Last night, Amber Heard announced the birth of her daughter, Oonagh Paige Herd, in an Instagram post. In the long, heartfelt caption, the actor told followers that she decided to have a child on her own terms four years ago, and wanted to normalise women having children without needing to be married.
‘Now appreciate how radical it is for us as women to think about one of the most fundamental parts of our destinies in this way,’ Amber said. ‘I hope we arrive at a point in which it’s normalized to not want a ring in order to have a crib. A part of me wants to uphold that my private life is none of anyone’s business. I also get that the nature of my job compels me to take control of this.’
It appears she’s raising her daughter alone then, with reports suggesting she used a surrogate. Her post has since received tons of support online, with many calling her an ‘inspiration’. But as usual, what many are saying online appears to be different to what they’re Googling.
Search Amber Heard’s name on Google Trends, and almost every breakout search term is ‘Amber Heard baby father’, ‘Amber Heard partner’ and ‘Amber Heard girlfriend 2021’. Amber has been dating Bianca Butti since last year, but the two haven’t been seen together since February leading many to question if they’re still together.
What’s pointed about the search though, is the need to find out who the father of Amber’s child is. Despite making it abundantly clear that she’s made the decision to do this alone, curiosity cannot escape many. While it may be normal to be curious, it’s an important reminder that despite countless single mothers raising wonderful children, society just cannot seem to rid themselves of the internalised misogyny that tells us women have to have men in our lives to raise children.
Many can’t let go of the idea that having a single mother makes a child’s life less than in some way.
It was the same scenario with Lana Rhoades, who after announcing her pregnancy last month was trending on Google for weeks with questions about who the father of the child was. It was obsessive, almost. When Sandra Bullock adopted her children alone, it was the same story – as it was for Charlize Theron and Natalie Imbruglia. No matter how accomplished these women are, no matter how capable of giving a child an excellent life, people just can’t seem to let go of the idea that having a single mother makes a child’s life less than in some way.
For those of us that were raised by single mothers, we know very differently – let’s just hope the rest of society will catch up soon enough.
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