Hi, everyone! Food Network’s biggest fan here. I can recite actual recipes from Chopped, list off every sabotage on Cutthroat Kitchen (though not as gleefully as Alton Brown does it, TBH) and actually considered never learning to cook just so I could be on Bobby Flay’s team on Worst Cooks in America. After I learned to cook, I tried to do it with enough flair to impress Giada De Laurentiis on Next Food Network Star.
But as in every group of friends, there was one that kind of rubbed me the wrong way: Ina Garten. I don’t know what it was, but something about her just kinda bugged me. I really tried to watch her show. I did. But I just couldn’t love Garten like I love the other Food Network stars.
That is, until now. It turns out that Garten has been kind of a sneaky feminist this entire time, and I love it so much. She and her husband, Jeffrey, have been married for 48 years, and they decided early on in their marriage that they didn’t want kids because instead, they wanted to cook and travel and be on TV. And that’s awesome.
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“I really appreciate that other people do and we will always have friends that have children that we are close to, but it was a choice I made very early,” Garten said on the Katie Couric podcast. “I really felt, I feel, that I would have never been able to have the life I’ve had. So it’s a choice and that was the choice I made.”
What’s even better is that Garten never let the pressure society puts on women to become mothers get to her, and she surrounded herself with people who wouldn’t judge her for making the decision that was best for her.
“I never felt that people did,” she said. “I think the one thing that we miss is a lot of people’s friends are the parents of their kids’ friends. So we never had that connection with other people that I see, that network. But no, I never felt judged by it — maybe people did but I didn’t notice.”
This is really personal to me because I decided early in my life that I didn’t want kids. I want to travel and write, instead. And I’ve gotten a lot of flak for that decision, mostly from my conservative Catholic family. But women like Garten, who are making that choice, making it publicly and making us all accept it whether we like it or not are opening doors for other women to make the choices that are best for their lives, not the choices society wants them to make.