Sharing a photo of her cuddling the little boy close to her chest, Dewan wrote: “And just like that, our hearts exploded into all of eternity and beyond. Welcome to the world you, little angel! Callum Michael Rebel Kazee 3/6/20”.
Kazee, on his own page, added: “In an instant our universe burst wide open and nothing would ever be the same. Welcome to earth star child.”
It’s the sort of news that should provoke one of two reactions: either we don’t care and scroll past the announcement in our social media feeds (perfectly valid – not everyone obsesses over celebrity news), or we care a lot and fire off a congratulatory message to Dewan via social media. And that’s just as valid, quite frankly: after all, psychologists have uncovered evidence that suggests our fascination with gossip is a symptom of superior social intelligence.
On this occasion, however, the primary reaction was very different. Tabloids, rather than focus their attention on the happy news, decided to make this story almost entirely about the fact that Dewan was once married to another man. That she is, and will always be, Channing Tatum’s ex-wife (many even made sure to name her as “Channing Tatum’s ex-wife Jenna Dewan” in their headlines. And that Ofchanning hasn’t spent nearly enough time in voluntary isolation grieving over her divorce.
“Jenna Dewan gives birth to baby boy two years after split from Channing Tatum,” read one such headline.
“Channing Tatum’s ex-wife Jenna Dewan gives birth to a baby boy,” screamed another.
“How Heartbreak Led to Jenna Dewan’s Happily Ever After,” one added, opting for a slightly more reflective tone.
And still one more decided to hammer home the point that the birth took place “just months” after her divorce was finalised.
Of course, it’s not the first time that Dewan has been accused of moving on too quickly. Indeed, when she first announced that she was pregnant in 2019, her news was met with ire on social media.
As reported on 25 Sep 2019, the couple told People: “We are beyond overjoyed and couldn’t be happier to be expanding our family!”
“Wow, that was super-fast,” one person tweeted, in response to the news.
“She and Channing just split, like, yesterday,” added another.
“Jesus,” spat another. “Do people in Hollywood have some sort of switch where they just move on as if nothing? Is her divorce even final? I really want to know. I need a new husband.”
So… let’s unpack this, shall we?
Firstly, to everyone saying Dewan has moved on “too fast”, it’s worth noting that she and Tatum finalised their divorce in 2018. For all those lucky enough not to have been through a divorce of their own, please remember that it is hardly a decision that is made lightly, and it’s highly unlikely the couple were living happily as man and wife up until the morning of that announcement. Or, to quote one Twitter user, “you don’t wake up on Monday and get divorced on a Tuesday – they were probably separated for a long time prior to the announcement”.
Secondly, how long should a woman sit in isolation before you are comfortable enough to release her from her confinement? Because this all sounds like a ‘you problem’, in our opinion. You aren’t actually concerned about the heart of the person who has found the strength to love once more, and you don’t give a damn about the fact that Dewan has found happiness.
Instead, you’re obsessed with piling on judgement from afar, all without knowing anything, really. Dewan is a reasonably private person: she does not splash her personal life all over social media. Which means that you are making opinions based on rumour and hearsay… and a lingering fascination with Dewan and Tatum’s on-screen relationship in Step Up too, I bet.
Dewan clearly doesn’t think things have moved on too fast, and neither does (although I can’t believe we’re acting like her ex-husband has any say in what she does now) Tatum. In fact, he says he’s “good friends” with Dewan, they’ve been co-parenting their daughter Everly together, and he’s been happily dating Jessie J for quite some time now.
Oh yes, remember that? The same Jessie J whom trolls lambasted for “stealing” Dewan’s husband – despite the fact that they got together some five months after the split.
It’s clear that, when it comes to relationships, women can do no right. Think about it: nobody accused Tatum of moving on “too fast” when he and J got together. Likewise, nobody accused Kazee of “stealing” Tatum’s wife when he and Dewan went public with their relationship.
Dewan and J, though? Villains, both of ‘em. The former for forgetting that she was once another man’s chattel, the latter for deciding to go on a date with a guy who’d been single for five months.
I can’t change the way you think. I know that already. But please, promise me this one thing: if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Or, if you really must say something, might I urge you to once again make like Amy Poehler and start shouting the phrase, “Good for you, not for me” from the rooftops.
Because, as I noted previously, “good for you, not for me” celebrates both difference and an assertion of self, making it the ideal response to someone else’s life choices. Because, obviously, we are all different – and we all have very different ideas about what we should be doing with our lives. So what if someone you’ve never met has made the decision to have a baby, or get engaged to her boyfriend, or whatever the fuck she wants? So what? How does that impact your life, really?
It doesn’t. And, while you might swear that you’d never ever make the same decisions as Dewan, that doesn’t make her choices any less valid. Good for her, not for you – right?
In just six little words, we can build one another up, rather than tear one another down. And that, in today’s age of negativity, is no small thing.
Please note this article was originally published in Sep 2019, but was updated in Feb 2020 to reflect on the reaction Jenna Dewan and Steve Kazee’s engagement news.