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Old March 7 2013, 08:06 AM   #1
Miss Chicken
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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.
and

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.
and

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.
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Old March 7 2013, 10:31 AM   #2
Starkers
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

It must be really difficult, though I guess in the majority of relationships one person will have the better job/the higher salary and I guess in a lot of relationships that dynamic can be very fluid, as here clearly she was in the ascendence when they first met, and it may be that she is again later. Fame is a fickle thing and it may be that Cox's fades again.

I guess with something like this you discover how strong a relationship is. It may be as well that what she's experiencing now might be what Brian experienced when they first got together and she was the 'famous' one.
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Old March 7 2013, 10:41 AM   #3
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

just as long as she doesn't release our sex tapes
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Old March 7 2013, 11:28 AM   #4
Miss Chicken
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Starkers wrote: View Post
It must be really difficult, though I guess in the majority of relationships one person will have the better job/the higher salary and I guess in a lot of relationships that dynamic can be very fluid, as here clearly she was in the ascendence when they first met, and it may be that she is again later. Fame is a fickle thing and it may be that Cox's fades again.

I guess with something like this you discover how strong a relationship is. It may be as well that what she's experiencing now might be what Brian experienced when they first got together and she was the 'famous' one.
I don't think that Cox's fame will fade in the forseeable future. Both David Attenborough and Patrick Moore stated that Cox is the natural successor for BBC's scientific programming and, as far as I can think of, there is noone else as suitable.

David Attenborough had his Life series and it looks like Cox might have an equally successful Wonders series.

That said, I didn't give any thought to how Cox himself might have felt when his wife was on TV and he wasn't.

Last edited by Miss Chicken; March 7 2013 at 04:26 PM.
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Old March 7 2013, 11:50 AM   #5
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
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?
I'll be in the background, shopping, kthxbye.
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Old March 7 2013, 12:12 PM   #6
Starkers
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
Starkers wrote: View Post
It must be really difficult, though I guess in the majority of relationships one person will have the better job/the higher salary and I guess in a lot of relationships that dynamic can be very fluid, as here clearly she was in the ascendence when they first met, and it may be that she is again later. Fame is a fickle thing and it may be that Cox's fades again.

I guess with something like this you discover how strong a relationship is. It may be as well that what she's experiencing now might be what Brian experienced when they first got together and she was the 'famous' one.
I don't think that Cox's fame will fade in the forseeable future. Both David Attenborough and Patrick Moore stated that Cox is the natural successor for BBC's scientific programming and, as far as I can think of, there is noone else as suitable.

David Attenborough And his Life series and it looks like Cox might have an equally successful Wonders series.

That said, I didn't give any thought to how Cox himself might have felt when his wife was on TV and he wasn't.
Oh I think that's true about Cox likely being on TV for the forseeable future, but I do think the "swoon" element will fade somewhat, I don't think the paps bother taking pictures of David Attenborough's family for example.

On a side note I do hate that, photos of celebs at events is one thing but just random shots of people going about their daily life is creepy, and frankly no matter how gorgeous/handsome you are, if someone takes 200 photos of you you can guarentee one of them will have you looking like frankingstein's monster
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Old March 7 2013, 12:18 PM   #7
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Who is this fellow? He sounds like my sort.

MC if I were in her position I'd be divorcing right about now. Nick cannot abide not being the centre of attention.
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Old March 7 2013, 01:35 PM   #8
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Gia who? That article is actually from 2010. She's completely invisible now -- I don't recall ever seeing her appearing in front of the camera.

This public information film might be of help:

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Old March 7 2013, 01:42 PM   #9
Starkers
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Ah the good old days (ie when Harry Enfield was funny )

Of course there are invisible husbands too (Dennis Thatcher)
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Old March 7 2013, 04:12 PM   #10
Tora Ziyal
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
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?
I wouldn't react very well. My then-husband and I worked together for a while. We started at the same time. He showed up for a couple hours a week (on top of his FT job) and was very visible. I worked there virtually full time and was equally visible. But in certain people's eyes, I was always primarily his wife. Drove me crazy.
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Old March 7 2013, 04:17 PM   #11
thestrangequark
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Miss Chicken wrote: View Post
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?
I wouldn't mind at all. I have absolutely no desire for fame or recognition, and if my (hypothetical) husband desired and achieved these things I would be happy for him, and I would do my best to remain "invisible."
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Old March 7 2013, 04:20 PM   #12
Miss Chicken
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

Asbo Zaprudder wrote: View Post
Gia who? That article is actually from 2010. She's completely invisible now -- I don't recall ever seeing her appearing in front of the camera.

This public information film might be of help:

That was funny.

Oops, it is too, which means she wroye it before Wonders of the Universe even came out. Now it has three Wonder series behind he is much more famous then when she wrote the article.

Of course there are invisible husbands too (Dennis Thatcher)
Dennis was who I was thinking of when I put husband in the title.

I guess Prince Philip could have become invisible but he learnt to open his month and say ridiculously stupid things that kept being reported in the news.
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Old March 8 2013, 12:58 PM   #13
Mooch
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

I take it this is not about the guy from X-Men 2 and The Bourne Identity.


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Old March 8 2013, 02:00 PM   #14
Alidar Jarok
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

I think the key factor was that she had some fame prior and expected that to continue but it was usurped by her husband. For me, having a spouse who became famous is not much different from marrying a famous person. Sure, there are some lifestyle changes if there's a risk of paparazzi, but I wouldn't expect any attention on me because there had never been any attention on me.

With her, it's a bit different because she had a career and that career has to take a bit of a backseat to his career. His fame interferes in it. I don't expect any fame in my own right, so I'm not going to be upset at the lack of attention I'd receive.
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Old March 8 2013, 10:33 PM   #15
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Re: The Invisible Wife (or husband)

She sounds like the classic woman who discovers that being the sex that produces the babies makes them less appealing to whatever high-powered business they were in before. If her husband's star is in the ascendant (didja see what I did there?) then he could use his influence to help her. In fact it's definitely in his marital interests to so do.
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