Is calling new mom Anna Kournikova a 'MILF' offensive?

Elise Solé

Anna Kournikova and Enrique Iglesias are parents to newborn twins, but their baby news was overshadowed by the tennis pro’s so-called induction into the “MILF” hall of fame.

TMZ, which reported on the births of Nicholas and Lucy over the weekend in Miami, Fla., issued congrats to the couple, who have been together since 2001, writing, “…and welcome to MILF-dom, Anna!”

Anna Kournikova has been declared a MILF after giving birth to twins with partner Enrique Iglesias. (Photo: Getty Images)

Although beautiful women who happen to be moms are timeless, the notion of a MILF (which stands for “Mom I’d Like to F***”) went mainstream in 1999 with Jennifer Coolidge’s character Jeanine Stifler (a.k.a. “Stifler’s mom”) in the film American Pie and two years later with a Fountains of Wayne music video called “Stacy’s Mom” starring Rachel Hunter, who writhed on a table wearing a bustier and a pair of fishnet tights for a teenage voyeur.
 

Despite its derogatory connotations (attractive women who are mothers don’t necessitate a trendy qualifier), many women celebrate the term, such as Fergie in her 2016 music video “M.I.L.F” featuring fellow moms Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, Alessandra Ambrosio, and more. And Showtime’s new drama SMILF (Single Mom I’d Like to F***), focuses on a single mom reentering the dating scene.

Jennifer Coolidge played “Stifler’s mom” in American Pie. (Photo: Getty Images)

Of the show’s title, creator Frankie Shaw told Vanity Fair, “It’s supposed to be a little bit of an ironic thing, because ‘MILF’ is a term that men use to categorize women. But this woman is nothing like the stereotype of that term that men put on women.”

Back in 2007, New York magazine took a stab at the cultural obsession: “But why the hot mom, and why now? Maybe it has to do with women’s procreating later, and being more hesitant to surrender a sexuality they’ve spent decades building. Maybe it’s a looks thing, given that women can — with the aid of Pilates and a discreet tuck — turn back time to a sometimes disturbing degree. Perhaps it’s a side effect of the rise of the hipster parenting generation. (What’s less hip than having zero sex appeal?) And we can also thank Demi and Madonna for glamorizing May-December relationships.”

Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, that there are generally two views about this term: “For women who feel that motherhood has overshadowed their sexuality and other parts of their identity, the term can be empowering or reaffirming.”

He adds, “For others, it’s crude and objectifying, especially because women can’t self-identify with the word — only another person can label them as such, so it’s a bit one-sided.”

It can also feel particularly dated and sexist because there’s no socially acceptable way to call a woman a MILF to her face — only behind her back.

Ultimately, the word is just another way to stereotype mothers in a post-baby body obsessed world. Let’s do better in 2018.

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