Ellie Gonsalves said her list was personal and unfiltered
Having kids is not easy.
It requires a huge deal of sacrifice, compromise and patience and can sometimes feel like a pretty thankless task.
And yet, not everyone feels comfortable admitting that they’d prefer to avoid such trials and tribulations by simply not becoming a parent.
Enter Ellie Gonsalves, an Australian model and influencer who has sparked a fierce internet debate by sharing every single reason why she has chosen to remain “child free”.
The L'Oréal ambassador posted her 118-point-long list to Instagram, explaining: “Societal pressure when it comes to this topic are (sic) truly questionable and I believe unfair towards those with differing opinions.
“Very rarely do we see a voice in support of this… because let's face it, the public backlash can be too much.”
Her arguments against starting a family include the risk that a child can “turn into a rapist”; that “they can poo inside you” and that you are “more susceptible to yeast infections while pregnant”.
The full list is as follows:
Inevitably, her catalogue proved divisive among readers, with one woman commenting: “Your 'list' on why you don't want kids are (sic) all negative, but how about the positives? The Positives completely outweigh.
“Of course, it's a person's choice as to whether they want to be a parent,” she added. “But a lot of your list were (sic) very vain reasons [in my opinion].”
Another added: “So much fear. Better not to have kids if that's what you will instil into them anyway. Gosh, so many self-centred people in this world.”
However, others defended Gonsalves, with one asking: “Am I seriously reading comments from women who are offended by your decision..? What’s wrong with people?!?!.
“It’s 1milliion percent (sic) your choice- end of story. I really don’t understand people sometimes.”
And another said: “I’m with you. I’m 40, don’t have kids, and never wanted kids (...) I had a coworker ask me once, ‘If you don’t have kids, who’s going to take care of you when you’re old?’ I remember thinking, (and still do), that that’s a selfish reason to HAVE kids.”
Gonsalves is happily married to her partner of 15 years entrepreneur Ross Scutts@laurenschulzvisuals via @ellie_gonsalves/Instagram
In her statement accompanying the list, the 32-year-old said that she had received “hundreds of DMs criticizing me [and telling] me how much of a horrible and broken person that I am.”
She insisted that whilst some of the points she included are “satirical”, “many are serious and factual.”
She added: “As someone in a 15-year relationship, I have [been asked whether I want kids] for almost that entire time and it’s probably the most frequent [question] I get.”
She then said she could count “on one hand” the number of times people posing the question have been respectful and understanding of her views.
Still, she stressed that she was glad that her message had resonated with so many women.
“It's been nice to read hundreds of comments from people who feel seen, people who have also had uncomfortable moments where others have questioned their choice and all that has done is made them feel awful or uncomfortable,” she told Mamamia.
She also said that the fury her list had provoked simply reinforced her argument.
“People are sold a certain life,” she noted. “And when they witness others choosing a different path, the frustration lies within themselves.”