Salma Hayek on women in their 40s who don’t have children: ‘This is awful’


Salma Hayek has been doing the press rounds for a few weeks because she’s promoting her new animated film adaptation of Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Salma produced it and voices one of the major characters. During the promotion, Salma has touched on some political stuff (she doesn’t care for Donald Trump) and some personal stuff (like how her husband called her “lazy” after she gave birth to Valentina). Salma sat down this week with the Associated Press and she ended up saying something really judgy about childfree women. I think? Here are some assorted quotes:

The studios aren’t calling her anymore: “I think they don’t want me but I don’t really care.”

The adaptation of The Prophet: “It’s meaningful. It’s hopeful. It’s uplifting. It’s respectful. It honors children. Many people tell me, ‘But they are not going to like poetry.’ Children love poetry. That’s why we have the nursery rhymes and then we don’t give it to them anymore. It’s their first language. They think in metaphor.”

She’s not getting acting awards these days, she’s getting humanitarian awards: “I’ve been getting awards from different places for the humanitarian work and I’ve had a lot of movies come out. Then there is my husband also who takes me to many places. There’s that stuff too and I’ve just been busy with life.”

Women in their 40s: “You don’t look as bad as you thought you were going to look. You don’t feel as old as you thought you were going to feel. It’s a myth. Forties are full of life. The only thing that is tough about the 40s is when you haven’t had a child. This is awful. And the men today are terrible because when you are coming to the 40s they … start going away. But you know what? (Not) the good ones.”

[From HuffPo]

“The only thing that is tough about the 40s is when you haven’t had a child. This is awful.” Well, there you go. So much for every woman making her own reproductive and family planning choices. Salma has just declared that if you are childfree/less in your 40s, it’s so tough for you, so awful. How judgy. The only thing I’ll say in her defense is that I think she could have been talking about herself, that it was awful FOR HER to not be a mother by the age of 40. Maybe. Salma gave birth to Valentina when she was 40 years old, so maybe she wasn’t talking about herself. Maybe she just judges childfree women in their 40s.


Photos courtesy of WENN.

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196 Responses to “Salma Hayek on women in their 40s who don’t have children: ‘This is awful’”

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  1. QQ says:

    I’ll be that Awful one *crossing fingers, legs and IUD* 5 more years to Awfulness!!!

    • Renee2 says:

      You and me both QQ!!!

    • Erinn says:

      Lol, I could see me going either way. Part of me would love like a gaggle of children, and then there’s a decent sized chunk of me that would also love to just have the dog and cats, and go traveling with the husband more. Mind you, I had a moment of panic despite my depo last week, and was about 80% relieved, and 20% disappointed with the negative.

      Either way, I don’t see a thing wrong with either choice. It’s so obnoxious that anyone – especially a woman with the means that Salma has- would dictate that a woman is pitiful if she hasn’t reproduced. Some chicks just don’t want that, and I love that some people know exactly what they want. My great aunt didn’t have kids. I don’t know if she couldn’t, or if she just didn’t want to. But that woman had the mouth of a dock worker and lived next door, and was like a fantastic third grandmother to me. Just because someone doesn’t procreate themselves, doesn’t mean they hate kids, or don’t have a hand in raising someone else’s.

    • lisa says:

      im with you, *crosses birth control *

    • embertine says:

      Just had mine fitted two days ago. Here’s to five years of never having to worry about it, by which time I will be 41, and hopefully “awful”.

      • QQ says:

        I Too Sat with my legs wide open and fist pumped when I calculated with the Dr. how many years I could get out of the IUD, Like ride that Baby all the way til my Menopause!!

      • ScurrilousScallywag says:

        “Ride that baby all the way til my menopause.”

        Thank you for an honest laugh out loud moment! That is fantastic.

    • Anna says:

      I think Salma meant that it’s awful for women who must’ve always wanted children but by the time they’re 40 they still don’t have a child and it’s hard to find a partner at that point in life because they stray from women who are 40.

      I think if she meant it to be judgy she would’ve said it differently. I think you guys are kind of jumping the gun here.

      • bettyrose says:

        Anna, I agree with your interpretation but even then I’m side-eyeing her comment. 40 isn’t a death sentence, even for single women who still want children. It’s not even really middle age any more now that we retire at 70 and live to 100.

      • Prim says:

        I think that’s what she meant to. If you WANT children and it hasn’t happened by your 40’s, yes, that’s awful. It has nothing to do with finding someone to have kids with, it’s just much harder to get pregnant and stay pregnant.

      • Pandy says:

        I agree. I didn’t read judgy at all, just that your reproductive options are quickly dwindling and it’s hard to find a good guy. And she’s right. If you want kids and you hit 40 without a partner and a child, that’s rough.

      • Marguerita says:

        I agree with you, that was the (very optimistic) feeling I got about that comment too. If not, f*ck that noise. I’m a step-mom and biologically childless by choice. I’m fortunate to have my “bonus babies” (tm – Leann Rhimes), but no way was I EVER having kids otherwise. My choice, my body, no regrets. I’m 37 and roaring forward!

      • Sea Dragon says:


      • Newgirl says:

        Anna, I think that is what she meant as well.

      • Josephine says:

        Agreed. The latest hobby seems to be taking one sentence that a celeb utters and trying to read an entire personality into it. Very few people are perfect and eloquent when they speak.

      • Mel says:

        I agree.

        FWIW, I am over fifty, never wanted children (and never had any), but I don’t think she is “judgy” or whatever.

        But that’s not even the point (with me), however. Even she WERE “judging”… so what?
        Why do some people have to fly into an apoplectic fit whenever they sense “judgement” from others?
        Life is too short (even if you are 20) for living your life reacting to other people, and for judging them – even for their judgmentality.

      • tracking says:

        Anna, that’s how I read it too.

      • laura in LA says:

        Anna, I’m going to go with this as well. I was honestly ready to jump all over her comment, but in context, I think I see what she meant to say…

        Also, I’m just too tired today to feel any “shame” or sadness over being 43 and childless. What would be worse would be to have married the wrong man or to be single with a child now – and struggling.

