Chrissy Teigen hasn’t been content to just let it slip that she’s such a control freak she picked the little girl embryo she’s carrying from others presumably left behind in ice. She’s making a publicity push about it. It’s good for the Instagram, obviously. After dropping to People magazine that she had picked her child’s sex, Teigen went on “Good Morning America” Tuesday to talk about—what else?—herself. Oh, yes, and to ornament chicken someone else made for the show, because how on earth could anyone make chicken without models desperate to expand their brand showing us?
“We’re glad that we’re living in a time we could do such a thing, but we definitely didn’t anticipate any kind of backlash from it,” she said. Add clueless to selfish—because it’s completely normal for people to pick out human beings like they do a pair of shoes or a puppy, right? You can watch the rest below (although skip the cooking part, because all she does is toss together and point manicured figures at things other people made and put on a table).
Teigen shows utterly no self-awareness about how shocking it is that she feels comfortable confessing to having pawed through (or letting a lab tech paw for her) cryogenically frozen test tubes containing her own children, selecting one that most pleases her, and letting the rest languish indefinitely. She must be used to getting whatever she wants, fast, and not having to think through the consequences. No surprise–she’s a celebrity, after all.
Motherhood Means Letting Go
But if her attitude about conception is any indication, Teigen is going to struggle to adapt to motherhood. The women who turn to IVF are understandably desperate to have their own children, so it can seem like a potential godsend to relieve this pain. However, conceiving naturally does several things to jumpstart the process by which a woman becomes a mother, which women need to think about soberly despite their strong natural desire for children. It could be that IVF satisfies their desire but in a way that twists the very relationship these women desire so much.
After all, what does mothering mean if not setting aside your own comforts for the sake of another person’s life and happiness? In letting go and letting nature take its course in conception, women develop and demonstrate the same basic attitude they will need in mothering ever after: restraining our tendency of trying to control everything, and penchant for throwing tantrums when we find out, once again, that we can’t.
Teigen obviously hasn’t gotten this basic idea down yet (which is really frightening), but children are not products. They are not little widgets you can select off shelves. They are their own, independent and completely unique beings, with their own thoughts, desires, and essences. Of course mothers and fathers have a big influence on their kids, but they simply cannot determine even the most important things such as character, personality, interests, and the major life choices people all make in adulthood.
Babies Are Not a New Pair of Shoes
The in vitro fertilization process perpetuates several lies parents want to believe about children, most fundamental of which is this lie we tell ourselves that we can and even have the right to make children creatures of our wills, little vessels filled with our hopes and dreams rather than their own. It’s all about a difference of emphasis. Are parents to serve their children by meeting their children’s needs, or are children essentially little pets whose function is to please the parents?
This is not to say that parents need to live a child-tyrannized lifestyle. It is to say that parents’ duty is to put their child’s best interests ahead of their own pleasures (which often means not doing everything Junior wants once he is past the needy infant stage and can express his own will). And it is not in a child’s best interest for parents to manipulate their existence in this fashion, or any other, such as choosing eye color or hair color or even intelligence, as D.C. McAllister discussed in these pages last week.
It harms the child’s psyche and creates a deep sense of alienation, loneliness, and despair, as anyone can see by reading the heartbreaking stories of designer babies at Anonymous Us. Children resent parents who try to play God with them. It also teaches a child that the mere existence of a desire is plenty to justify fulfilling it. Good parents, however, teach children to restrain and channel their desires, not manipulate other people’s lives to get whatever they want.
Chrissy Teigen is being a horrible role model not just to her little daughter, but to everyone who follows her. If everyone copied her in this regard, the world would be a far worse place. Just look at the devastating social consequences of selecting the sex of babies in India and China through abortion. This alone is reason enough for Teigen to be ashamed of herself and decide to grow up quickly before she mothers like she’s conceived. Teigen may be a fashion model, but she is the opposite of a good life model.