I woke up this morning to the news that 69-year-old Richard Gere had confirmed that he was becoming a dad for the second time.
Well, no offence to the Pretty Woman actor, who I’m actually a fan of, but reading through the reports on my commute to work, I was livid.
Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with Richard Gere, and it wasn’t his age that bothered me. Instead, it was the disparity in how he has been treated for becoming a mature father, as opposed to how he would be treated as a woman.
‘Congratulations’, ‘Gorgeous’, ‘Best news’, ‘Sending you love’.
These were the comments dominating the internet today as Gere’s wife shared a photo of the couple breaking the news to the Dalai Lama.
And that all seems well and good, right? Of course, when someone’s having a baby, you congratulate them.
Except, those weren’t the comments that flooded my newsfeed three months ago when Brigitte Nielsen became a mum aged 54.
‘Disgusting’, ‘selfish’, ‘sickening’ – those are the ones that stuck with me, anyway.
Personally, I find the double standard ‘disgusting’, ‘selfish’ and ’sickening’.
It’s 2018, and mature mum shaming should be long gone.
While fans celebrated Richard Gere’s news by taking their bets on whether his new arrival would be An Officer and a Gentleman or a Pretty Woman (get the references?), the great debate on Brigitte Nielsen’s camp was whether she would look like her child’s mother or grandmother.
Why is it ok for Richard Gere to create another child just because he has the Y chromosome whereas Brigitte Nielson was practically burnt at the stake for it? And she was the one who actually pushed out a human. She should be congratulated.
This is of course something that Brigitte has spoken out about, because to put it bluntly, she had to.
‘Some women think, “Oh my God, I’m too old,” But how many men have their first kids in their 60s and 70s and they never doubt it?,’ Brigitte explained in an interview with People. ‘I totally respect that not everybody likes it, but it is my life, and my husband and I have a solid relationship.’
What’s the betting that this is an issue that Richard Gere won’t have to address, ever?
So, I’m not saying we shouldn’t congratulate Richard Gere. I’m just saying, if you’re going to shake the actor’s hand for his exciting baby news, you BETTER extend Brigitte Nielsen the same courtesy.