The Oscar-winning actress put Howard Stern in his place after he quizzed her on her single status. With the coverage on those without a plus one during the pandemic being less than flattering, her attitude is a welcome one, writes Jennifer McShane
The Covid-19 media coverage on relationships has made for some depressing reading. From what I’ve seen and read, it’s either been focused on how you’ll “survive” lockdown being isolated from your partner or if you’re single and 30 plus, how your time has almost certainly run out, missing one of the few “crucial” years you have left to find your soulmate.
Both narratives, written for women, naturally, paint the picture of being unattached as a grim prospect to have in a post-pandemic world (as if the stigma wasn’t already bad enough). And while some may certainly agree with this (and there’s absolutely nothing wrong if this is a worry of yours), it completely leaves out those who have chosen to be single, are happy to be single or, just have bigger things to focus on during a global virus than the pursuit of a relationship.
It’s always women that are written about in this way – the stories framed on the finding of a partner equating to happiness. Or now, during our ‘new normal,’ how we should re-prioritise it if we’re still searching for romance. Because, you know, social distancing? Yes, now we have to stay metres apart. But, as few publications fail to remind us, it won’t be forever.
Even multi-award-winning actresses are not immune from these pressures and assumptions, which, frankly, provides a thin veil of comfort. When it comes to Charlize Theron, the fact that she’s won an Oscar, produces and stars in her own films, has been a brand ambassador for some of the major fashion brands across the globe – all this remarkable achievement almost gets skimmed over so she can be asked about her apparent ‘ghosting’ of Sean Penn (who she was never engaged to, despite reports to the contrary).
Speaking to Howard Stern on his SirusXM show, the Bombshell actor – who has two adopted children – was responding to questions from Stern about her personal life when she voiced her views on marriage. “I’ve never wanted to get married. That’s never been something that’s important to me.”
Stern went on to suggest that she wants love in her life as “you get lonely as a woman”, Theron responded by saying her life is far from lonely.
“I have two great little loves of my life right now. Life is filled with love… I have never been lonely, I have never felt alone.”
It was also her stance on co-habiting that struck a chord; there are many in relationships who don’t live together and are perfectly happy to keep it that way, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Helena Bonham Carter both being open about their alternate living status with their spouses.
“My life right now doesn’t allow room for something like that [a romantic relationship] to happen… but there’s not this need that drives me [to find romance].
“I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to live with someone else again, to be perfectly frank they might have to buy the house next to me because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to f***ing deal with that ever again. I’m too old for that sh*t.”
Charlize, you took the words right out of my mouth.
Main photograph: @forcerseii
Read more: 5 signs your relationship has run its course, according to experts
Read more: How I escaped a narcissistic relationship: ”My whole life revolved around him and his needs’
Read more: Things Fall Apart: Learning to find value in non-romantic relationships