Nadya Suleman, better known as Octomom, earned instant notoriety and charges of irresponsibility when she gave birth to octuplets (conceived via in vitro fertilization) in January 2009. The single mother's attempts to milk that notoriety to support her brood prompted more criticism. Now her 15 minutes of fame have run out, she's struggling to feed her children, 14 in all, and is on the verge of applying for welfare. Does the divisive celebrity mom now deserve our pity — and tax dollars? (Watch a report about the Octomom's foreclosure crisis)
Suleman is a casualty of celebrity culture: "America, I hope you're sorry," says Kim Conte at The Stir. "Octomom's bleak financial future is entirely all your fault." It's hypocritical to celebrate other public figures who "pimp out their kids" like the Duggars on TLC, then label Suleman as "bad" just because she publicized her story "a little too much." I personally feel guilty that "we consumed "every minute detail of her and her kids' lives, only to tire and forget about her in the end."
"Nice job, America: When Octo-Mom needed us the most, we bailed"
She's just incompetent: "Enough is enough," says Sasaha Brown-Worsham, also at The Stir. My tax dollars should not enable Suleman's recklessness. She was already poor and a mother of six when she decided to have more kids, so she is "entirely at fault and clearly has mental issues that make me question her ability to parent effectively." Yes, of course her kids deserve food — "but they also deserve a better mother."
"Octo-Mom on welfare: Is anyone surprised?"
Her children deserve our pity: "I've never been able to see [Suleman's] decision to have those eight babies, in addition to the kids she already had," says Jo Curtis in Unreality Shout, "as anything but a cynical business strategy, and now it's backfiring." I feel sorry for her kids. Unfortunately, their mother's "selfishness" has probably consigned them to a "trailer park–esque life very much in the ex-reality-TV-star wilderness."
"Nadya Suleman claims she's broke..."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The weird obsession that's ruining the GOP
- Why Peter Capaldi has a bigger challenge than any Doctor Who in history
- The secret to Gabrielle Hamilton's amazing grilled cheese sandwiches
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- Why Halbig and the conservative war on ObamaCare will fail
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
Subscribe to the Week