      • I kind of agree here, and I am basically a 44 year old who is fundamentally allergic to children. I genuinely don’t like them. There I said it. But here, I think there are two things in play. Some of it may be cultural, and yes, I think that she was probably referencing more the pace of life and how having a child gets sidelined and how some women “wind up” without a child. That’s how I read it.

      • Who ARE these people? says:

        I think that’s what she meant, too.

      • Amberica says:

        I agree. English is her 2nd language. It’s hard sometimes to get your point across in your non-native language.

      • kibbles says:

        I agree that is what she meant as well, and she’s correct. I have met women in their 40s who haven’t met the right guy and are desperate to settle down and have a family ASAP. It’s sad and I think worrisome for any woman who WANTS to have children. She is not talking about women who choose to be single and child free. I believe Selma was in a similar boat and is lucky to be beautiful and rich which helped her lock down a billionaire husband. Not every woman her age who wants children are in her position.

      • REEEELY?? says:

        I would have to agree- sometimes interviews are relayed in “snippets”, then when put together are worse than was intended. I would have to hear the whole interview personally, unedited.

      • Tawny says:

        I agree with you, Anna. I am who she is talking about. I always wanted children, but am in my 40s now. It’s awful for me. I have had many men tell me I’d be perfect if I didn’t want children.

      • Tara says:

        I think that’s what she meant too. English isn’t her first language but is still better than my 2nd or 3rd language.

    • katy says:

      Joining in the Awful Brigade. I have a while to go, but boy howdy, I am raring to get there.

    • phlyfiremama says:

      bilateral tubal ligation is the ONLY way to go!!!

    • lunchcoma says:

      5 more years for me too! (Many thanks to my good friend, Mirena)

    • Sarah says:

      I’m 53, so my “awfulness” is bigger than your “awfulness”. Ha! Got ya. 🙂

    • Zoe says:

      Who is she to call it “awful”? Some people can’t AFFORD to have kids unlike her whose husband is a BILLIONAIRE and honestly no offense but her kid is NOT a pretty girl so money can’t buy looks
      Salma has a man face and has an annoying accent

  2. NUTBALLS says:

    I think Salma was referring to the heartache of those who for whatever reason haven’t been able to have the child they’d hoped to have by the time they were 40. I know several such women and their pain is real, deep and daily. The pool of good men is thinned in your 40’s and they’d gladly take the increased risk of complications for a chance at motherhood.

    • zzzz says:

      that’s what I took away from her comment as well. not as judgy when you look at it in that light

    • Venus says:

      Yeah, that’s my takeaway, too. And I’m a CFBC woman in her 40s. Not offended.

    • Sullivan says:

      I think that’s what she meant, too.

    • OrigialTessa says:

      I agree. I think she meant that turning 40 isn’t great if you’ve longed for a child and haven’t had one yet.

    • Norman Bates' Mother says:

      Yes, me too. I took it as a poorly worded reference to those women who wanted to have children but found themselves childless in their 40’s, when it’s incredibly hard to conceive there’s not that much time left.

      • Dorotea says:

        I think it was poorly worded because english is not her first language. I was just laughing with my Puertorrican coworker, he speaks “spanglish” most of the time and he doesnt even notice it!! Lol.

    • minx says:

      Yes, I was ready to rip into her, but I think that’s what she meant.

    • Heather says:

      That is what I thought too! I feel like on the internet, and in the media, people just look for a way to be offended. I guess viewing every comment as controversial strikes up meaningful conversations (like this one, for sure) but I really just do not look at the world that way. I look for the good in what people are saying before the bad. I just read her quote to be a reflection of her own experience, and that she struggled with not having a child and then felt very blessed to have given birth at 40.

    • SnarkySnarkers says:

      Thats how I took it too, like the only thing you might not be able to do in your 40’s is have kids everything else is fine. I am 35 with no kids yet but definitely want them (and am actively trying with my hubs) hopefully soon. I normally am annoyed with Salma but I didn’t take this comment to mean she looks down on not having kids if its a choice you make. Just that if you want them, you might not be able to conceive naturally or whatever in your 40s.

    • Wren says:

      I hope that’s what she meant, because otherwise………… shut your face.

    • chaine says:

      That’s what I took her comment to mean. I didn’t read it as being judgy. I think she personally wanted children for a long time, and reached her 40’s and had heartache because she thought that now it would not happen for her.

    • Shambles says:

      I think that’s what she meant too, but it was still an insensitive way to put it. Since you know it’s so awful to want a child yet still be childless in your 40s, why stick the knife in by bringing it up at all?

      *big hugs to any certain peoples, whomever they may be, that might have been hurt by this one*

    • Chinoiserie says:

      I think Selma was just talking about the reasons why being 40 is feared by women and that children is the only real reason to worry. But that would be terrible obviously for only those who want children, I do not think Selma really neened to clarify.

    • jc126 says:

      I agree that’s probably what she meant, when you’re in your 40s and don’t have a child and want one more than anything, that it’s a bad feeling to have.

    • bns says:

      That’s exactly what she was saying. People online salivate at the opportunity to be offended so they hear what they wanna hear.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Y’all KNOW how touchy I am on this subject, lol, as I have bored you to tears by now I’m sure. But I really do think she meant “if that’s what you want.” You feel like time is running out. Maybe she has friends going through it and she was thinking of them. She probably should have been more clear, but I don’t think she meant any harm.

      • Shambles says:

        You haven’t bored us to tears, GNATTY, you’re the first person I thought of when I saw the headline. I was like “aw, shoot, that has to sting,” and you’re the one my metaphorical big hug was directed to. But apparently I underestimated you, warrior lady. My apologies.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        No, I knew you were talking about me, and it meant so much to me to have you in my corner. Thank you, sweet friend. And I’m not brave about it at all. I just honestly didn’t think she meant it the way it sounded, and may be thinking about a friend of her own.

