Celebrity moms put up with a lot of pressure: “post-baby body” scrutiny, intrusive paparazzi, relentless questions about how to “have it all.”
But some turn fame’s microscope into a microphone, using their high profiles as a platform for philanthropic work and social activism. So instead of celebrating these moms for having rock-hard abs 14 hours after giving birth, let’s fete them for making a positive difference in the world.
1. Angelina Jolie
It’s nearly impossible to have a conversation about charity work in Hollywood without including Angelina; she’s championed causes for survivors of sexual assault, immigrants, refugee camp detainees, orphans and victims of conflict all over the globe. Her passion for philanthropy began in Cambodia, the birthplace of her oldest son, Maddox, and she and husband Brad Pitt have made charity work a family affair. In 2003, she established the Maddox Jolie-Pitt Foundation, a community development and environmental conservation outreach in Cambodia, and all the money the Jolie-Pitts made from the sale of the first photos of their twins, Knox and Vivienne (a whopping $14 million), was donated to it.
2. Olivia Wilde
When Olivia Wilde breastfed her son Otis on the pages of a fashion glossy, there was a lot of fuss… about nothing. Don’t fashion and boobs usually go hand in hand anyway? Besides being a glamorous champion of breastfeeding, Wilde uses her social media feeds to espouse on her pro-vaccination opinions, as well as highlight on social justice causes (she’s pro–body cam) and international crises, like the current situation in Nepal. She’s also co-creator of Conscious Commerce, an e-shop dedicated to transparent and ethical manufacturing.
3. Salma Hayek
Salma Hayek has long been a passionate advocate for women, and founded the Salma Hayek Foundation for survivors of domestic abuse, eventually branching out to include resources for disadvantaged children in Mexico. She’s also worked with UNICEF and ONE Campaign, and is happy to pitch in wherever she’s needed, whether it’s visiting a California women’s shelter or breastfeeding a hungry baby in Africa.
4. Jessica Alba
The actress’s Honest Co. started as a small, eco-friendly baby business and exploded into an e-commerce juggernaut with a $1 billion evaluation, but Jessica isn’t just banking all those bucks and calling it a day—the company supports more than 100 nonprofit initiatives. Jessica herself has also donated to dozens of charities, advocated for women and children’s social justice causes in Washington, and acted as spokesperson for the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition. She’s also on the board of directors for Baby2Baby, which provides baby essentials to needy families.
5. Jessica Seinfeld
If you think Mrs. Seinfeld is content to sit around listening to Jerry’s observational musings all day, you haven’t been following her on Instagram. Jess has some very fabulous friends (hello, Gwyneth), and they certainly show up for Baby Buggy, a charity she founded after her first child was born. Noticing a gap between donors and parents who desperately need expensive essentials like clothing, diapers and car seats, Jessica has worked to alleviate the financial growing pains for new families. The Baby Buggy model has expanded to include parental support (including job training, maternity wear and interview attire for fathers) to address underlying systemic issues like poverty and unemployment. The savvy star knows how to use her connections to her charity’s advantage—her top-notch guest lists always draw attention to the cause. (She even managed to pull together a Seinfeld reunion, minus Elaine; now THAT’S a supermom.)