The Adopted Ones were rightly horrified recently to learn someone had found their blog using the search term “adopting an inferior child.” (This blog has gotten a horrifying search term or two as well, like “Rosie O’Donnell adoption reform,” but I digress.) I can’t imagine even coming up with this phrase, let alone typing it into a search engine. “INFERIOR”? Bad semantics. You should have said “special needs.” Then the world would love you.
I don’t know who you are, Brooklyn Decker, but I don’t love you and I think you need to shut up about adoption. From here in my tiny base camp just outside Adoptoland, it looks like you’re using the idea of purchasing someone to make you look good. Just like you say you hate showing off your body because that makes you look good–modest, not stuck-up. We get it. You’re so transparent you could be said to “have,” as Charlie Brown once put it, “a glass head.”
You then say you want a normal life being “barefoot and pregnant” (actual quote!) with kids and pets and trips to the grocery store. Do the words “special needs” contain any meaning for you? A mentally or physically handicapped child might not slot into your suburban fantasy so neatly. (Gosh, you don’t suppose that’s why there are so many of them available for adoption?)
And then you say you’ve “always wanted to do this,” and a spiky urchin’s head explodes. Why? WHY does our culture reward little girls for saying this? And why do we keep rewarding them for saying it when they’re grown? (Nobody has ever “always wanted to adopt.” Always means always. Nobody thinks about adopting when they’re four. When I was four, I was dead certain I would never get married and would make my living as a rock singer *and* a ranch hand.)
So here’s why: Women are supposed to take care of children and men, so little girls are supposed to want to grow up to take care of others. Any attempts at selfhood by women are considered selfishness. So famous women, who are being selfish by having careers, and who want to seem like better women, can claim that one day they really will be the most selfless woman in the world: one who’s good enough and loving enough to raise a child that isn’t even hers. A messed-up one yet!
(Insert cartoon of glaring hedgehog with its arms folded here.)
This is the perfect way to boost your womanliness in the eyes of the world, because you don’t have to do anything: you just have to say it.
This is not about children, special needs or otherwise: it’s about stupid, patriarchal gender roles. Brooklyn even says so when she’s talking about hating her work (because no Good Woman could enjoy swimsuit modeling). “The biggest thing is finding that balance between masculine and feminine. Because I’m such a tomboy, I hate showing off my body.”
A barefoot, pregnant, minivan-drivin’ TOMBOY. If a woman becomes famous, this is the sort of impossible thing she has to pretend she can be–or be judged. She’ll also be judged if she tries to be this thing and fails, of course. She can’t win.