars. And yet, despite all of the exciting things going on in her career right now, all anyone wants to talk to her about is her reproductive choices.

In an interview with Woman magazine, she says that she finds it truly “bizarre” when even her close friends take it upon themselves to quiz her about why she hasn’t had kids yet.

The 40-year-old explains: “People ask, ‘So when are you going to have children?’ I think it's a really odd thing because it's such a personal decision.

“And you also don't know what is happening in someone's life.”


Read more: “When are you going to have kids?” An illustrated guide to the best comebacks


She added: “I find it bizarre, even with my friends, when they want me to have children. Why would you encourage anybody to have children unless it was their burning desire? You need to fully be committed to it.”

"Why would you encourage anybody to have children unless it was their burning desire?"

"Why would you encourage anybody to have children unless it was their burning desire?"

Thankfully, Harris has a wealth of support in her mother.

“My mum has always said, ‘You can achieve anything, you can do anything.’ She always says, ‘Have children when you're ready, if you're ready, but only then,’ and I'd never had any pressure.”

She adds: “I think that really helps, having that bedrock of support from my mum and having grown up in that environment means I don't really feel pressured by other people.”


Read more: “Why I chose to have an abortion aged 35”


It’s not the first time a woman in the public eye has spoken out about people’s relentless fascination and curiosity with child-free women.

Jennifer Aniston famously penned a blistering op-ed for The Huffington Post, in which she directly addressed tabloid speculation about her personal life – arguing powerfully that the way famous women are treated by the media reflects a wider culture of sexism.

“For the record, I am not pregnant,” she wrote. “What I am is fed up… yes, I may become a mother some day.

“But I’m not in pursuit of motherhood because I feel incomplete in some way, as our celebrity news culture would lead us all to believe. I resent being made to feel ‘less than’ because my body is changing and/or I had a burger for lunch and was photographed from a weird angle and therefore deemed one of two things: ‘pregnant’ or ‘fat.’”

“Trust me, there's a point when the next person who says, 'Well, there are so many options', you want to scream"

“Trust me, there's a point when the next person who says, 'Well, there are so many options', you want to scream"

Similarly, in a moving interview last year, Kylie Minogue – whose past chemotherapy treatments have caused fertility issues – told The Sunday Times magazine that she is sick and tired of people telling her she has “options”.

“Trust me, there's a point when the next person who says, 'Well, there are so many options', you want to scream,” she said.

“Of course, it's great there are options. It's marvellous! But when you're dealing with all the other stuff and things that you took for granted are taken away from you, it's like, yes there are options, but…”


Read more: Anna Kendrick reveals why she really doesn’t want to have kids


The 48-year-old singer didn’t have to finish; her meaning was absolutely implicit – people need to stop with their outrageous, intrusive, and insensitive questions about what should be a deeply personal subject. There are so many reasons why women may not have children: either they don’t want them, or can’t have them, or haven’t found the right person to have them with, or they are putting their career first. 

Each reason is a valid as the last, because a woman’s reproductive choices are absolutely her own. We need to stop with the incessant quizzing, comments about the biological clock, and thoughtless attempts to “help” them find a means of starting a family of their own.

More importantly, we need to put an end to this deeply misogynist narrative that suggests a woman’s primary goal in life is to breed. It’s the 21st century now, people. It’s time to change the record already.

Images: Rex Pictures

 

Related

rexfeatures_6063248bz.jpg

Fears for George! Clooney, 56, prepares for twilight fatherhood

iStock-515273988.jpg

“Why we need to stop worrying about love and whether we will find it”

halle berry.JPG

Halle Berry refuses to be shamed by her three divorces

Comments

More

Halle Berry explains why her Oscars win means absolutely nothing to he

Halle Berry is still the only person of colour to have won the Best Actress Oscar

by Jasmine Andersson
29 Jun 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From a Spice Girls throwback to Lena Dunham's rainbow hair

by Nicola Colyer
29 Jun 2017

Adele makes impassioned pledge to Grenfell victims at Wembley show

“I am not leaving them. I’m involved now.”

by Moya Crockett
29 Jun 2017

Susanna Reid finally silences Piers Morgan in sensational TV takedown

And the internet bloody loves her for it

by Kayleigh Dray
29 Jun 2017

The powerful meaning behind Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s baby boy name

The model’s son has already made his Instagram debut

by Kayleigh Dray
29 Jun 2017

Michelle Rodriguez threatens to quit Fast & Furious over lack of women

“I just might have to say goodbye”

by Amy Swales
28 Jun 2017

The decision to name Mr Big was controversial, says SATC producer

It was a last-minute script choice

by Anna Brech
28 Jun 2017

“Why women are all beauty pageant contestants to Donald Trump”

“I bet she treats you well”

by Anna Pollitt
28 Jun 2017

Serena Williams’ reaction to her pregnancy test is refreshingly honest

Everyone needs to listen to what the tennis champion has to say

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jun 2017

Jennifer Lawrence proves she’s a badass dog mum when man grabs her pet

Don’t ever try to touch her dog without permission

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Jun 2017