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Lily Allen is right

Women are being asked to choose between motherhood and career

Lily Allen is right Women are being asked to choose between motherhood and career

Lily Allen, reflecting on her career and life choices, has sparked debate but also opened up important points for reflection on what it costs a working woman to decide to have children. Speaking on the Radio Times podcast, the English singer responded to a question about her career strategy and family with striking honesty and candor: "I never really had a strategy, when it comes to my career. But yes, my children have ruined it for me." "I love them, they complete me, but if we're talking about my pop star status then yes, they've clearly ruined it," she added. "I find it irritating that people say you can have it all because frankly, you can't. Some people prioritize their careers over children, and it's their right to do so. But my parents were absent when I was little, and that left me with very deep scars that I wasn't willing to pass on to my children," she concluded, explaining why she chose family, albeit painfully and at the expense of her career.

Lily Allen's Life, Between Art and Family

Lily Allen comes from a family of artists. Born in 1985 in London, her father is an actor, her mother a producer. Her younger brother, Alfie, is also an actor. Among his most important roles is that of Theon Greyjoy in Game of Thrones. Lily chose the path of music after an unstable childhood, various odd jobs, and some school problems. She started in 2001, intermittently and shamelessly using her father's contacts. Things began to turn around in 2005, on MySpace. Then came Smile, F*ck You, The Fear, and Not Fair, and international fame. In 2011, her relationship with Sam Cooper gave birth to her first daughter. The second one arrived in 2013. In 2019, she began her relationship with David Harbour, best known for his role as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things. The two got married in September 2020 in Las Vegas, and photos of their informal ceremony, among Elvis impersonators and hamburgers, went viral. And indeed, it's true that the initial success, also fueled by her being different from other pop stars of the time, wasn't capitalized on. And according to the lady herself, it's also because of her motherhood.

Online Controversies: Motherhood is a Miracle!

Needless to say, her words have stirred controversy. What will her daughters think when they read her words? According to online users - who are currently crowding the comment sections of all Lily's photos, including those of her daughters whose faces she never shows, on Instagram - being a mother must only and exclusively be a miracle, and there are no alternatives. Saying, honestly, that women aren't allowed to have it all, and that those who say so are lying, is taken as an admission of hatred towards one's own children. Hatred that didn't exist in the singer's words, who candidly admitted to having made, in the fullness of her faculties, a very specific choice. One that may have cost her the right time to become a true pop star. Just saying that earned her the title of a bad mother. If a father had said these things, would he have faced the same fierce reactions? The recent example of Bradley Cooper suggests otherwise.

Today's Moms and Conflicting Messages

Ignoring purists of female sacrifice, let's ask ourselves a few questions. If someone like Lily Allen, born into fame, almost an expert in her mechanisms, felt she couldn't choose to pursue her pop star career and motherhood with the same conviction, then what condition are ordinary women in? Lily Allen, in her disarmingly honest approach that she has always maintained (she has also written a book, My Thoughts Exactly, about her life and negative experiences, including harassment, addictions, her relationship with fame and motherhood, etc.), underscores all the contradictions of contemporary mothers, who must struggle between their desire to start a family and their careers, between the pressures of a society that on one hand sees personal fulfillment only possible through work and earning, and on the other pushes women to become mothers and then doesn't help them have the means to do both. The same society where, and it's just an example, if we want to ensure we procreate when we're ready, we have to spend 4 months' worth of salary on social freezing, where daycare centers have prohibitive entry methods, and where fathers aren't asked to set anything aside. So, how can we say Lily Allen is wrong?