Being a mom of young kids is a tough gig.
Not only can your mini-me drive you absolutely up the wall as you fail time again at your attempts to multitask, it seems every book, professional, friend and family member has a different (but strong) opinion on how they should be raised.
Now, imagine – in addition to your appearance and latest career move – you were under constant public scrutiny about your parenting skills and choices: That’s the sad reality faced by many celebrity moms. They’re slammed for everything from going out to dinner too soon after giving birth or failing to lose the baby weight, to their choice in baby products and their children’s behaviour.
It’s safe to say that mom-shaming comes with the job for many Hollywood moms.
The latest headline-making example is the social media firestorm Megan Fox faced when she shared a photo of her children earlier this week on Instagram that included an image of her son wearing a dress. More than a few social media users took to their respective online platform of choice to slam Fox for the decision.
Last summer, Victoria Beckham faced a heated trial by social media jury after she shared a photo of her kissing her five–year-old daughter Harper on the lips. A slew of trolls attacked former Hills star Kristin Cavallari, claiming she was starving her children after she shared a photo of them on the beach. Even seemingly “perfect” southern belle of a mom Reese Witherspoon was ripped apart on social media after she shared a snap of a breakfast she made for her toddler Tennessee, that included two gooey (and dreamy looking) cinnamon buns. Similarly, Kelly Clarkson was pretty much chastised online for feeding her child Nutella, with trolls calling it “child abuse.”
Homegrown supermodel Coco Rocha was also slammed for sharing a photo of herself feeding her daughter formula and not breastfeeding her. “I loved breastfeeding Ioni for the first 5 months of her life and then one day my milk went dry,” wrote Rocha in response to the flood of social media shaming.
One of the best responses to mom-shaming came from Kate Beckinsale, who slammed an idiot who claimed she should be spending more time with her 18-year-old daughter than living her own life. “What’s amazing is it is no longer the 18th century so now that my one child is grown I don’t have to stay home (while she’s out with her own friends) playing the pianoforte, getting consumption, or trying to secure her a marriage,” she fired back in response. “But thank you for the quaint blast from the past. Oh and I can vote now too! YAY.”
While witty, hard-hitting and “like-worthy,” the bottom line is that these women (and celeb dads, for that matter) shouldn’t have to defend some of their most personal life decisions to anybody.
The good news is that Hollywood is filled with parents of the progressive mindset. While the targets of impossible-to-ignore backlash for their parenting decisions, these parents should be celebrated for their choices rather than criticized. The fact that Fox lets her child express himself – in a dress or not – and parents like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt embrace their daughter Shiloh’s choice to dress like a boy are positive should set powerful examples for “regular” parents around the world.
On the topic of “regular” moms, the reality is that they can be shamed online as well.
A recent survey revealed that most moms have experienced mom-shaming themselves. This shaming, according to the study authors, can have real and serious effects on the moms, as they experience “maternal anxiety” and subsequently constantly question their parenting decisions.
Moms – whether famous or not – already have enough to deal with. It’s time we gave them a break. Sound good?
Cover image: Via People