The online community can be a brutal place, especially if you’re a mom in the public eye. It seems that everyone with WiFi has an opinion, and they are NOT afraid to share it.
As parents, we’re already hard enough on ourselves, so it certainly doesn’t help to be mom-shamed when sharing sweet moments of one’s child. We’re wrapping up the year by looking back at all the times celebrity moms were publicly slammed for everything from their children’s hair to their own wine consumption (insert eye roll here). Maybe, just maybe, we can all go a little easier on hardworking moms in 2020.
24 Times Celebrity Moms Were Mom-Shamed in 2019
When Jessica Simpson shared a snap of her 7-year-old daughter Maxwell Drew with dyed locks, the shamers went bananas saying that she’d “ruined her hair.” This became such an issue that musician Pink eventually jumped into the fray. The singer posted photos of herself dying her own daughter’s hair blue, saying “I heard people were bummed on Jessica Simpson for letting her seven year old get her hair colored. So we thought we’d share what we did yesterday.” This seemed to shut the mom-shamers up. For a moment.
But mom-shaming continued to happen to Jessica Simpson throughout the year.
Simpson was mom-shamed several times throughout 2019, in fact. In one of the silliest cases, she was criticized after posting a photo of her daughter Birdie Mae “incorrectly” strapped into her car seat. Except Birdie wasn’t in a car seat; she was in a stroller.
In the picture, posted above, Birdie Mae can be seen smiling at the camera while strapped into a stroller. Innocent enough, right? Well, not according to the mom-shamers, who accused Simpson of endangering her daughter’s life by strapping her into a car seat incorrectly. “That hard buckle should be on her sternum instead of belly to be optimally effective and not cause more harm if a car accident would happen (god forbid!),” one commenter said. Eventually, the ridiculous and negative feedback led Simpson to temporarily disable comments on her Instagram account.
And that’s not all! While we were marveling over this gorgeous pic of Jessica Simpson’s baby girl Birdie Mae, people were quick to point out that she should be sleeping on her back. Jessica assured her followers that this was simply a posed picture. And given that Simpson has been raising children for seven years, it should go without saying that this mama probably already knows a thing or two about baby safety, making any unsolicited advice… superfluous, to say the least. This girl can’t catch a break!
Shay Mitchell will party if she wants to. The new mom had a majorly big 2019, welcoming her first child with boyfriend Matte Babel less than a year after experiencing a devastating miscarriage. You would think internet commenters would tread lightly, given Mitchell’s candidness about dealing with that tragedy and the excitement of becoming a mom for the first time, but no. The new mama received hate for attending Drake’s birthday party soon after giving birth to her daughter, Atlas.
“This girl really left her 3-day old baby to go party!!! Mom of the year!!!,” one commenter wrote on Mitchell’s Instagram. Eventually, Mitchell responded to the negative feedback, saying “I haven’t been checking my comments that often but apparently people are really upset that three days after having a kid to go out party. It wasn’t three days…”
Kim Zolciak-Biermann experienced the wrath of online mom shamers after sharing photos of her 5-year-old daughter wearing makeup, and she wasn’t having any of it. After being accused of giving her daughter hair extensions and for letting her rock a “too bright” lip color, Zolciak-Biermann, who has dealt with mom-shaming in the past, wrote, “Hair extensions now that’s funny!”
Rapper Cardi B was mom-shamed at the beginning of the year. She posted a provocative photo of herself wearing a revealing outfit (for an adult film awards ceremony, no less), and commenters were quick to scold the mom for setting a bad example for her daughter, Kulture. Cardi tends not to take unwanted negative feedback lying down, and she has spoken out many times in response to users criticizing her parenting skills.
Earlier this year, Kylie Jenner was mom-shamed for having long, manicured nails. Apparently people felt that she couldn’t perform her motherly duties with a manicure, which… Come on! The Kardashians and Jenners are shamed for nearly every choice they make, parenting or otherwise, so this isn’t exactly shocking. But this particular issue with the nails has come up before with the family. Mom-shamers, you should know: Moms can do everything they need to do with manicured nails!
