There are plenty of reasons not to have kids, all of them valid — but as we know well, men are sent that kind of message a lot more often than women are. So when women like Jennifer Aniston and Oprah Winfrey get loud and proud about why they don’t want kids, we can’t help but cheer that they’re helping the stigma around being childless fade away.
Far too often, women are interrogated and shamed about their family planning choices — no matter what those choices may be. These quotes from happily childless celebs confirm that it’s possible to have it all with or without having kids. And apparently, that’s a message our society still desperately needs to hear.
The sad truth is, the pressure to have kids can creep in at every level, from relatives and friends to co-workers and overly nosy strangers. For celebrities, that goes a step further, to the point where it’s rare for a female celebrity over the age of 23 to get through an interview without being asked if she’s planning to have kids (if she isn’t a mom already).
Of course, there’s the flip side: Many celebs are excited to talk about their growing families, and feel passionately about their identities as mothers. But for women who have never planned to have kids, these questions can be deflating. So, for women everywhere who are sick of the idea that having kids is the only way to live a complete life, check out these inspirational quotes from famous women who feel the same way.
A version of this article was originally published in January 2020.