Jodie Foster basically stole the show when she came out at the Golden Globes last night, but the night had another breakaway star: The post-pregnant body. (Well, Lena Dunham is probably higher on the list, but hear me out.) Judging by headlines, you’d think women were winning awards for their ability to lose pregnancy weight; not for their actual work on screen.
Awards went to two new moms this year, and more were in the crowd. Claire Danes worked a heartwarming thank you to her son, Cyrus (born less than a month ago on December 17), into her speech when she won best actress in a drama series (for the second year in a row) for her performance in Homeland. And Adele also thanked her new son (whose name she still hasn’t publicly announced) when she won best original song in a motion picture for Skyfall.
Those are big achievements, no doubt made harder by the demands of pregnancy and a radically changing family and personal life. But that wasn’t anyone’s point: The media mostly just cares about their physiques. Check out some of the top headlines that come up in google searches for Adele and Claire Danes this morning:
If that last one threw you for a loop, let me explain: Megan Fox didn’t win an award last night (she was a presenter), but the press can’t get over her incredible shrinking post-baby body, so it’s gotten nearly the same coverage as her peers’ career achievements did at the Golden Globes.
Kudos to Danes, Adele and Fox for looking awesome and rocking their jobs–in acting and singing, but also in showing up to the awards show and putting on such a great face while worrying about their newborn kiddies back at home. We all expect awards season commentary on which dresses were best and worst, and whose hair or makeup should have been done differently, and though it’s not extremely empowering, it’s mostly accepted as part of the industry game. But focusing on women’s bodies, and especially scrutinizing their appearances just months or weeks after giving birth, feels like it’s crossing a line.
Last night held a lot of honor for multiple generations of Hollywood women, but the focus on their post-pregnancy bodies stole some of the glory, in a shameful way.