      • vauvert says:

        I think that is what she meant, at least I hope she did… I mean it still is a painful comment because she made it generic when she could have easily done a better job by making it first person – “I had a hard time approaching 40 because I was having trouble getting pregnant”… or something like that. The way she said was very open to interpretation – be it judgy and mean or generically hurtful.

        I am so sorry GNAT, I thought of you too! I hope in the future she will choose her words more carefully just out of sensitivity. For anyone facing child bearing issues these little things sting even when they are not meant to; I have made my peace with my own situation – grudgingly, because as my doctor told me as I kept struggling with a chronic illness and railing against the miserable drugs they were giving me, at least I was fortunate enough to have one. Yes, we had wanted more, yes we would have dearly loved more, but it was not meant to be.

        I cannot help but admire the graceful way in which ladies like GNAT handle it on a daily basis. My hat is off to you!

      • NUTBALLS says:

        GNAT, I don’t know your story, but I’m sorry to hear that you’ve experienced this kind of pain. I know from my dear friends who have been there that normal, everyday innocuous things will prick their hearts of their unfulfilled desire.

        I don’t know Salma’s backstory here, if she wanted children when she was younger and struggled with infertility or just expressing the sadness of close friends going through it. Regardless, I agree with you that she doesn’t need to issue a disclaimer “for those who desire children” before the statement.

        It irks me that women (more than men) are so quick to take the worst interpretation of someone’s statement, when it was likely stated out of an awareness of the real pain of desiring children and not having them or being able to have more of them.

    • perplexed says:

      That’s how I interpreted her comment too. She probably didn’t fill in the gaps properly, but because English is her second language, I figured maybe she was intending on talking about women who hoped to have children but didn’t. Since she didn’t have a child until 40, I thought she was probably relating her own situation to the prognosis of being in one’s 40s.

    • claire says:

      That’s how I took it as well.

    • lana86 says:

      why so dramatic? If u r overflown with motherly insticts and desire to care u can adopt. To be a childless woman is not awfull, awfull is to be an abondoned, unloved little child with no options. (just a general comment to the topic)

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        It’s not a contest. And it’s not that simple.

      • vauvert says:

        You think it’s easy??? In my country (Canada) I cannot pass the health test because I have a chronic illness, despite the fact that there are a lot of children we could adopt, and we would be great parents (as proof of it, we are raising one of our own. So please don’t tell us how we can al go out and fulfill our maternal instincts by adopting.

      • NUTBALLS says:

        It’s not easy or cheap to adopt and not all women would want to do so if they’re single.

      • Celebwatch says:

        That all makes little sense. It isn’t easy or cheap to raise children, either. If you can’t afford 30k to adopt then you probably shouldn’t have your own kid either. There are cheap ways to adopt through foster care for at-risk kids too.

        And why would single women be less likely to want to adopt if they can’t get inseminated or whatever?

        If someone insists that their baby be guaranteed to be perfectly predictable, healthy, or whatever, they probably shouldn’t become parents. People push back so hard against the “just adopt” or “just foster” critique, and I agree those paths are not without problems. But if someone who claims they were desperate to have kids really isn’t willing to go there I’m not willing to see their inability to have biological children as a tragedy fate dealt them.

    • Stef Leppard says:

      I think that’s what she meant too. If you haven’t had a child by the time you enter your forties then it can be difficult to conceive or adopt at that point. I don’t think she thinks women who are childless by choice are awful or feel awful. But she definitely could have worded it differently.

    • Dena says:

      I’m in agreement. I think she simply meant that it’s heartbreaking for those women who want a child and haven’t had one by their 40s and maybe haven’t even found a man who’d be good father material–with the latter being a double whammy of anguish.

      After reading the quote, I instantly thought about Bonnie Raitt’s song Nick of Time. Some women are scared. Scared to run out of time.

    • Isabelle says:

      yeah its what I took from it & it is hard to get pregnant in your 40s. I’ve chosen to remain childless & not insulted by her comment at all.

    • Mel says:

      And I am not even a “fan” of hers.

    • B says:

      I interpreted it that way too. I just turned 40, and spent a week in a house w/ nine nephews under the age of nine, including infant twins.

      If she was being judgy, that’s just fine, the experience was an “awfully” good birth control reminder, & it was the BEST feeling to come back to a silent home…judge away :)!

    • The Other Katherine says:

      I usually think this site’s articles are spot-on with respect to feminist and reproductive rights issues, but I do not think the outrage here is warranted. At all. It seems pretty clear to me that Hayek was trying to say that, when you are a woman who wants to birth and raise children, and you get to your 40s and haven’t had them and don’t already have a partner who wants them too, it is a very, very hard and painful row to hoe. As someone who was 40 and childless not by choice, albeit someone lucky enough to have a partner who also wanted a child, I completely agree with the sentiment. I am now 41 and, amazingly, almost into my 3rd trimester of a healthy pregnancy, but it took a great deal of medical treatment, heartache, and miscarriage to get this far. It’s not a journey I would wish on anyone, and Hayek is right that it just plain sucks, and that it sucks even more if you don’t have a supportive partner already who wants to parent with you, because if you’re a straight woman in your 40s it *is* harder than when you were younger to find a quality man who actually wants to have (another) child — most of them are married and/or have kids already. No need to rip the woman apart for judging women who are childless by choice, when it’s pretty darn clear that’s not what she was doing.

  3. bros says:

    I think she meant that she would have regretted moving into her 40s without a child.

  4. The Other Maria says:

    With all due respect, fk her.

    Some women want children and that’s great!
    Some won’t never want collagen and that’s great!

    It’s all about perspective and desire, also, not projecting your own wants and antiquated ideologies on others–she should work on that.

  5. Mimz says:

    I didn’t read so much into it. It sounded BAD but I don’t know. I didn’t read it as a criticism for ALL 40 year old women. It sounded more introspective than that.
    OAN In that top pic I can see she’s probably not going under the knife. I

  6. INeedANap says:

    I don’t get what she means that when women get to their 40’s, men start going away. Is she talking about their attention? Shorter life spans? Help.

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      I read that as she is worried about being left for a younger woman, just as well she has a child for company!

