In Vitro Mania

I was minding my own business loading my (four gallons of) ice cream and watermelon onto the conveyor belt at the grocery store the other day when an US Weekly, 60-point-font, all-caps headline came screaming (almost literally) out at me:

"IT WAS IN VITRO!"

I'll bet you have absolutely no idea which celebrity couple I'm talking about, right? (Snort.)

After reading the story, I breathed a sigh of relief. Whew. The world finally knows how little Knox and Vivienne were conceived. I know I'll sleep better tonight. How about you?

What the hell is the world's fascination with celebrities' fertility treatments? According to the story, Angelina and Brad apparently opted for IVF not because they were having problems conceiving, but so "she wouldn't have to deal with the stress of trying to get pregnant." Do I believe this? Absolutely not. IVF is hardly akin to lunch at The Ivy. I find it really hard to believe that Angelina would opt for months of injections into her highly sculpted and pretty-damn-near-perfect arse, bloodwork, and appointments with the dildo cam, not to mention the egg retrieval process simply because having lots of baby-making sex with Brad Freakin' Pitt was too much for her to handle. I'm not even sure the twins resulted from IVF, given that US Weekly is hardly the bastion of responsible journalism.

But apparently there is money to be made with a blazing "In Vitro!" headline. Before Brad and Angie, it was months of IVF speculation about J-Lo and Mark Anthony's twins. Before them, Julie Roberts and her twins. And I'm sure it's only a matter of time before the tabloids start quoting from their "reliable, and yet anonymous" sources that Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell's twins due in the fall are IVF babies too.

Why does it matter if the rich and the beautiful are turning to IVF to conceive their kids (if the rumors are even true)? Do these stories sell magazines because the publishers think they knock celebrities down to mere mortal status and make them more like the rest of us who have health issues, mortgages, and only one home (and it's not in France)? Or is the implication that IVF is something to be ashamed of? After all, these tabloid headlines appear right next to less-than-perfect celebrity bodies in bikinis captioned "Who's Been Funneling Down the Big Macs and the McFlurries?"

I realize that we're all to blame, in a way. We buy these magazines and fan the flames. But what is it about Hollywood's recent spate of twins and the fertility treatments their parents may or may not have received that's so intriguing?

Inquiring minds want to know.

8 Responses to “In Vitro Mania”

  1. # Blogger Shannon

    I wish at times people would just leave the celbs alone... some things just need to remain personal and it isn't everyone's public business... I bet that there is a lot more to the story... BUT... as one gets older... for some reason it is easier to get twins... Julia isn't some young chick anymore lol... but didn't Rebecca dump the guy that played Jesse on full house because she didn't want kids? lol...  

  2. # Blogger Mom24

    I think the headline sells because there's an air of 'they can afford what normal people can't'. The tabloids seem to walk a fine line of fanning resentment and adorating or celebrities. I don't think they mean to imply there's anything wrong with IVF, just that it's so expensive a lot of people can not pursue it. Of course I don't undersand a lot of what tabloids do. Did you hear supposedly People just paid between 10 and 15 million for the first pics? At least it goes to charity, but REALLY? Isn't that just insane? Babies are babies and adorable, no matter their beginnings.  

  3. # Blogger Jesser

    Bah. Who cares. I'm awful sick of celebrities, paticularly celebrity pundits, but that's another topic for another day.  

  4. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    I find it funny (for lack of a better word) that nowadays any time someone turns up pregnant with twins, celebrity or not, they assume it's due to IVF or other fertility drugs. Also, if a woman is over age 40, well they must have gotten some help too. Why people feel the need to speculate about this stuff is beyond me.

    Will Brad and Angelina even address this? I doubt they care. It's a pretty ludicrous idea. They already had a boatload of children. Something tells me even they wouldn't spend that kind of money on something they can obviously easily do themselves.

    I rarely feel sorry for celebrities, since they have so many perks in life, but this is a time when I do. For instance, with JLo, I know after all the reports that her twins were IVF babies the couple came out and made a public statement that their twins were conceived naturally. So, either it upset her enough that she felt like she had to make a public statement, knowing many still wouldn't believe her...or she really did use fertility treatment and was forced to lie to keep her secret. Either way it's a sad situation.  

  5. # Anonymous Amy

    Tabloids recognize that celebrity watchers do so because they're looking for a hint of themselves in famous people. It's just like the tabloid cellulite photos--celebs are JUST LIKE US, only famous, lol.

    Unfortunately, the really bad mags recognize this and feel like it's a license to invade celebs' privacy.

    I don't, actually, always believe the older celeb moms who claim their twins came without fertility treatments--twins are just WAY more common now than they used to be, among the famous and non-famous. But if I were in their shoes? I'd say the same thing, since it's nobody's damn business.

    It baffles me, how obsessed American is with celebrity. I just don't get it.  

  6. # Blogger Christine

    I am always more affected by the "holy hell, look at her lard!" comments in these things rather than the IVF speculations but that is because I'm (1) childless and not trying and (2) um, let us say your average sized American.

    I think people buy the papers and into the celeb IVF! News at 6! because it makes them more accessible...I don't necessarily believe that is the intent of the media, which I think only sees dollar bills.

    Overall I just hate, hate, hate the cult of celebrity. Frankly, I don't give a damn who had any babies let alone what led to their births, or who had lipo, or who wore what better. Do. not. care. I wonder why everyone else does so much.  

  7. # Blogger Damselfly

    All I can think of is your comment on sex with Brad-freakin-Pitt!  

  8. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I have a hard time understanding why celebs feel the need to deny it, though. I think if they did not, it would not be such a point of vulnerability and my guess is no one would care how the babies were conceived.  

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    born in August 2006 following
    IVF and girl/boy twins born in October 2008 following FET. Come along as I document the search for my lost intellect. It's a bumpy ride. Consider yourself warned.

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