The cyber vitriol being sprayed at new mothers is deeply disturbing. For Emily Ratajkowski, a young and famous mum, the negative comments pertaining to the way she holds her baby are unfathomably relentless.
A picture uploaded to the model’s Instagram account on June 21 – a painting of Ratajkowski cradling her baby Sylvester Appollo alongside her husband Sebastian Bear-McClard – garnered a lot of attention, even though she was holding little Sly the “correct” way by societal standards.
“Holding the baby different to normal in that painting”, wrote one user.
“Finally a picture where you’re holding the child properly. Glad to see you figured it out,” wrote another.
“They probably had to repaint her holding him correct,” posted a third.
“She was busy getting to the doctors to remove her baby weight rather than learning how to hold her baby,” another added.
It goes on and on.
Recently, Ratajkowski spoke out against mother-shaming culture and did so using Britney Spears’ conservatorship case as context.
“We are all reflecting back on shaming Britney and calling her a bad mum when she drove with her baby in her lap. We talk about how we have to ‘do better’ as a culture. Meanwhile, my comments are filled with awful remarks about how I don’t deserve to be a mum. Shame on you all,” Ratajkowski wrote in a now expired Instagram Story.
“I don’t care if you hate me or hate celebrity (or just hate women) but it’s incredibly scary to become a parent, and no one deserves to be told by strangers that they’re a shi**y mother.”
She’s exactly right. How can one rule apply to Spears, and another to Ratajkowski?
What is going through somebody’s mind when they consciously type vile comments to strangers? Hiding behind a keyboard doesn’t hide your comment – and the weight of your words can do great damage to new mothers who perhaps aren’t as mentally strong as Ratajkowski appears. (We use the word ‘appears’ because who actually knows the mental toll this has taken on this woman.)
From epidurals to bottle feeding, everyone has an opinion. The decision to share that on a public platform – and the tone in which one does so – needs to be reconsidered. Every mother is doing the best she can.
Hang in Emily.