The Transformers star spoke candidly about being a mother to three boys and a working actress during an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, where she was asked how the industry can better adapt to working mothers.
In response to the question, Fox first acknowledged that being pregnant in the industry is “unforgiving” because you “can’t be on camera once you’re past a certain stage of pregnancy”.
“It is like having a handicap, where they don’t want you on camera,” the 34-year-old said, adding that once you have the baby, the industry also blames mothers for frequently having to nurse their newborns, as it “costs” the filmmakers money.
According to Fox, it becomes this “big thing,” with the actress continuing: “Hollywood is not adapted to women and us actually having lives and being moms.”
Fox also revealed that she feels she went back to work too soon after having her three children, sons Noah, eight, Bodhi, seven, and Journey, four, before telling Clarkson that the pressures of going back to work and being on a TV show were also “really stressful”.
For Fox, the pressures meant that, while delivering her children, she was also simultaneously thinking about her appearance and having to lose weight she gained during her pregnancy.
“Those things are really stressful and you’re supposed to be bonding and nurturing yourself and nurturing your baby and that creates a lot of tension and a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety for us to go back to work too early,” the mother-of-three said.
The actress also acknowledged that the pressure to return to work exists because of the possibility of missing opportunities, adding: “There is that thing in this industry of like: ‘Well, are you giving up? Are you just a mom now?’ There’s this weird pressure, which also then creates guilt.”
But, according to the Jennifer’s Body star, returning to work shortly after giving birth also leads to feeling guilty as a mother, with the actress explaining that being a working mother in Hollywood means feeling stress from “both sides”.
“The stress from both sides is really intense,” she added. “Shame, guilt, all those things.”
While she said she doesn’t have an answer for how the industry can better adapt to working mothers, Fox said she believes that as more women “rise up the rank and are in control and in power in Hollywood,” then the conditions will improve.
“They’ll change because it’s been a patriarchy for so long, that the power has been in the hands of people who don’t understand and haven’t been made to understand,” Fox said. “It makes sense that it’s played out this way.”
During the conversation, Fox also opened up about the realities of raising three boys, telling Clarkson that her children constantly fight even though they are very close, and comparing her household to “UFC Fight Night all day, everyday”.
Fox, who is currently dating Machine Gun Kelly, shares her three sons with ex-husband Brian Austin Green, who she separated from in 2019 after nine years of marriage.
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