Chrissy Teigen was again under fire recently, after posting an adorable video of her son Miles learning how to walk. Now, a reasonable person might think, what could people possibly find wrong with a tender video like this? Well, if there’s anything that can be gleaned from the comments section of a post about celebrity kids, it’s this- people aren’t reasonable. Critics chose to shame Chrissy for having her son learning to walk on a tile floor, citing fears that he would fall and hurt himself, despite the fact that he was within arms reach of multiple capable adults. Seriously!?
This wasn’t the first time that Teigen has been the subject of this type of online keyboard “mom shaming” and it certainly won’t be the last. For some reason, people are emboldened by their place behind a keyboard to pass judgement about how other people, including notable celebrities, choose to parent their children. The problem with this is that it perpetuates the idea that the voices of strangers are welcome in conversations about how anyone chooses to raise their children. And make no mistake- they aren’t.
Many of us with children have had similar experiences when it comes to “mom-shaming”. It feels as if once you become a parent, people feel the need to comment, criticise and just generally insert their opinions into conversations where they, frankly, are not welcome. Unless a parent asks you for your opinion or for advice, there really is no need to give it. It’s truly that simple. If there are legitimate concerns about safety, that’s one thing, but still, sitting behind a keyboard and spouting off still isn’t helpful.
Parenting is difficult enough as it is, and people really don’t need to have the added stress of the peanut gallery watching your every move. Part of the issue with criticizing celebrities in such a public way is all the people reading the comments are also getting inundated with the message that it’s OK.
It’s OK to treat a celebrities parenting choices as community property.
It’s OK to insert yourself into their parenting choices.
It’s OK to pick apart a fellow parent if it’s thinly disguised as “concern”.
Let’s all try to remember just how difficult it is to raise young kids. The self-doubt, anxiety, and the neverending responsibility. The stakes are high in parenting, and it’s almost impossible not to let the pressure get to you. The last thing any parent needs is the added stress of outside noise from a chorus of strangers. This goes for all of us, famous or otherwise.
So let’s just try and hold back when it comes to injecting our two cents into the lives of people we know absolutely nothing about. Fame is not an invitation for parenting debates or keyboard judging. Just the same as parenting itself is not an invitation for the unwelcome advice and judgements of strangers.