Chrissy Teigen and Tyra Banks have spoken out about one question they're tired of women being asked - When are you going to have a baby?
Speaking on FABLife, a new daytime TV talk show headed up by the two presenters, the pair candidly spoke of their own struggles with fertility and why that dreaded question is so hurtful and intrusive.
Since marrying singer John Legend two years ago, after dating for almost eight years, Teigen says she is repeatedly asked if and when they're planning to have their first child. “Every single time I sit down for an interview with anybody...the question comes from all over.”
“It's crazy because I can't imagine being that nosy to be like 'So, when are the kids coming?' because who knows what somebody is going through. Who knows if somebody is struggling to have children?,” says the 29-year-old.
“I will say honestly, John and I are having trouble. We would have had kids five, six years ago if it had happened. But my gosh, it's been a process. We've seen fertility doctors.”
“And then once you open up about all those things to other people, you start learning that a lot of people in your life are seeing [fertility doctors] and they have this shame about it.
“So, anytime somebody asks me if I'm going to have kids, I'm like, 'One day, you're going to ask that to the wrong girl who's really struggling and it's going to be really hurtful to them'. And I hate that. I hate it. Stop asking me.”
In support of Teigen, Banks also shared her story of struggling to conceive a baby.
“I have been wanting to say this for so long and did not plan to say this today. But I feel we're so hard on each other and judgmental of each other, and a woman who has been divorced three times is more normal than a woman that has not been married. And I'm so tired of seeing on my social media 'Why don't you have kids, why don't you have kids?'”
“You don't know what I'm going through. You have no idea...When I was 23 years old I used to tell myself 'In three years I'm going to have kids'. Then I turned 24. 'In three years I'm going to have kids.' And then every single year I kept saying that. After a while it's like 'OK, now I want to' and it's not so easy.”
Banks, 41, who has been dating photographer Erik Asla for two years, says she has undergone IVF procedures. “I've had some not happy moments with that, very traumatic moments. It's difficult as you get older. It's not something that can just happen.”
This week, actress Gabrielle Union, 42, also spoke of the prejudice faced by women who don't have children and the pressures of trying to have a family later in life.
“So far, it has not happened for us. A lot of my friends deal with this. There's a certain amount of shame that is placed on women who have perhaps chosen a career over starting a family younger. The penance for being a career woman is barrenness. You feel like you're wearing a scarlet letter.”
But the star, who is married to basketball player Dwyane Wade, says she also finds the women who do have children are often penalised at work. “The reality is that women are discriminated against in the workplace for being mothers. As much as there are strides being made – you get pregnant, your career takes a hit. You can't have a bad day. Don't you dare cry at work. Don't raise your voice. Especially if you're a black woman in corporate America—now you're 'the angry black woman.'”
Meanwhile, Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall made headlines on Monday when speaking about her frustrations of being labelled as 'childless'. She says she is no less a mother for not having given birth or changed nappies.
“It’s the ‘less’ that is offensive. Childless – it sounds like you’re less because you haven’t had a child.”
“I am not a biological parent, but I am a parent. I have young actors and actresses that I mentor, I have nieces and nephews that I am very close to.”
Images: Rex Features