Gender stereotypes are all around us, no matter how much we try to erase them. But just because we can’t stop brands from bombarding their kids sections with pink and blue items doesn’t mean we can’t make our homes more inclusive spaces — which is just what actor Zoe Saldana and her husband, Marco Perego Saldana (yes, he took her last name), aim to do.
Zoe Saldana, who recently made waves in Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War as green-hued Gamora, explained to Women’s Health why it’s so important that her three sons — Zen, Cy and Bowie — regard her and her husband as equals.
“That ‘Mom’s the boss’ thing is not going to happen in our family, because that means he’s the fun one, the good guy, while I’m the disciplinarian,” she said. “I don’t want my kids to look at women like, ‘Oh, god, they’re so annoying! They always come with structure.'”
She makes an excellent point. For decades, film and TV (sitcoms, we’re looking at you) have often portrayed moms as stricter and more overbearing than dads. You know the TV trope: Mom shuttles the kids around, makes sure dinner is on the table and generally ensures that the house is still in order (and still standing); meanwhile Dad strolls through the door at the end of the day, throws the kids a $20 bill and asks his wife why she looks so serious. Sorry, but no laugh track can make that scenario funny for people who live that reality every day.
That doesn’t seem to be an issue for Saldana, however, who says she feels supported and loved by her husband, especially when it comes to their parenting journey.
“I have the most perfect partner in my life,” she told Women’s Health. “I’ve never met a male like my husband, who [believes] any woman is naturally his equal.”
Saldana is the latest celebrity to embrace a gender-neutral approach to parenting. Pink has also supported what she calls a “label-less” environment in which her kids, Willow and Jameson, can feel free to be themselves and explore their identities.
“I was in a school and the bathroom outside the kindergarten said, ‘Gender Neutral — anybody,’ and it was a drawing of many different shapes. I took a picture of it and I wrote, ‘Progress.'” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I thought that was awesome. I love that kids are having this conversation.”
We couldn’t agree more.