Parents magazine editor knocks single moms

by singlemomseeking on December 14, 2007

jessica-alba.jpgThis is an open letter to Diane Debrovner, Senior Editor of Parents magazine:

Dear Diane,

Yesterday, on CBS News, you said that stars having kids out of wedlock makes it seem glamorous.

“I think,” you told Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen yesterday, “because of our media obsession with celebrities and their every move… they set the bar at what is sort of socially acceptable and fashionable in many ways.”

First of all, everything that stars do seems glamorous, from grocery shopping to losing weight. Sure, single mom celebrities might take away some of the stigma, but your average single mom does not go around thinking, “I want to raise a kid on my own because Madonna did.”

Do you really think we’re that naive?

If your point was to further stigmatize single moms, you’ve done it. Millions of us are raising our children alone — and doing a darn good job at it. Was it really necessary to put us down on CBS News?

Your interview opened the door for society to further bash single moms. Like the guy who commented on the CBS site yesterday: “What a terrible thing to raise a child without a father. Society should make it clear that children need fathers not just mothers.”

What do you have to say?


Hey mamas: Are you floored (as I am) that Diane used the words “out of wedlock” on national T.V.? Who even says ‘out of wedlock’ anymore?

Single moms, here’s your chance to ask Diane to correct herself. Right here.

Photo of Jessica Alba from Jessica’s baby bump –she’s pregnant and not married — is what sparked the news story.

P.S. Thanks a million to Julie Taylor at for the heads up about “She makes it look so easy“… and the quote.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Phillis April 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm

I think that single parents raising kids has nothing to do with the crime. The parenting that is going on has everything to do with it. Children can grow up and become criminals with a two parent household. ITS ALL ABOUT THE PARENTING!


Diane August 16, 2008 at 10:52 am

There IS a magazine for single parents! We are a very LARGE population – single dads are becoming more of a norm now. Subscribe to this magazine and keep it going!


VJ December 16, 2007 at 3:28 pm

I almost imagine that we can be happy with the fact that ‘illegitimate child’ has almost been ridden out of ‘professional’ news type sorts of programming, (you’ll still hear it though). And of course to be perfectly accurate, (not to mention humane?), no children are born illegitimate unless of course they figure prominently in a struggle for the inheritance to the throne or monarchy. Again, I’ll mention that the ‘shame’ of ‘out of wedlock birth’ is a not relatively new thing, and was quite common going back to the Middle Ages. But as long as you were with the father after the birth for awhile, it was seen as not all that uncommon at all. Then again this is history, the lost continent. Prof. Stephanie Coontz has more in her masterful work, ‘Marriage, A history: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage’, 2005.

Cheers & Good Luck, ‘VJ’


singlemomseeking December 16, 2007 at 9:57 am

Jenn, I’ll let you know if these folks “get in touch with Society”… And if you hear from them first, give me the heads up, okay?

Thanks for keeping it real. That goes for all of you.


Dr Leah December 15, 2007 at 5:44 am

I was waiting for “illegitimate child” after the “out of wedlock” statement. Yuck, so much of what’s on television really is trash.

I have seen celebrity single moms in my practice (I’m a psychologist) and I promise you that they are befuddled by many of the same parenting/relationship issues “normal” single moms face. Of course, the money and career issues are different, but celebrity status brings a whole rash of different challenges. Honestly, it does.

Glamorous life of a single mom? Now, that’s a holiday fantasy, for sure.


VJ December 15, 2007 at 1:05 am

You know, I’ve got this lifelong disability issue. I’m just unable to see that much of what’s on the telly as important to my life, or the lives of most of the people I love. Sure it’s cheap entertainment, and good in places. But providing moral guidance, steady instruction or very useful exemplars? Goodness people, it’s Never been able to do that. Not since the fist ‘moving pictures. Not even for most of the much heralded novelists of ages gone by, not for any of the show-biz types then and now. They’re Entertainers people. They’re paid to entertain us, and they Do this in spades!

Very well then. Now think back. Single parenthood was invented, when? Last year? In the past 25 years? An issue of social concern since when? Well since forever. Soldiers killed in battles by the thousands. Sailors never returned from their long travels on the high seas. Miners who perished like they always have. Working men worn out well before their time, leaving behind much poorer wives and children. (This is what AFDC was all about right?)

No, we’ve Always had single parents. They were a principle object of the Social Security Act of 1935. What we often do not have stellar Hollywood starlets looking swell while pregnant, and proud to do so as a singleton, and a celebrity obsessed press to pretend that it’s all 1955 once again so they can ‘cluck cluck’ all about it. Cause goodness knows there’s Nothing more important than the prospect of punishing & ridiculing women for a.) their obvious rampant uncontrolled sexuality and b.) not knowing their ‘proper place’ in the natural ‘order of things’ I mean at least Brit got married, right? Good Gawd! It’s the down fall of Western Civ as we know it!

Of course this is right after they get done defending said civilization against the outrage of torture, rape, mayhem, chaos & war as a direct instrument of our foreign policy, right?

So no, I’ve never watched too much TV or taken it all that seriously. They’re worse than children. Children can be educated, and provide some modicum of hope for the future, no matter how dim, or limited. The Press for the most part? Ineducable, and by in large some of the worst sort of corrupt idiots on the face of the earth. But rank, crass stupidity has never presented any stigma for any member of the press. Pregnant women sadly have a long and most unfortunate history of stigma however. The poorer and younger especially.

This history moment has been brought to you by Reading! Not as popular as it once was, but still essential for any semblance of an education worthy of the name!

Cheers & Good Luck, ‘VJ’
Notes on TV:

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Jenn December 14, 2007 at 5:28 pm

“What a terrible thing to raise a child without a father. Society should make it clear that children need fathers not just mothers.”

Dear Brilliant Commenter,

If you get in touch with Society, could you please let them know I’ve been waiting for them to make this important announcement.

Just one more single mama, living the glamorous life, ’cause it looked so damn cool when I saw it on “E”


kb December 14, 2007 at 3:10 pm

My ex is in my children’s lives, so I can’t comment on experience. But I do have to say that I don’t really care who has a baby with or with marriage. Who’s business is it besides the consenting adult’s? I don’t care if Jessica Alba has a baby or two gay men want to adopt. Not my decision to make or judge.

Some people just need to start worrying about more important things in life. Like how to cure cancer or bring world peace. Let’s start there.


singlemomseeking December 14, 2007 at 1:26 pm

Elissa — thanks for bringing up community. I wish that some people would get with the times and see that families come in many different forms nowadays. Sure my kid might not have a dad, but she has two of the most loving, doting grandpas who live nearby. Then, there’s my sister, who’s like a Goddess in my kid’s eyes. I could go on and on…


Elissa December 14, 2007 at 8:23 am

I am so disgusted by the whole idea… how many of us started this project alone? Who really PLANS single motherhood? Ok so there are a small group of women (and possibly men too for that matter) who feel financially and emotionally equipped to do the job alone but the vast majority – myself included – find ourselves here by no plan of our own! I have said more times than I can count that this job, parenting, is too big a task for me alone! The good news is that even without a husband I have set up a great system of support for myself as well as my four kids….yes FOUR! I feel insane enough as it is, I don’t need some judgemental fool to lament the social acceptance I receive!


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