View Single Post
Old March 7 2013, 08:06 AM   #1
Miss Chicken
Little three legged cat with attitude
Miss Chicken's Avatar
Location: Howrah, Hobart, Tasmania
The Invisible Wife (or husband)

I am not sure how famous Brian Cox is around the world, for example in the USA, but he certainly has become a celebrity in some places.

His wife, Gia Milinovich, is a talented woman in her own right, but as Brian has become more famous she has notice how people attitude to her have changed which she discusses in this article that she wrote last year.

She says

When we first met, I was the expensively groomed television professional, working on mostly science and technology shows, and he was the newly appointed physics academic with a student's wardrobe and a single bed. All that remained of his music days with D:Ream were a few William Hunt suits in his wardrobe and framed backstage passes on his bathroom wall. It may have been my love of the Apollo moon missions or him telling me he worked at Cern, but we instantly struck up a geeky friendship. Together we started writing ambitious documentary ideas with the sole aim of "making science part of popular culture". Fast-forward 10 years and we're a lot closer to our goal, but it's not quite how I imagined it would be.

When Brian first started appearing on TV, he was more of a cult figure than a celebrity. People would occasionally come up to him with a question about black holes or the Higgs boson, having seen him on Horizon or This Morning. The only time he was asked for his autograph was after a talk he'd given in a school, or occasionally at a nerd gathering such as Skeptics In The Pub. Then he presented Wonders Of The Solar System and everything changed.

A few years ago, I started to notice that the more Brian appeared on TV, the less interesting I became to other people. I started to morph from Gia Milinovich, independent woman with her own life and separate bank account, into "Mrs Brian Cox", then into "wife". Pre-fame, I was asked for my opinions; now, I'm asked what Brian thinks. During a discussion recently, someone said to me, "You only think that because your husband is a physicist", as if I am now incapable of my own thoughts. I am in the throes of what Edna Healey, Denis's wife, called Invisible Wife Syndrome.

As the importance of my brain declines, the focus on my physical appearance feels hawk-like. I am a mother with a young baby. Even at my most attractive, I feel frumpy, lumpy and overweight. When we were "papped" pushing the buggy, I was wearing no make-up and a breastfeeding T-shirt one size too big. After that day, with fears of the photo turning up in Heat above a comment about the "wonder" of Brian's dowdy, bovine wife, I went out and bought a ton of make-up. Now, at the very least, I put on a bit of mascara and some lipstick when I go out of the house with Brian. I've even started brushing my hair.

The first signs were there five years ago when Brian and I went to pitch some ideas to a producer at a well-known production company. I'd had a science-technology series broadcast on Channel 4 several months earlier, and Brian's appearances as the science expert on This Morning were going very well. Our agent called us the sci-tech version of Richard and Judy.

From the start, the producer's attention was on Brian. Every time I spoke, he'd look at me as though I was interrupting their conversation. At one point, I came out with what I thought was an excellent idea. The producer again turned towards me, said nothing and then turned slowly back to Brian. About a minute later, Brian repeated my idea almost word for word and the producer told him it was brilliant.

As we left the building, I angrily told Brian how awful the whole experience was for me. Of course, he hadn't noticed a thing. As far as he was concerned, it was a very successful meeting with a very interesting, and interested, man. I told him I felt my very presence was upsetting their budding bromance, that I was some unwanted tag-along girlfriend. "I felt like bloody Yoko Ono in there!"
So I thought I would ask people here

How do you think you would react of your husband, wife or significant other became famous and you found yourself being pushed into the background, do you think it would be a difficult thing for you to cope with?

Last edited by Miss Chicken; March 7 2013 at 10:55 AM.
Miss Chicken is online now   Reply With Quote