    • Erinn says:

      I feel like MAYBE she meant that they weren’t interested in dating women in their 40s? But the good men still will? I have no clue though.

    • Pedro45 says:

      Men tend to date younger women as they get older.

      • littlestar says:

        I think this is a pernicious myth at this point. How many older men do you know who are dating younger women? I personally do not know any. I think Hollywood and celebrities really perpetuate this idea that old men only want younger women, but in reality, that’s just not the case. I think most men want to date in their “age range” and for the older men who DO want to date significantly younger women, they are mostly out of luck, because there aren’t many young women out there who want to date men their father’s/grandfather’s age.

      • speshul says:

        ‘Younger’ by a couple years, not a couple decades. Most people tend to date within their age range, not significantly higher or lower. Only in Hollywood or amongst the 1%ers can they select a wife 40 years younger, since she is essentially bought…:-)

      • Isabelle says:

        Only if they have money or goodlooking, have charisma, just like in her circles. Ordinary regular joes aren’t going to have women in their 20s lining up to get to them.

      • Emily C. says:

        Not true. I’ve known plenty of single middle-aged and older men, and they’re only interested in women their own age, period. A couple years older or younger, whatever, that’s still their own age, and they have no qualms about dating women who are older than them but still in their age range.

        Salma Hayek is probably speaking truth for the billionaire culture she’s in, but not for regular people, where there are many more decent men to be had.

      • qwerty says:

        Well she obviously was not dealing with average joes. Her social circle is mill/billionaires, and they rarely even look at women their own age. It’s just one 20-something after another and if they settle in the old age, they marry a woman decades younger.

      • Tammy White says:

        I know two male colleagues…one 47 who has a 34 year old live in girlfriend (his last was 22 when he first started dating her, he was 41.) The other is 46 dating a 30 year old….so it’s not a myth.

    • minx says:

      Death and/or leaving for younger pastures.

    • QQ says:

      They hand you a Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak when you Turn 40, cause all those bozos are in CL, Match and Eharmony and OkCupid looking for girls in the mid 20s to 30s range

      • Absolutely says:

        I think this is exactly what she meant.

      • Tulip Garden says:

        That sounds both horrifying and, oddly, liberating. 😋

      • Jaded says:

        Reminds me of that short video Amy Schumer did on “Last F*ckable Day” – it’s hilarious but….sadly true.

      • INeedANap says:

        Girl, I’m 28 and was handed a Man-Specific Invisibility Cloak at birth. But the true love of my life, Gary the Goldfish, can’t escape from me because he lives in a bowl on my shelf. So I’m not lonely. 😉

      • Aren says:

        If I want to date in my 30’s I have to find somebody who is 70 or 80.

      • QQ says:

        Oh Aren when I was Dating still That’s exactly who approaches you with all the entitlement that, you know, you better be grateful, Dudes in their Late 40s/50s/even 60s acting like I KNOW you say your parameters in your profile but “I Have Money” “I can F*ck you better than these boys” and all sorts of BS

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Yeah, I got invisibility cloak from her comment, too. And it’s true – one day you walk by a group of men and you tense up anticipating a rude remark or ogling eyeballs…and they don’t notice you. It’s a relief and a hmm at the same time. I’m used to it now, but it takes a minute.

      • Mel says:

        I am in my fifties and still waiting for that Invisibility Cloak.
        Well, not really – I quite enjoy being visible. 🙂

      • I was on one of those dating sites…….I did a fist bump when I came across this profile of a guy who was 38/39…….he had in all caps…if you are under thirty, what the fk are you doing talking to me? I laughed SO hard, I wanted to die.

    • perplexed says:

      I thought she meant that most of the good ones are already taken and then you’re left with the duds (unless you date younger, I suppose, or find that one good one in your age range who is miraculously left).

      • hermia says:

        She’s so old fashioned in her way of thinking. Who says a woman in her 40s (or 30s) would want to date a man her age? Are we still in the 1950s? Dear Selma, you may look young, but you’re stuck in a time warp.

    • claire says:

      There’s a pretty big trend of men dating younger women. I’m early 40s. I’ve looked at online dating sites here and there and guess what? When I filter to see men in my age range, more often than not they’ve put the acceptable age range of women they’d date between 22-35, or similar. It’s so rare to see a male profile where they’ve stated they’ll date women their own age. It’s not easy finding a single acceptable guy out there who isn’t looking to date a 20+ year old.

      • Emily C. says:

        Finding an acceptable man on a dating site is ridiculously rare anyway. It can’t really be extrapolated to the rest of society. Complaining you can’t find a good man on a dating site is like complaining you can’t find a good man in a bar.

  7. Kdlaf says:

    Maybe she meant it was awful because its harder to have a child if you want in your 40s? Which is a biological fact but it seems like she is assuming women in their 40s all want that for themselves. Maybe there is more context to this quote. Nevertheless i dont want to hear billionaires or millionares giving advice to us plebeians anymore – its condescending.

  8. Penelope says:

    Boy does that kid look like her father.

    • Renee2 says:

      I am pressing my lips together so that I won’t laugh out loud at your comment. 🙂

    • Jen43 says:

      Yes, and Selma isn’t looking too great with her hair pulled back like that.

    • LizLemonGotMarried says:

      Thank you, I scrolled down to see if everyone was just harshing on Salma or if someone would touch on the fact that Valentina looks EXACTLY like Francois Pinault. Down to the side-eye.

  9. Bichon says:

    Celebrities should be seen and not heard.

  10. meme says:

    This from a woman who proclaims to be a feminist. What she said is flat out stupid.

    • j.eyre says:

      I don’t care what she was trying to say, how she said it was careless and absurd.

      • Tarsha says:

        I cut her some slack, she only learned to speak English when she did that movie with Matthew Perry. Fools Rush In. Things can get lost in translation. She even admitted back then she *thinks* in Spanish, so, even after all this time, well. Hey. I loved her in that movie. I guess I am just biased and don’t want to believe she would think like that.

