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lily allen

Canva, Raph_PH/Wikipedia

Lily Allen shared how her kids "ruined" her career. She is not alone.

“You can have it all.”

This has been a post-3rd wave feminism promise sworn to women. That you can have a big family, a high achieving career, a fulfilling relationship, a never-ending sense of purpose, no bad hair days, healthy lunches that make themselves, and so on and so on.

But many, many women will quickly dispel that myth. There is still measurable inequality between men and women when it comes to being able to advance in their careers and have children. Even the ones who do seem to “have it all” are the exception to the rule, and likely have sacrificed other aspects of their identity.

That goes for pop stars too, apparently. While appearing on an episode of the Radio Times Podcast, British singer Lily Allen spoke candidly about her own experience of not being able to move up in the music industry after becoming a mom.

Allen shot to prominence in 2006 thanks to her hit song “Smile.” Only two years later, she earned a nomination for best alternative music album at the 2008 Grammy Awards for debut album, "Alright Still.”

But instead, Allen followed in the footsteps of celebrities like Rick Moranis, and chose to focus on her children.

"Some people choose their career over their children, and that’s their prerogative," she explained. "My parents were quite absent when I was a kid, and I feel like that really left some nasty scars that I'm not willing to repeat on mine. I’m glad that I have done that, because I think they’re pretty well-rounded people.”

In other words: “My children ruined my career,” she joked, before adding “I love them and they complete me, but in terms of pop stardom, totally ruined it.”

Though Allen has no regrets, she brought up the story to address how unrealistic it is for most women to be able to do both, and being told otherwise by society is less-than-empowering.

"It really annoys me when people say you can have it all, because — quite frankly — you can’t."

Between pay inequality, difference in work life balance, corporate attitudes towards pregnancy leave, and already being less likely to advance than their male counterparts even without the factor of children (not to mention the world not fully being set up for two working parents with zero community support) it feels safe to assume that Allen is touching on something fairly universal here.

Though her pop star chapter might have reached a close, Allen seems to still be living a pretty cool life— from her swanky New York apartment with David Harbour to winning awards for her stage acting. So though she might not “have it all,” she certainly has some pretty cool things going for her.