It can sometimes seem that whenever a celebrity opens up about their IVF journey or struggles with fertility she is hailed a hero. So how come Paris Hilton’s announcement that she was undergoing IVF was met with such anger and hostility?
Socialite, singer, actor and perfume queen Paris Hilton was a guest last week on the popular US podcast The Trend Reporter With Mara, where she opened up about, amongst other things, turning 40 and going through IVF.
On the podcast, Hilton revealed that she and her boyfriend Carter Reum sought out IVF because she knew it was the only way she would be able to ensure she would give birth of twins, one male and one female.
“We have been doing the IVF, so I can pick twins if I like,” she is reported to have explained on the podcast.
“I really want twins that are a boy and a girl, and the only way you can 100 per cent get that is by making it happen that way.”
In the wake of the interview, people took to social media, labelling Hilton insensitive. Some spoke of the pain suffered by IVF couples experiencing infertility.
“How absolutely tone deaf this is for anyone who has struggled with infertility and undergone IVF. For most people it isn’t there as a novelty to choose gender, but their last hope at the baby they want so badly,” one Twitter user wrote.
“IVF is tough, not just physically, but emotionally. Most women have suffered through heartbreak, surgeries, loss, silence and isolation for YEARS before pursuing IVF,” another wrote.
Some social media commentators expressed their opinion that gender selection, which is legal and available in the US, is at the worst playing god, and at the least, really frivolous.
“This isn’t shopping for a handbag,” one Twitter user summed up.