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The surprise take-away from Tina Fey’s appearance on Oprah earlier this month had to do with the handling Fey’s “big announcement”.

While 40-year-old Fey was clearly pregnant—rendering the “big announcement” practically rhetorical—the viewing experience was riddled with awkward tension.

It was like watching a couple of kids tossing a football following an afternoon of fingering buttered popcorn at the movies—one fumble after another.

I felt an involuntary cringe when Tina Fey appeared to painfully decline (http://www NULL.oprah NULL.com/oprahshow/Tina-Feys-Big-Announcement-Video) to join Oprah for a silhouetted bump-revealing standing ovation on her 5-month pregnancy.

The diva of daytime—Oprah appeared so uncharacteristically gauche when dealing with a pregnant woman.

Honestly? Being encouraged to stand up and show off 5 months worth of fetus is equivalent to a stranger reaching out and groping it uninvited—an unsavory gesture occurring with unexpected frequency to expectant mothers.

Was it me or was Fey squirming like an unwilling worm beneath the public scrutiny of a TV audience of millions on the subject of her impending motherhood?

“Is it real?” Oprah asked, eyeing the thing dubiously.

The laugh that tortured Fey’s face in response foreshadowed the 3rd trimester constipation cocktail—complete with raging hemorrhoid garnish—to come.

With a 5-year-old daughter, a successful career culminating in 30 Rock and widespread public acclaim, it appeared odd that she seemed to bow herself off the stage with excuses for being an older mother.

“I’m 40! Older ladies having babies—it’s an epidemic!” was her muttered explanation.

Frankly, I don’t understand is what all the stink is about. Fey tells Oprah that she faced a “dilemma”—at 40 her fertility is declining, but she’s still head of a hit show.

It was “Tina’s Choice”—her second child or her continued climb to the lofty heights of being a media icon.

Becoming a mother at 40 meant potential career ruin.

But why should such a choice be necessary? Lift up the Tinsel Town rock and you’ll find the truth.

Reviewing her new book, Bossy Pants (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/Bossypants-Tina-Fey/dp/0316056863), and her choice to star in Motherhood—The Sequel, People (http://www NULL.people NULL.com/people/article/0,,20479975,00 NULL.html) quoted Fey as saying: “Hollywood be damned. I’ll just be unemployable and labeled crazy in five years anyway.”

In the land of Dreamworks and Botox, a virtual Mesopotamia for our cultural gold standard of beauty, 40 is the new 30 for women and mothers.

The minute we become a late-40’s Meg Ryan in Serious Moonlight (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Serious_Moonlight_%282009_film%29)—with a face so “drastically reconfigured” (http://www-movieline-com NULL.vimg NULL.net/2009/10/meg-ryan-does-misery-in-serious-moonlight-trailer NULL.php) by plastic surgery it looked like the aftermath of an apocalyptic encounter with a pool drain—the game is up.

Despite our “epidemic” numbers, our culture still follows zero tolerance for women, motherhood and aging.

Notes for this blog:

Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/) (www.flowerpowermom.com (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)), a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40. She gave birth to her children at 41 and 44 after conceiving naturally.

MOTHER’S DAY 2011: A CHILD AFTER 40

It’s a mother of an evolution–launching at www.flowerpowermom.com/a-child-after-40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/a-child-after-40).

A Child After 40 is the first campaign to empower women on the journey of motherhood after 40.  Watch the video. Join the community. Check out the Resources. Pay It Forward.  Video: http://www.youtube.com/user/flowerpowermoms (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/user/flowerpowermoms). Campaign Info page: www.flowerpowermom.com/a-child-after-40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/a-child-after-40). Join: http://www.achildafter40.com/community (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/community).

Ref. Links:

http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Tina-Feys-Big-Announcement-Video (http://www NULL.oprah NULL.com/oprahshow/Tina-Feys-Big-Announcement-Video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5gmpgh6uA4 (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=U5gmpgh6uA4)

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20479975,00.html (http://www NULL.people NULL.com/people/article/0,,20479975,00 NULL.html)

One Response to Tina Fey–Seconds Anyone?

  1. Merri Ann (http://www NULL.over40momadventures NULL.blogspot NULL.com) says:

    I must say that I’m a little confused by all the talk on this website about the negative focus directed at us moms having children after 40.

    I am clearly someone who is over 40 (I’ll be 49 in a few weeks) with 3 children aged 5, 4, & 4. I am called “grandma” about 90% of the time. I think I look my age and I’m not offended … I AM in fact old enough to be their grandmother. When I correct them, they are always embarassed at having made the assumption … but I’m always quick to respond that they need not be … I explain that we tried to have kids for 10 years and finally found a doctor that was able to help us.

    I have never once had a negative response … everyone has been interested in the process of IVF and frozen embryos and they are quick to tell me how blessed I am.

    I’m not sure what my exact point is here … I didn’t see the Oprah interview. But I did want people to know that not everyone is having this negative stuff directed at them. I’m so sorry for those who are having to defend themselves against it …

    Thanks for having this discussion on your site …

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