There is a thread over at the CNBC website concerning NBC’s upcoming new show Parenthood. Of course, those of us who can’t have children will either avoid this show like the plague or, as I have a tendency to do with shows about parents and children, watch just to see what it’s all about. I will admit that I am an ardent fan of the Duggar family’s show 19 Kids and Counting
“Why”, you say? Well, not that I ever desired to have kids numbering in the double digits I have always been interested in the “large family” dynamic simply because I only have one other sibling (a brother). I used to watch “The Waltons” and “The Brady Bunch” and secretly wish I were a part of a large family like that. My mother came from a family of six siblings, and I loved listening to her stories about being in a larger family.
As a CNBC woman “family” shows have taken on a new interest to me. I daresay I live a little vicariously through folks like the Duggars even though I don’t ascribe to their theory of uninhibited reproduction. They are a family with strong moral values, and so far, their kids are very well behaved, Godly, not to mention just pleasant human beings. While I’m sure there are downsides to being a child with 18 other siblings (to date) it seems that their bonds are strong, and the family is… by outward appearances… happy and well adjusted.
Back to the theme of this post though…I have been intrigued with Hollywood’s recent obsession with childbearing. In the fifties and sixties if an actress (celebrity) became pregnant it was hidden as if she were an unwed mother. Generally, for her “showing months” she was not seen in public for the fear that photographs might be taken of her being “great with child”.
From my understanding Lucille Ball shattered that Hollywood social practice by daring to continue the filming of “I love Lucy” while obviously pregnant and working her pregnancy into the plot line.
I’m glad that the taboo of pregnancy in Hollywood was taken away, but it seems things have gone to the opposite extreme. I think it all started when Demi Moore did her famous pregnant-but-nearly-pornographic cover photo for Vanity Fair back in 1991. After that, pregnancy and childbirth in Hollywood became a great way for an actress to garner publicity. A “baby bump” (gag! hate that word) is now a female celebrity must-have.
This morning I posted this topic reply to the “Parenthood” post on CNBC, and it pretty much covers my opinion on the subject of why a show like “Parenthood” is likely to be a big hit:
“I feel the same way (about the show) but know I have to come to terms that we live in a society that for some strange reason has become more child-centric than it ever has been (and not in a good way). I believe that the Hollywood obsession with pregnancy has fueled this to a major extent. I, too, have seen the promos for “Parenthood” and rolled my eyes.
With that said I don’t think the majority of people know what to do with the “baby bumps” once they are born and are an actual live person and not just a fashion accessory. Another reason I think we see so much focus on children/parenthood in the media is because a vast majority of the population is not coming to parenthood from a Biblical worldview. Unlike 50-60 years ago the Bible is not the instruction book for most people in raising children. With the changing dynamic of what is considered a “family” nowadays it has left parents dazed and confused when that cute little baby turns into a individual with complex emotions and issues that have to be dealt with. I think there’s a whole generation of parents out there now with absolutely no clue how to raise their children, so Hollywood is attempting to address it…and the thought of that makes me shudder to my core.”
Thoughts? Do you have a different opinion?