September 13 2011
Not many rock-star party girls go on to a life of '50s-style housewifery reminiscent of June Cleaver and Donna Reed.
Yet that's precisely what's happened to British pop singer Lily Allen - the one-time hard-partying, coke-snorting, wild-child singer of such hits as Smile and It's Not Me, It's You. She partied on par with the late Amy Winehouse, but she was often criticized in the press for her more embarrassing exhibits of excess - falling out of nightclubs, showing up drunk to awards shows, defending recreational cocaine use - just to name a few.
But now we see a whole new Lily Allen - a fresh-faced young bride about to give birth to her first child (after she suffered a heartbreaking miscarriage in 2008 and a stillbirth just last year). Pregnant now for the third time, she has turned her back on the gritty temptations in London to retire to a simple farm in Cotswold, England where she makes dinner for her husband, bakes cakes on the weekends, and enjoys scrapbooking, sewing, and taking care of her home.
Think this is a gimmick a la Madonna's many "reinventions"? Nope. She loves this new life. In a recent Daily Mail interview, she talks about her decision to settle down and have a family, and she offers a description of domestic life so different from the typical put-upon and bored-housewife narrative feminists, Hollywood, and the mainstream media promote:
The thing is, this is the life I always wanted. I always wanted to get married, I always wanted to have kids. I have always wanted to set up a home. It's not promoting drudgery. . . . It's about saying being at home, looking after your family, taking pleasure in cooking and being house proud, are all valid and valuable.
These types of transformations are important for young girls out there. In a world filled with famous and morally dubious dimwits (the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan), it's nice to see a young girl, touched by stardom and the temptations of a libertine lifestyle, appreciate the adult pursuits of creating and nurturing a family.
My thoughts are with Lily Allen for a safe birth and happy future. As she shuns the spotlight, she serves as an even more important influence for young girls today.