"No Mothers Day" by Christy Turlington urges action over consumerism
In a time when Mother's Day has become a billion-dollar industry focused on Hallmark cards and gift-buying, Model Christy Turlington Burns challenges people to pull back and consider what it really means to honour mothers in the world with a “No Mothers Day” video.
With celebrity friends Debra Messing, Kelly Rutherford, Blythe Danner and Jennifer Connolly and other famous mothers, Turlington Burns and her actor-filmmaker husband Ed Burns released the controversially-titled two-minute YouTube video calling for mothers to refuse participation in Mother's Day this Sunday.
The campaign, the women say, is to show solidarity with the 1,000 expecting mothers living in poverty who may not live to experience their first Mother's Day (according to a UNICEF study, every minute, a woman dies giving birth, usually due to inadequate maternal health care). Turlington Burns stressed that her main intention is not to abolish Mother’s Day altogether, as the name of the video suggests, but about re-evaluating and “taking back” the value of Mother’s Day.
She reminds people that Mother’s Day is not about spending a lot of money on our mothers, but rather, about focusing on the serious health issues affecting millions of mothers around the world. In redirecting the spending frenzy of Mother’s Day towards these issues, Turlington Burns believes that we will find more depth in Mother’s Day.
Motherhood has a special importance to Turlington Burns, who founded the Every Mother Counts foundation in 2010 to raise awareness about maternal health. Having experienced health complications after giving birth to her daughter, Turlington Burns later directed the documentary film "No Woman, No Cry" to educate audiences of the difficulties pregnant women of developing countries have in accessing proper health care. "While I got the care I needed, too many mothers don't," she says, noting the huge health gap between mothers in different economic circumstances.