January 31, 2016 | In the News
It’s still pretty rare to see female celebrities talk frankly about their reproductive health. (There’s a reason that many women still think pregnancy after 40 is common—their favorite actresses, models, and musicians are doing it, but they seldom reveal that they’ve used IVF or egg donation.) That’s unfortunate, but it’s not entirely their fault—between Hollywood’s obsession with youth and the mainstream media’s hesitation to talk about women’s health at all, it makes sense that female celebrities would see fertility decline and fertility preservation as taboo topics.
That’s why we found Whitney Cummings’ bit about egg freezing on Late Night with Seth Meyers so refreshing.
“As a woman, there’s so much pressure on you,” she told Meyers. “I feel like I’m in traffic and I’m like, ‘you guys, let’s move, I’m rotting from the inside!’”
Sure, Cummings is a comedian, and what she’s saying in this segment is wrapped up in jokes. But there’s something really important at the core of it: biology and society do put pressure on women, pressure that’s palpable, and freezing your eggs is one way to deal with that. She’s just using her wit to get that message across.
Plus, funny girl or not, Cummings has an admirable history of advocating for women’s health in her work with WomanCare Global, an organization that brings reproductive options to women around the world. In her videos for the org’s “Then Who Will?” campaign, she uses humor to educate girls and women about birth control and their bodies—not altogether different from what she’s doing in this clip and in her stand-up, where she talks about egg freezing to “take the shame off” of the process.
With women like Cummings opening the door, it’s only a matter of time before more famous women start to break the silence about their fertility preservation experiences, which will benefit everyday women as well. And as for that pressure Cummings felt before? “Ever since I froze my eggs,” she says, “I’m chillin’.”
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