‘No one knows the real struggle.’
Heart Evangelista’s sentiments about being childless recently made the rounds online.
In a series of tweets, the multihyphenate shared a Twitter user’s screenshots of unsolicited comments in a Tiktok video about how she has not conceived or gotten pregnant despite being married for years already.
“Wala din ‘yan kung hindi kayang mabuntis (Her body’s nothing if she can’t get pregnant),” one of the comments read.
In response, Evangelista called out such remarks. “Stop telling me to get pregnant,” she writes. “Tama na ang pressure (Enough with the pressure).”
All too common
Evangelista is not alone in this experience.
In the Philippines, it’s all too common for Filipinas to be targeted with seemingly harmless but actually borderline offensive questions like, “When are you getting married?” “When are you having kids?” “Why do you not have children?” It’s like there’s an unwritten deadline for women to become mothers.
Though masked as small talk, more often than not it reflects a limited social construct of what a woman needs to have in her life to feel whole, happy, and complete.
“I’m not mad. [I’m] just furious [about] how people think na need mo magkaanak para maging masaya ([I’m] just furious [about] how people think that you need to have a child to be happy),” she tweets.
Sadly, it’s a narrative passed down from one generation to another that not having children is somehow a failure.
We never truly know
“Nobody knows the real struggle,” Evangelista adds, saying that the childless shaming needs to stop ‘unless you really want to hurt me.’
In 2018, Evangelista and her husband, Chiz Escudero, lost their twins to miscarriage. She recently posted an Instagram story recounting the ordeal, describing it as the “worst day of my life.”
The couple never revealed what caused the miscarriage, apart from what their doctor mentioned that “this happens to a higher percentage of first-time moms.” They have also not shared if it’s a deliberate choice to not to have a child at the moment or not.
But this is exactly why such comments should never be said or written. No one knows, except them. After all, it’s their marriage. Most importantly, as Evangelista herself tweeted, “it’s my body.”
With or without a child, Evangelista says she is happy and thankful for her life.
“Life is good, [the] people I love are fine, and everything else in between is okay so it’s a bonus if I do conceive again,” she tweets. “I am already a happy person and grateful. Inspire each other na lang (Let’s just inspire each other).”
She adds that life is too short to be pressuring each other to live up to society’s expectations.
“Let’s just be happy for people,” Evangelista concludes. “For those who aren’t happy, let’s try to lift them up. For those who need help, we help each other.”
Banner Photo from @iamhearte on IG