    • Aren says:

      She always says the most stupid of things, we should already expect it.

      • shi_gatsu says:

        Actually she is a very pensive and passionate person. See her Inside the Actor’s Studio interview

  11. lassie says:

    Maybe she was meaning how difficult it is to have a baby and be 40. The body takes some serious hits with pregnancy and it doesn’t bounce back as quickly when you’re 40.

  12. Regina Phelange says:

    She just meant if you want one and haven’t been able to yet. That’s all, nothing to see here.

  13. Lucy2 says:

    I was wondering if she meant it was awful how society judges woman who doesn’t have a child by 40? I don’t know, whatever she meant, she worded it badly.

  14. Twink says:

    I think she’s talking about herself as she gave birth in her 40s and also when you want a child but haven’t found a man and you’re in your 40s, that it’s not as easy. We have to remember English is not her first language. (Nor mine, I’m from the same state in Mexico as Salma).

    • Renee2 says:

      Big ups to Veracruz!!!!

    • Becks says:

      Twink, I agree. I think alot of what she says is misinterpreted because English isn’t her first language. I’m also a native Spanish speaker and I have noticed that when Salma speaks English, her translation is literally how you say it in Spanish. That seems to be very common when you pick up a second language as an adult.

      • dagdag says:

        Puu, English is also a second language to me.

        I think, that for a woman of 40 a new, same age or older/younger partner, a child is not necessarily priority number 1. And I think she meant, it is hard for a single woman in her 40th, who wants to start a family with child, to find a partner with the same wishes and support, since most men in this age frame who want to start a family, are looking for a younger companion.

  15. Jayna says:

    I think she’s talking about women who wanted children. She talking about things in your 40s. And for women who always thought they would have a child or more, 40s are a tough time if you aren’t in a relationship or if you married late and are trying and it’s not happening. I have two different friends who always thought they would have children and wanted to now faced in their 40s with the realization that for different reasons that’s not going to happen.

    • Lara K says:


      You worded it great. At 40, if you want a child, you are really under the gun. I’ve seen it in friends and it is awful.

  16. Corrie says:

    I didn’t take it as a slam to other women but herself… and now we ARE having children later like she did which have there own set of challenges. But you could have those challenges in your 30s too lol.

  17. Amy Tennant says:

    She didn’t express herself very well if this is the case, but I wonder if she was talking about women who want their own biological children and haven’t been able to have them, not women who are child-free by choice. But I don’t know.

  18. Kate says:

    I was all ready to get my pitchfork, but I think she’s just referring to her past self and other women who want children at that age.

    It is awful seeing women who desperately want children hit their 40’s with no prospects in that area. I have a lot of single friends in that position, and they’re just sort of flailing about, not ready to move on from the idea of being a mother but paralysed by fear when it comes to making a decision regarding relationships, sperm donation, adoption etc. in case it’s the wrong one and they waste what little time they have left and run out of options. At the same time every plan they make for the future becomes about having a child, while at the same time knowing there’s a very good chance it will never happen. It can be a hideous time for a lot of women.

  19. Cherry says:

    I took it that she meant women who for whatever reason want children but haven’t had them by forty, not those who chose to remain child free. There’s a big difference.

  20. moirrey says:

    I don’t think she meant it as judgement. I think the statement could easily be read as her own personal feeling as to how children can enrich your life, not as a “eww, look at that 41 year old with no kids” kinda thing. Not everything is said with negative intent, and I don’t think this was either. Personally I know I won’t have kids (I’m about a decade off from being 40 yet) but I don’t take offense to her comments.

  21. Saks says:

    I dont think she was judgy, it sounded like she didn’t finish her whole idea. I think she was referring specifically to the women who want to have children but for any reason they dont do it till their forties, my aunt had her last kid at 39 and she really suffered that pregnancy.

  22. benchwarmer says:

    I interpreted the ‘awful’ comment as this:
    For women who wanted children having them in the 40’s is challenging and doesn’t always come to fruition and that is awful. I have a friend approaching her 45th b-day in the fall and she fits into that category. She wasn’t in a rush to have kids and only started trying in her early 40’s and now she is devastated.

  23. Talie says:

    I don’t want kids, but sometimes I wonder if they would be useful later in life when I need someone to care for me if I’m ill. Then again, it’s a crapshoot, not all kids turn out to be good people.

    • Megan says:

      Yeah…don’t have kids based on what they can do for *you* in the future. You have them because you want to raise another person in to independence and adulthood, because you love them and want them.

    • Aren says:

      Based on conversations with relatives, I think most think about that, about having a “legacy”, and about the pressure of not having them.

      The truth is even if they take care of you, it won’t necessarily be better than if you’re in a nursing home. There are fights, tears, anxiety and a lot of stress, even if everybody gets along.

    • word says:

      Don’t count on it ! Not all children give a damn about their aging parents. Not all children will take care of you in old age. They mostly likely will see you as a burden. Have kids for any other reason, but NOT that one.

    • Josephine says:

      If you’re wondering about whether they would be useful, you are wise to listen to your inner voice that says that you don’t want kids. You can pay for care and make friends for companionship. Kids are something altogether different.

  24. Grateful says:

    It’s easy to have a child when you are married to a billionaire. There are millions of single moms struggling every day to provide for their kids. Yes, there may be some “biological mourning” in your forties. This didn’t feel a bit as though it was about me or my path in life, rather, it was like my body was missing something because we are hardwired to reproduce. Once that is passed and it certainly always does, there are no regrets. The fact that children weren’t meant to be for me makes perfect sense now. In fact, every childless woman I know is grateful about it.

  25. wow says:

    Yeah, statements like that is a perfect example of why I feel most women are their own worst enemy. The you whole you must have children by a certain age thing, along with the whole you must get married to be a desirable and the ultimate “His wife is so much prettier than the mistress, I don’t see why he would cheat” just irks me.

    Now I do feel she was right in saying that the men tend to shy away from women in their 40’s but not the “good” ones. I wish the interviewer would have asked her if she’d be interested in her ancient husband if he were not so wealthy? Because yeah, there’s that.

