The Social Implications of Giada De Laurentiss’ Divorce

I am not one to usually partake in celebrity gossip, but when I learned that Giada De Laurentiis was getting a divorce from her husband, I was…. well, disappointed.

Anyone who knows me, knows that when I have down time, if I am not reading or writing, I am watching the Food Network. I especially LOVE watching Giada.

But when I found out she was getting a divorce, I suddenly lost the urge to continue to follow her. I know that is ridiculous! I’ll admit. But that was my first reaction. I asked myself why, because I felt the same way when I got news of Bethenny Frankel’s divorce: I was a huge supporter of Bethenny Frankel (and still am), but when she and her husband Jason Hoppy got divorced, I lost my connection with her as well. I realize that it is completely unfair of me to cease being interested in someone, simply because they are getting a divorce.

Truthfully, I can say my loss of interest has nothing to do with the “immorality” of divorce. Because I know that marriage is hard work, and sometimes people can’t be fixed–regardless of how hard you try or of how much you want it to work. And if both parties can’t commit a 100% to fixing a problem, then the problem will never get fixed. So let me be clear in saying that I know I am not out to judge the divorced.

So what is it then? Why am I being such a jerk?

I always like to analyze my feelings, from a therapist’s perspective. And when I stepped back, I realized WHY it bothered me so much that Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy got a divorce, and why it bothered me so much that Giada and her husband are getting a divorce.It is because when I see someone like Bethenny or Giada. I see something bigger. They are SYMBOLS of something much bigger and greater.

Women are the only ones that struggle with balancing the load of work and home. It is very rare to see a woman in the limelight that HAS IT ALL. Now granted, I know there are men out there, that have it all, and get divorced too. But for women, having it all is perplexing, unusual, and inspiring for society. It is why society makes such a a big deal about women “having it all,” as if they are an endangered species that come out every once in awhile like gophers on Groundhog Day. It is why women get asked the question, “How do you juggle being a mom and having a career?” Have you EVER heard someone say to Barrack Obama, “How do you juggle it all?”

I am guilty of furthering the fascination with women who are both lucky in love and in their career. I’ll be honest and say that those women are my role models. But when those woman stop “juggling” so well, suddenly I feel bamboozled. As if someone has dropped the curtain during the play, and I am forced to witness the nuts and bolts of life behind the stage. Killing the illusion. When really those nuts and bolts are called being human.

I know asking a woman to be the infinite symbol of success is like asking a Christian to behave like Jesus at all times. It’s not possible. Humans are messy creatures! We fail constantly. It is not fair to place the burden of “the crown of perfection” on women, when women are already forced to live up to so many other standards.

But the question remains, If men can have it all, why can’t women? What does it implicate for the family? For the spouse?And why is it that the greatness of a successful woman “overshadows” the success of her husband? Why is it that a woman is burdened with carrying the cross of guilt for making sure her husband doesn’t feel squashed by her greatness?

I don’t really have any answers to these questions. It is more or less an observation of our social circumstances. But if there is one thing I am learning is that women are constantly made to feel guilty. We are made to feel guilty about our size, our age, our parenting skills (Don’t Judge A Mother By Her Cover), our time spent, and even when we are successful. Why is that?

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