The decision to have a child is highly subjective—some people invest heavily in a traditional trajectory, while others find that these so-called societal norms don’t necessarily suit their lives. And for a number of celebrities, that decision has been to not have kids.
In the August 2014 issue of Esquire, Cameron Diaz, 41, said: “It’s so much more work to have children. To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for — I didn’t take that on. That did make things easier for me. A baby — that’s all day, every day for 18 years. Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision.”
The actress added: “I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother. I have it much easier than any of them. That’s just what it is. Doesn’t mean life isn’t sometimes hard. I’m just what I am. I work on what I am. Right now, I think, things are good for me. I’ve done a lot. And I don’t care anymore.”
Diaz is hardly alone in her stance—many famous folks simply feel that raising a family doesn’t fit into their hectic lifestyles, and aren’t ashamed to admit it.
Interestingly, while doing research for this story, we realized that talk show hosts were especially opposed to having children—Jay Leno, Oprah Winfrey, Ellen Degeneres, Chelsea Handler, and Rachael Ray have all revealed they never had the desire to reproduce.
Click through the gallery above to see all 15 stars who revealed they’re never becoming parents, and read their reasons why.
Cameron Diaz. The 41-year-old has been pretty vocal about her decision to not have children, but she went into detail in a new Esquire magazine interview. "It’s so much more work to have children," the actress said. "To have lives besides your own that you are responsible for — I didn’t take that on. That did make things easier for me. A baby — that’s all day, every day for 18 years. Not having a baby might really make things easier, but that doesn’t make it an easy decision."
"I like protecting people, but I was never drawn to being a mother. I have it much easier than any of them. That’s just what it is. Doesn’t mean life isn’t sometimes hard. I’m just what I am. I work on what I am. Right now, I think, things are good for me. I’ve done a lot. And I don’t care anymore."
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Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt. Kids aren't in the cards for this "Mad Men" star and his longtime actor/producer girlfriend. "I'd be a terrible father!" Hamm told Us Weekly in 2012. "I see my friends who have children and I'm like, 'Dude, how are you even upright, much less here at work at 6 a.m.?'"
Westfedlt agrees, having told the New York Times "I've thought about this a lot lately. I never thought I'd be this age and not have kids, but my life has also gone in a million ways I never anticipated. I kept feeling like I'd wake up with absolute clarity, and I haven't. And we have a pretty great life together. The chance that we'll regret it doesn't seem like a compelling enough reason to do it. I may wake up tomorrow with that lighting bolt, and I'll have to scramble to make it happen."
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Zooey Deschanel. Despite her childlike demeanor, the "New Girl" star, 34, isn't planning on becoming a mom. "[Having kids has] never been my focus," she told Marie Claire in 2012. "My sister was always very motherly, babysitting and stuff. I like kids, and I like being around kids--but it was never an ambition, something, like, I need ... I like working. That's what I like doing. I like to work."
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Eva Mendes. Mendes revealed her no-kids plan in response to tabloid rumors that she was pregnant. "I don't wanna have kids," she's said. "I love the little suckers; they're so cute but I love sleep so much and I worry about everything." As for those rumors, then? "I'm off season right now. I'm having the pasta, I'm having the dessert," the actress quipped.
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Renee Zellweger. “Motherhood has never been an ambition. I don’t think like that," the Oscar nominee told David Letterman in 2011.
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George Clooney. We're taking this one with a grain of salt, because the the world's most eligible bachelor said he'd never get married again, and he's now engaged to London-based attourney Amal Alamuddin. In 2011 however, he told Austrailia's Daily Telegraph: "I've always known fatherhood wasn't for me. Raising kids is a huge commitment and has to be your top priority. For me, that priority is my work. That's why I'll never get married again."
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Ricky Gervais. The actor and comedian told Britan's Red magazine that he and his longtime partner Jane Fallon always knew they'd opt out of parenthood. "We never wanted to be parents, with all that entails: the loss of freedom, total dependency. I didn’t have a work ethic for such a long time. Imagine if I had a child like me? I didn’t start earning until I was 36.” he said. “I’m the sort of person who has to check three times that I’ve shut the door, so I’d probably stare at a kid all day to check it was breathing
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Helen Mirren. Dame Mirren was turned off to the idea of kids thanks to a film she was shown in school. "They sat us all down, boys and girls, all about 13, 14 years old in this horrible school hall. And then this tweed-skirted dykey sort of woman, short cropped hair, comes on and says, 'I'm Dr Joyce' or whatever, 'and what you're about to see is one of the greatest miracles. I've seen it many times you know because I'm a doctor and giving birth is one of the most beautiful things,'" Helen told the Daily Mail in 2007. "I swear it traumatized me to this day. I can't look at anything to do with childbirth. It absolutely disgusts me." Well, there you have it.
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Rachael Ray. In 2009, the food mogul and talk show host talked to ABC's "Nightline" about her decision not ot have kids. “I think that I’m 40 years old, and I have an enormous amount of hours that have to be dedicated to work,” she said. “For me personally, I would need more time to feel like I’d be a good mom to my own child. I feel like a borderline good mom to my dog. So I can’t imagine if it was a human baby….I feel like it would be unfair, not only to the child but to the people I work with.”
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Portia de Rossi and Ellen DeGeneres. In 2013, de Rossi told Us Weekly "There comes some pressure in your mid-30s, and you think, 'Am I going to have kids so I don’t miss out on something that other people really seem to love? Or is it that I really genuinely want to do this with my whole heart?' I didn’t feel that my response was ‘yes’ to the latter. You have to really want to have kids, and neither of us did. So it’s just going to be me and Ellen and no babies — but we’re the best of friends and married life is blissful, it really is. I’ve never been happier than I am right now.”
Ellen echoed that sentiment, telling People "We'd probably be great parents. But it's a human being and unless you think you have excellent skills and have a drive or yearning in you to do that, the amount of work that that is and responsibility—I wouldn't want to screw them up!"
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Oprah Winfrey. Winfrey has been vocal about her decision to not become a mother, telling Extra: "I never had children, never even thought I would have children. Now I have 152 daughters; expecting 75 more next year. That is some type of gestation period." Winfrey was referring to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, which she founded in 2007.
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Jay and Mavis Leno. The former late-night talk host and his wife of over 30 years have been honest about not having kids."I had made up my mind when I was little that I would never get married or have children, so I had no agenda," Mavis told the L.A. Times magazine in 2009 (though she did ease up on her marriage stance: she and Jay wed in 1980.)
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Kim Cattrall. The "Sex and the City" star has admitted that—much like her signature character Samantha Jones—she's not suited for motherhood. "When I answered those questions regarding having children, I realized that so much of the pressure I was feeling was from outside sources, and I knew I wasn't ready to take that step into motherhood," the actress wrote on Oprah.com. "Being a biological mother just isn't part of my experience this time around."
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