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Kelly Brook: I feel judged for not having children

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Anna Brech
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Former Big Breakfast presenter Kelly Brook says she will likely never have children, and she’s OK with that. But not everyone feels the same way…

Like many women in the UK and around the world, Kelly Brook does not have children. 

And yet, like many others, the former Big Breakfast presenter feels judged by other people for not going down the parenthood route. 

In 2011, Brook and her ex, rugby player Thom Evans, suffered a miscarriage when she was six months pregnant; something she describes as “a real loss and a difficult time”. 

Now she’s in a happy relationship with model Jeremy Parisi, and has decided that children probably won’t feature in their future together.

“I’ve sat down and asked myself: ‘Do I really want to have children? Is this something I really want to do?’” the 39-year-old tells Fabulous magazine in a new interview. “And I’ve realised that actually it’s not something I’ve always wanted and I’m fine with it.”

But she says, “I think there’s a stigma attached [to being child-free], and it can be really unkind.

“It’s not anyone else’s business how you live your life. I’m actually quite a selfish person – I can barely get myself out the front door, let alone go and do a school run.”

Kelly Brook and her partner Jeremy Parisi at the Royal Ascot in 2017

Brooks notes that, even now, parenthood is considered the default option for women of certain age; but it doesn’t have to be that way.

“Even my mum said to me at one point: ‘Having kids? What were you thinking?’” she says. 

“And I don’t really know! I don’t think I was thinking. If I’d really thought about it, maybe I wouldn’t have even got pregnant. But as a woman you’re expected to do everything, aren’t you?”

The model says she now finds happiness in things such as gardening. She also welcomes the flexibility that not being a parent allows, especially with a recent move back to London for a new hosting gig with Heart FM.

“I had to uproot my whole life just before Christmas and I couldn’t have done that if I’d had kids,” she says. “So as much as you miss out on that side of stuff, you are open to lots of other amazing opportunities.”

Actor Gemma Arterton

Actor Gemma Arterton agrees that women are judged for not having children

Data from the National Office of Statistics shows that women in Britain are having fewer babies than ever before. Whether by choice or circumstance, more of us are delaying parenthood - or not becoming parents at all. 

And Brook is not the only celebrity to notice the unwelcome censure that comes with being child-free. Actor Gemma Arterton recently arrived at the same conclusion.

“If a guy says he doesn’t want kids, it’s OK, but if a woman feels that, it’s like something’s wrong with her,” Arterton said in an interview last year.

“It threatens people’s idea of what a woman is, what her function is.”

As we undergo a seismic shift in the way that we live, it’s time for that perception to stop.

Images: Getty

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Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for stylist.co.uk. Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.

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