13 enlightening celebrity quotes on not having children

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • 'The chance that we’ll regret it doesn’t seem like a compelling enough reason to do it'

    Words by Martha Edwards.

    Becoming a mother isn’t at the top of everybody’s list, especially in 2016. Plenty of women are making the choice to remain childfree, despite the pressure to reproduce. Think owning a uterus is reason enough to have children? Well, here are 15 women who would disagree with you.

    1) Dita Von Teese
    ‘I thought: “It’s OK not to have children.” Now I’m just going to watch how my life unfolds and see what happens. I’m not going to be less of a person if I don’t have children. It will work out the way it is supposed to.’

    amfAR Inspiration Gala, Los Angeles, USA - 27 Oct 2016

    2) Jennifer Westfeldt
    ‘I’ve thought about this a lot lately. I never thought I’d be this age and not have kids. But my life has also gone in a million ways I never anticipated. I kept feeling like I’d wake up with absolute clarity, and I haven’t. The chance that we’ll regret it doesn’t seem like a compelling enough reason to do it.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kristina Bumphrey/StarPix/REX/Shutterstock (6825247k) Jennifer Westfeldt Through Her Lens: The Tribeca Chanel Women's Filmmaker Program Luncheon, New York, USA - 25 Oct 2016

    3) Winona Ryder
    ‘I feel like [my character in Stranger Things] was one of these people that had dreams. But she had kids. And it made me think of all the women that I know who have kids, who when they talk about [anything negative about their lives as mothers], they always say, “But I love my kids, I wouldn’t trade them for the world.” Like they feel guilty for even hinting that they’d want something outside of kids! It’s a weird thing.’

    'Stranger Things' Netflix TV series premiere, Los Angeles, USA - 11 Jul 2016

    4) Helen Mirren
    ‘It was not my destiny, I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but it never did, and I didn’t care what people thought. Whenever boring old men went, “What? No children? Well, you’d better get on with it, old girl,” I’d say “No! Fuck off!”‘

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Billy Farrell/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (6824819o) Helen Mirren ELLE Women in Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA - 24 Oct 2016

    5) Jennifer Aniston
    ‘I don’t have this sort of checklist of things that have to be done and if they’re not checked then I’ve failed some part of my feminism, or my being a woman, or my worth or my value as a woman. I’ve birthed a lot of things, and I feel like I’ve mothered many things.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Broadimage/REX/Shutterstock (5898970bk) Jennifer Aniston 'Storks' Film Premiere, Los Angeles, USA - 17 Sep 2016 Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Storks" - Arrivals

    6) Sarah Silverman
    ‘I don’t have a lifestyle that’s conducive to having kids the way I want to have kids. And I just made that choice.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Eric Charbonneau/REX/Shutterstock (5685494m) Sarah Silverman 'Masters of Sex' ATAS FYC Panel, Los Angeles, America - 16 May 2016

    7) Kim Cattrall
    ‘When I was 5, my fantasy was to have a hundred dogs and a hundred kids. I realized that so much of the pressure I was feeling was from outside sources, and I knew I wasn’t ready to take that step into motherhood. Being a biological mother just isn’t part of my experience this time around.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Anita Russo/REX/Shutterstock (5734315c) Kim Cattrall - Michael Powell Jury Jury Photocall, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Scotland, UK - 17 Jun 2016


    8) Gloria Steinem
    ‘I’m completely happy not having children. I mean, everybody does not have to live in the same way. And as somebody said, “Everybody with a womb doesn’t have to have a child any more than everybody with vocal cords has to be an opera singer.”‘

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Buchan/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (5895838bc) Gloria Steinem Creative Arts Emmy's Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 11 Sep 2016

    9) Stevie Nicks
    ‘Most women would not be happy being me. People say, “But you’re alone.” But I don’t feel alone. I feel very un-alone. I feel very sparkly and excited about everything. I know women who are going, like, “I don’t want to grow old alone.” And I’m like, “See, that doesn’t scare me.” Because I’ll never be alone. I’ll always be surrounded by people.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Startraks Photo/REX/Shutterstock (3613000hu) Stevie Nicks 86th Annual Academy Awards Oscars, Vanity Fair Party, Los Angeles, America - 02 Mar 2014

    10) Cameron Diaz
    ‘It’s so much more work to have children. To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for, I didn’t take that on. That did make things easier for me.’

    Cameron Diaz joins MPTF to celebrate Health and Fitness, Los Angeles, America - 10 Jun 2016

    11) Debbie Harry
    ‘I’m certainly not the only woman in the world who never had children. There are many reasons why Chris and I didn’t. We were working very hard, we were happy and we didn’t feel a need. And I always thought: there are a lot of children in the world. I didn’t need to add to that, you know?’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kelsey Stanton/BFA/REX/Shutterstock (6323178l) Deborah Harry 'Coach: A Story OF New York Cool Book' Preview Event, Milk Garage, New York, USA - 13 Oct 2016

    12) Ashley Judd
    ‘The fact is that I have chosen not to have children because I believe the children who are already here are really mine, too. I do not need to go making “my own” babies when there are so many orphaned or abandoned children who need love, attention, time, and care.’

    Ashley Judd appointed as UN Population Fund's Goodwill Ambassador, New York, America - 15 Mar 2016

    13) Elizabeth Gilbert
    ‘It is every bit as important in life to understand who you are NOT, as to understand who you ARE. Me, I’m just not a mom. Having reached a contented and productive middle age, I can say without a blink of hesitation that wouldn’t trade my choices for anything.’

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kristin Callahan/ACE/REX/Shutterstock (5343656f) Elizabeth Gilbert 'The Late Show With Stephen Colbert', New York, America - 04 Nov 2015

    Reading now

    Popular entertainment stories