    • Aren says:

      She’s a Kardishan (sp?) level gold-digger, she always was, but because she made herself an image of somebody who was intelligent and classy, she doesn’t get called out on it, ever.

  26. Miss Jupitero says:

    F*ck her. There is no excuse for that kind of remark. She knew what she was saying, and she wasn’t speaking just for herself.

    We are NOT all the same, we do not all feel the same way about these issues, we do not all have the same goals, hopes, and dreams. I get it that many women desperately want children, but you would be amazed at how many of us really don’t feel that way at all.

    As a culture we really, REALLY need to stop treating women as if they are community property and subject to all of our weird projections. whether a woman chooses to have children or not is nobody else’s damned business. Period. Full Stop.

    By the way, I am 50, and I have found, if anything, that I am being cruised and flirted with more than ever, and my social life is bursting at the seams. Prepare yourself ladies: 50 is when you start hearing back from all of your old boyfriends who fantasize about how wonderful their lives would have been if they had only managed to hang onto you. And you will smile and reject them because you have a book to write or some white water rafting to do.

    Anybody who “goes away” when you hit 40 (40? What? Is that old to some people?) was never there to begin with.

  27. Jess says:

    Come on. Salma doesn’t strike me as judgemental. She strikes me as fun-loving, not preachy. She doesn’t care whether OTHER people have kids or not after 40. She’s just talking and to her, living her life and to her being childless was not ideal. Let’s not be quick to take offense.

  28. Roller74 says:

    My husband and I have made the decision to not have children and we are both 41yrs of age. We have a great life and have never regretted our decision. Selma may have been generalizing but I honestly think she was talking about herself, in that ‘for her’ being childless at 40 was awful.

  29. Lena says:

    I will tell my 85 year great aunt that actually her last 40 years, when she was having a great career, travelling around the world, hanging out with her many friends and organizing family meet ups were actually tragic, she just didn’t realize it. Or not. Because I have seldom seen anyone having such a great time enjoying her life as she did, and all without children (or a husband).

  30. Ravensdaughter says:

    Her daughter is darling.
    Oh, I think I see some back fat in that pic of her turning around in the halter dress.
    I just turned 51, so it gives me a cheap thrill to be able to say that.

  31. Freddy Spaghetti says:

    After the whole “I exercise by standing in a certain way” thing, I realized that, imo, she lives in an interesting bubble where everything about her applies to everyone else. Except that, you know, she’s more special.

    • Aren says:

      Of course she’s special! Her 6 month old daughter was trilingual and spoke to ghosts in french! We should be thankful she’s sharing her wisdom with us.

  32. Mia4S says:

    Trying to say this without offending but…Salma has never been…strong…with the English language. She may well be brilliant and eloquent in her native Spanish I don’t know but for me she does not express herself well in English. Given that I wouldn’t even try to guess what she meant. So I’ll do what I always to now when I see Salma in any context; shrug and move on.

    • Wren33 says:

      Yeah, while she is fluent she does have some awkward phrasing so I am willing to get her the benefit of the doubt. Of course, she seems full of herself too, so I could also believe she meant it.

    • Tarsha says:

      Yep, I just said another post like that. Selma said some years back that she still ‘thinks in Spanish, in her head’.

  33. Daria Morgendorffer says:

    My sister is currently childless and might always be due to a bout with cancer in her early 20s as surgery made the possibility of carrying to term unlikely. My heart breaks for her every time she gets pummeled by our older cousin about how she should have kids.

    I don’t understand why there has to be this line in the sand drawn between women who “were born to be mothers” vs those who weren’t. I get it that a lot of women become mothers and have that epiphanic moment of, “I was born to do this” but it doesn’t give them license to walk around expressing their pity for women who either choose to remain childless or have no choice.

    Salma easily could’ve said, “I can’t imagine being my age without my daughter” or something along those lines without generalizing or judging anyone else due to her personal feelings. Not every woman is meant to be a mom, and there is nothing wrong with that. There is definitely an element of judgment that these women receive from moms.

    • Aren says:

      Yes but that would mean Salma is respectful towards others, and she isn’t.
      As for your cousin, punch her in the face next time she says that to your sister.

    • Tarsha says:

      Why don’t you explain to your cousin why she is out of line and being thoughtless?

      • Daria Morgendorffer says:

        @Tarsha, My cousin is a passive-aggressive assh*le who stirs up problems in the hopes that someone will take the bait and tell her off so that she can play the victim. She loves to start with my sister. When I went back to college in my early 20’s, I was older than the conventional fresh out of high school college bracket, and she took it upon herself to tell me she thought the degree I was pursuing was too hard for me. She is full of unwarranted advice and stupid comments. I don’t have a relationship with her, but my sister has in the past because our cousin is twisted and will seek my sister out like they’re best of friends only to basically antagonize her and judge her.

        The instance that stands out most to me was after a holiday when my cousin and her mother-in-law tag teamed my sister and kept telling her she should have children and how they both felt like they were born to be moms. In my personal opinion, the best thing to do is just completely stay away. Putting her in her place isn’t worth the bother.

  34. lolavie says:

    Her child is unfortunate looking.

  35. G says:

    I don’t think she meant it that way. I think it was more IF you want kids then to be in your 40s without them is really hard, and that’s true! She didn’t have kids until late so she probably knows that feeling of ‘omg is it going to happen for me?’.

    is there anybody else who doesn’t know if they want kids? I love kids. I adore my nieces and nephews. I work with young kids. I’m at a point where i should probably be thinking about having them but i just don’t know if i have it in me. I mean, if it happened, i would obviously gett used to it and be thrilled, but i’m also thinking that if it doesn’t happen that i’m not going to feel like i missed out — or will i? Once i hit 40 will i feel like an empty shell because i don’t have a child?

