Since becoming a mother in March, Emily Ratajkowski, who shares a son, Sylvester, with husband Sebastian Bear-McClard, has faced intense scrutiny from mom-shamers and supposed “fans” who have freely judged her mothering skills from the comment section of her Instagram page.
In June, Ratajkowski posted a photo of herself on Instagram holding 3-month-old Sylvester with one arm, and the photo went viral for all the wrong reasons. In the now deleted picture, Ratajkowski faced intense backlash because of the awkward way he was being held, but as you scrolled through the photo series, there was another one of the new mother holding the baby with both arms.
As we pointed out then, Ratajkowski did not deserve to be so harshly judged for one photo, in one brief moment in time.
In the now-expired Story on her Instagram account, Emily Ratajkowski wrote, “We are all reflecting back on shaming Britney and calling her a bad mom 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 mom. Shame on you all.”
She continued, “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 shitty mother.”
Ratajkowski has continued to receive negative comments, despite removing the controversial photo from her account. In a photo posted on Father’s Day, the model and actress shared a loving portrait she received for her birthday.
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Even this photo of a beautiful new family has received negative feedback, with one commenter writing, “At least you’re holding the baby in a proper way in a painting for starters.”
Celebrity or not, I suspect we have all been judged at certain points as mothers. I will never forget, as a brand new mom to an infant daughter, a complete stranger telling me as I passed her on the sidewalk that my baby should be wearing a hat (even though she was completely shielded from the elements and covered in a warm blanket). I went home and cried over a silly comment because what she was really saying was, “you’re a bad mom.”
At the end of the day, no one wants to be judged for their mothering skills, but particularly not new moms who are feeling a whole range of emotions while learning and growing each day as they care for an infant. And it is particularly easy to pass judgement online, when there are no consequences.
To the mom-shamers and nasty commenters, start by looking inward. Let us lift up new mothers, not bring them down.