Naomi Campbell says she is ‘worried’ about young women giving up on having children

Naomi Campbell has expressed concern about younger women being put off from having children due to economic factors.

The 54-year-old British supermodel, who welcomed two children via surrogate birth in 2021 and 2023, has told young women that the financial commitment that comes with parenthood is “worth it”.

In an interview withThe Times, Campbell shared her worries that Generation Z appear to have given up on having children due to the economic climate.

“I have heard a lot of young girls saying that it is too expensive to have children and they may not want them, and I have said, ‘You will change your mind. You will want to be a mum,’” said Campbell.

“I understand economically it is tough. But my mum had nothing and she made it work. It’s worth it. It is so amazing.”

The fertility rate in England and Wales had fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1939. The ONS recently reported that “total fertility”, calculated based on the birthrate across different age groups, fell to 1.49 children per woman in 2022. That figure is said to be well below the rate of 2.1 needed to maintain a steady population without significant immigration.

Campbell has a three-year-old daughter and one-year-old son, who she is currently raising as a single parent.

Campbell, 54, became a mother in 2021 (Getty Images)
Campbell, 54, became a mother in 2021 (Getty Images)

Asked whether she used surrogacy for their births, she replied: “I did. I hope for a better world for my children. They are 110 per cent my priority. I have to be there for them on their first day at school.

“My babies are everything to me. It’s made me fear for the future.”

While she did not outline her concerns about the future, she said she was glad that young people today are more literate and open about mental health compared to previous generations.

“​​Young people feel comfortable to come out and share that they have a problem. Before you were considered crazy or self-obsessed if you said, ‘I am going to see a psychologist or psychiatrist or a shrink.’ That is ignorant; there is nothing wrong in that, bettering your quality of life. There is nothing wrong in going to rehab to recover.”

Campbell, who received therapy as well as attending rehab when she was younger, praised the benefits of being open about seeking professional mental health support.

“I had therapy back in the day but I feel like being in the recovery programme has been a good therapy for me. I never felt alone,” she said.  “I have a great group and we all uplift each other doing conference calls. I can get on that call and trust who is on that call. It’s got me through. It’s all I need now.”

Campbell’s life and work will be depicted in a new exhibition (Getty Images for Victoria's Secr)
Campbell’s life and work will be depicted in a new exhibition (Getty Images for Victoria's Secr)

Campbell’s life and work will be chronicled in a new exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum later this month.

The exhibition will mark the first time the South Kensington museum has held an exhibition focusing on the career of a living fashion model.

NAOMI: In Fashion will trace key moments in Campbell’s career and personal life by displaying 100 curated outfits from her personal wardrobe, comprised of ready-to-wear and haute couture ensembles.

Speaking about the exhibition, the model said her favourite part of the installation is the display of the pair of blue Vivienne Westwood platform shoes worn when she famously tumbled on the catwalk in 1993.

“It felt great to show that you can fall over in public and get up and smile,” she said. “You can’t take everything that seriously in life. You have to laugh. Everyone can fall down and get up. It’s what we all have to do, numerous times. Even models. It’s the same in life: you go up and down and keep going.”