    When i was a teenager, a neighbour of the people i babysat for used to ask me what i was going to do when i ‘grew up’.. i said that i wanted to work with kids – it was just something i liked and i never had any interest in anything else. This woman was very academically minded when it came to her kids. They had to work HARD. They weren’t allowed to hang out on the street with the other kids, it was homework.homework.homework. I do know that all 3 kids went on to have very important jobs. One became a doctor and emigrated to the US. I don’t think they had a good relationship with the mother though, there was a lot of bitterness at how they were made to study so hard ,,

    but anyway, back from my tangent, this woman asked me if i wanted to have kids of my own, and that if i did, did i not think that i would have enough of children if i studied and worked with them all day… of course when i was 13 i wasn’t thinking about that… but now her words seem to come back to me 20 years later and i’m thinking that i’ve helped to raise and teach so many kids already that i might be spent with kids… I really don’t know.

    Men have it so easy.

    • Jayna says:

      Three of my friends are teachers of children of elementary school age, and never really thought much about having children after a while, no rush or didn’t know if they wanted them or not. I think when you are with little kids day in and day out that might happen, kind of worn out with children. One did marry and have one and adores her, but didn’t want any more. One eventually in her late 30s just had a child but doesn’t want any more. The third loves working with children but does not want to have a child and has been married for quite a while. None of them seemed to want a big family. My friends who teach older kids, high school age, all have had families of two or three or even four children.

    • vauvert says:

      Not sure if this will help, but I actually divorced my first hubby in my late 20s because all he wanted me to do despite my degree was to follow him around the world in his successful corporate career and raise kids. At that point in time I really did not want to be a mother, and did not think I ever would. Did not like kids much, and wanted to work, travel, read, go to the theatre – you get it, I wanted to live for me.
      Fast forward to 5 years later, I finish a grad degree, get the job of my dreams and suddenly all I want is a kid. Life is stupid sometimes. I was fortunate to meet my great second husband and have the baby at 35 (one and only sadly) but in retrospect…. I could have had the larger family I wanted if I started having kids earlier. My fab career was abandoned after I got ill and I could have no more kids. My life could have been very different – not sure if better or worse, just different. I am still fortunate that I had time to change my mind. The thing is, try to imagine your life in 20 years. Do you see yourself preparing a nice weekend meal for your child coming to visit from college? Or meeting girlfriends for tapas at the hot new bar? Or in 30 years, would you rather take grandkids to Disney or going on a cruise on the Rhine? Either is a fine option, but what would make you happy?

  36. seesittellsit says:

    How very feminist of you, Salma, to assume that every woman without a child wanted one; that without a child no woman’s life is truly complete; and considering the amount of money you and your filthy rich billionaire mogul husband have, how very feminist of you to assume that every woman’s life allowed for children at the right time.

    No one with this woman’s money and looks should ever comment on women’s lives in any way, shape, or form.

  37. Andrea says:

    I’m 34 and do not want children. I am worried since I am thinking of possibly leaving my long term partner that this will be an issue. I am not wanting to ever have kids or to be a step-mom and I worry this will shrink my pool of men down considerably. So I kind-of get what she is talking about.

    • TessD says:

      I don’t know how she meant it but it makes no difference to me. I’m almost 34 and I’ve never wanted children. I’m pretty much set on not having any. Other people may do what they want and feel as they like but it doesn’t bother me.

  38. CidySmiley says:

    I don’t think she meant it badly. I think she worded it poorly. I remember when my step mom turned 40 and still hasn’t had kids. It wasn’t that she felt like she needed them or it was personal to her, it was more along the lines of the way that people looked at her. They thought that she was sort of wasting away because she had never had kids. By the time you turn 40 and you don’t have children society sees you as a wasted life form, and that’s awful.

    • jc126 says:

      That’s pretty harsh – do you really think society views women without kids over 40 as a “wasted life form?” I think people project a lot on this issue – how does anyone know how other people view them, unless it’s explicitly said?

  39. Kiki says:

    Maybe she’s talking about Mexican women? I am 34 and I can relate to what she’s saying. I do feel awful.

  40. khaveman says:

    I think she’s pretty clear in that if you don’t have a child and you’re in your 40s, then it’s awful. Which I don’t agree with. Having a child isn’t for every woman. She’s entitled to her opinion, but childless women/men are stigmatized enough and don’t need this rich, famous woman further cementing that silly stigma in the press.

  41. mememe says:

    I was about to get annoyed but I assume she means it’s awful for people who want children who have hit their 40s and see their dream fade.

  42. Tarsha says:

    I think it was taken out of context. It does not read that way to me, not at all. I read that she was insinuating that if you feel awful or old/unattractive in your 40s and have had children, well that is part of that, having children does take its toll. But if you feel like that in your 40s without having had to have/raise children….. I’m probably not making much sense, but I think she was ‘if you feel old, and a bit worn down in your 40’s and you’ve had children/raised them, well at least children justifies it….hell, you’ve bore and raised children. But if you feel like that are childfree and don’t have that excuse….’.
    That is how I read it. Not that not having children AT ALL is awful, but feeling run down and old, well, you haven’t had to raise children, so why?

    Edit: scratch all that. I now agree with most others above, that it was about not having a child that you want.

  43. Hannah says:

    Actually, I think she is referring to women on their 40s who want a family but men aren’t sticking around.

  44. sara says:

    People can be against her comment all they want, but I am in a group of mothers and I cannot tell you how many over 40 year old women are kicking themselves for NOT having kids and are racing to get pregnant. I am not saying that every 40+ woman is, but there are quite a few who bought into the “we do not need kids” mentality and are very upset with themselves. There is something to the numbers when many 40+ women are mortgaging their homes for IVF.

    It is a shame that women are shamed into having kids though.

  45. Elle says:

    “I dont get calls from Studis but I dont care” – yeah, being a gold digger with a billionaire husband i wouldn’t care either.

  46. anna says:

    Im glad someone picked up on this. I read so many articles of her the last week and that line made me crazy!

  47. Ruth Dunbar says:

    :gloves come off:

    Come at me, Salma!!!!

  48. funcakes says:

    I’m going to give her a pass and call language barrier.

  49. Maria says:

    “The only thing that is tough about the 40s is when you haven’t had a child. This is awful.” I don’t think she meant that is tough for you if you haven’t had a child by 40. i think she was talking about the fact that is harder to get pregnant when you hit your 40’s so is awful because of probably everything that women have to go through to have a child. That’s what i understood. Stop being so sensitive.

    • Rebecca says:

      I agree. I also think she is referring to someone who WANTS to have a child someday but hasn’t had a chance to yet for whatever reason. And then they turn 40 and their chances of conceiving are much slimmer and it’s upsetting. Why assume she is insulting women who choose not to have children? Since she had a child at 40, she probably experienced some fear that she, herself might not be able to conceive.

  50. db says:

    She’s so tedious with this competitive stuff. I’ll never understand the need some women have to try to invalidate women who are childfree. You never hear men invalidate other men, for not having kids, for their parenting skills, for their divorces and on and on and on. It’s very very rare you hear a man invalidate another man as a moral being based on these things. Women like ol’ Salma here? That’s her meat and potatoes!

  51. Sally Tomato says:

    I’m 45 and childless. The only thing I find awful is when I meet up with long lost friends. You have that generic “Married? Kids?” conversation and when I say no to both, the “Why not?” response is inevitable. I’m going to pretend that’s what she meant and when a billionaire impregnates me I will lord it over everyone like the angelic earth mother that I will be…

  52. Danskins says:

    I think Salma’s words are being twisted and she meant no harm. Goodness, she can’t win for losing sometimes on this site lol.

    And someone wrote above that her kid looked “unfortunate” – seriously? Wow, no words.

  53. kimbers says:

    I’m only 35 but in 5 years count me ad one

    • anna says:

      35 here too. Im feeling insane pressure to the point I cant sleep but not because I want to have kids but rather I “should be”. I know I need professional help. lol

  54. MollyO says:

    I’ve always liked her but boy was that a stupid thing to say. I hope somehow this was quoted out of context?

  55. Ennie says:

    I did tell my nieces, who want to be medical doctors and do not want children now, that they should not wait out too long (like I did because of my studies and ended up being too late even for different types of treatments).
    Lisa Eldridge, the MU artist said in one of her videos that someone gave her the best piece of advice ever, paraphrasing: be the best, enjoy your life and don’t forget to have a child.
    I postponed it for too long, and I regret it now. Some are lucky to get pregnant even in later ages, many, like me, try and try and it just becomes a financial burden to pay the treatments, and now I am older to try to adopt.

    • anna says:

      May I ask how old you were when began trying?

    • Ennie says:

      I was 34, when I was about to get married. I seemingly had a pregnancy right after we married, but it came undone, we waited for natural conception for a year, then we tried first hormones like Omifin, and assisted inseminations, after several tries (and family tragedies adding stress onto the situation), we went onto IVF, but I was already nearing 40, my period was starting to thin a little, that was something that I just could not believe it would happen so soon. It made things more difficult, I had a pregnancy and a miscarriage (blighted ovum) after our savings dried out and we had to leave the last embryo on the shelf. We had decided onto donation so, who knows what happened.
      It was a sad stressful journey, IVF is very expensive in my country, and the public health security I have only covered infertility until I was 34 … when I started trying.
      I really got caught up with all the talk about women getting pregnant at later ages, hey even my mom got me when she was 43… I really thought it was going to happen, that it would be easy… And yes, add me to the cliche where when I was 20ish, I did not want to have any kids.
      Really, one can make their own choices and all that, but… if you really, really want a baby in the future, do not take things for granted.

  56. YeahYeahYeah says:

    Shut it Salma!

  57. kanyekardashian says:

    I’m 47 and I knew from the age of 16 at my first gyno visit I never wanted kids. THANK GOD I’ve never regretted that decision. Kids are sticky, expensive, and supremely annoying. I get to live for myself, not for some screaming kid with a loaded diaper. I spend my time, energy, and money on ME, and I don’t have to worry about being knifed in my sleep if I tell a kid he can’t borrow my car or having grown kids boomerang right back to me when the economy tanks. And Salma Hayek is BARELY a mother. She said herself tons of nannies raise that kid, she doesn’t even cook for her child, so where she gets off judging other women is beyond me.

    • me says:

      I used to adore kids when I was younger…now I can’t stand being around snotty kids for more than a few hours. I have nieces…one of them I can handle for a few hours…the other gets on my nerves after a few minutes. I just can’t deal with other people’s kids. If I ever have kids, I’d probably only want one as that seems like MORE than enough. Still on the fence though…not having kids is ok in my book too. F*ck what society thinks !

  58. Marianne says:

    It’s possible that she means its tough *if* you did want kids and just havent got around to it yet.

  59. TessD says:

    Ladies, who don’t want children! I keep reading about how people pressure you and ask “are you going to have children? you don’t want to miss out. you don’t want to wait to long…” and begin to feel left out! I’m almost 34, don’t want children (never did) unmarried and have tons of friends with children but I’ve yet to hear anyone suggesting that I should hurry up and whatnot…
    Is something wrong with me?

  60. ImFlying says:

    I also think she was misunderstood. I took it like she meant that women in the 40, that do not have children, are often judged..which is awful. As far as nursery rhymes go, I have always instinctively hated them. Most of them have demonic orgins and meanings, plus they get stuck in my head, and I hate that. I guess she needs something to do, but I would instead encourage children to utilize their critical thinking skills. That is really what they are going to need.

  61. Veronica says:

    I’m wondering if she meant that wanting a child at that age and not having one is tough because most people are either already settled or past the stage where they want to try (again). (Or the fact that there’s a lingering social narrative that suggests family life is the ultimate form of happiness for women, SO WHAT WILL YOU DO NOW CRAZY CAT LADY???) I think it’s probably less of an issue these days with IVF and the rise of single-parent adoptions, but for those that wanted the actual experience of pregnancy and birth, that could be a downer.

    Or she could actually just be an idiot and I’m giving her way too much credit.

  62. India Andrews says:

    From Salma’s original comment I thought she meant if you’re forty and WANT a child it is terrible. She left off the want part.