Tori Spelling faced backlash after sharing a photo of her girls with dyed hair. As with Jessica Simpson and Pink, the backlash proved loud enough (and silly enough) to provoke a response, which, unfortunately, is usually the goal of mom-shaming. The famous mama responded with a much-needed, “Screw the shamers.” We appreciate the sentiment, but you should know, mama, that these people aren’t worth the time it takes to respond!
Let a mama live! Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was bullied for having a glass of red while feeding her new baby Angelo. Snooki received so much negative feedback about the photo that eventually she responded. “I allow myself to have a few glasses once a week to stay sane with 3 kids,” she wrote. “I do what’s necessary to clean my milk for my baby. Let a mawma live.” Amen, mama!
After Chrissy Teigen, who receives more than her fair share of mom-shaming comments and reactions, posted a video of her painting daughter Luna’s nails, some haters pointed out it has dangerous toxins that kids shouldn’t be exposed to. Chrissy snapped back in one reply, “Well I actually had her drink it so joke’s on you.”
Like Jessica Simpson, Chrissy Teigen was mom-shamed multiple times in 2019. After she posted a gorgeous photo of her and husband John Legend, followers were quick to ask if she was rocking a baby bump. Thankfully, the queen of social media shut down the insensitive comments.
“I know you didn’t mean it to be rude but think twice about asking this, there are people who have trouble conceiving and it hurts every time,” Chrissy said. “I’m not pregnant but would be happy if I were. But I’m also happy not to be.”
Kim Kardashian-West shared an adorable pic of herself and daughter North during a bonding moment, and all the shamers could focus on were the size of little North’s gold hoop earrings. North West’s style was a contentious hot topic in 2019 overall. Even Kim and husband Kanye West were at odds when it came to certain parenting decisions. There were headlines about North wearing makeup and the way that she dresses.
Pink had to defend herself against the “parenting police” after posting images of her children at Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial. She asked followers to keep their “hatred to themselves.”
In a preemptive comment, Pink wrote, “For all the comments; these two children are in actuality Jewish, as am I and the entirety of my mother’s family. The very person who constructed this believed in children being children and to me this is a celebration of life after death.” It, of course, didn’t stop the mom-shaming from happening.
In fact, Pink has experienced so much mom-shaming that she has vowed to stop sharing photos of her little ones after receiving so much backlash. She also disabled comments on all Instagram posts about her personal life, something she stuck to for the rest of the year.
Stylist and designer Rachel Zoe couldn’t care less what you think about her son’s long hair. She replied to the criticism, “For the record, my son thinks he has cool surfer hair. At the end of the day, it’s not like I’m torturing him. He loves his hair. He thinks it’s cool.” Megan Fox also dealt with similar criticism in 2019.
After Hilary Duff shared a photo of her 8-month-old daughter Banks rocking tiny studs in her ears, the online commenters went wild. In a bad way. Users claimed that Duff was inflicting “unnecessary pain” on her daughter for the sake of style. Gisele Bündchen, Kylie Jenner, Cardi B, and Khloé Kardashian have all been mom-shamed for the same thing.
The always-hilarious Amy Schumer sent “love to the moms shaming me for doing standup last night” after she returned to work. Like Shay Mitchell, who was criticized for attending a party shortly after the birth of her daughter, Schumer was raked over the coals for leaving her new son to work for an evening. News flash: Moms have a lot of stuff on their plates! It’s OK to take time, even right after baby comes, to do the things that need to be done.
Thanks to her refusal to conform to gender norms, actress Megan Fox has received plenty of opinions on her sons’ flowing locks and gender-neutral clothing. After posting a photo of one of her sons wearing a Frozen costume dress, a user wrote ““Don’t let your little boy wear Cinderella dresses. It’s highly confusing for the kid. Honestly thought he was a girl. Smh. This society is lost.”
In response, Fox said, ““He designs. He draws outfits. He’s very talented, but he’s still six. He’s really into fashion. Sometimes, he’ll dress himself and he likes to wear dresses sometimes.”
Tess Holliday continues to speak out against those who constantly bombard her with “advice” and “concern” over her health and body. Holliday’s Instagram is constantly flooded with nasty remarks about her weight. She is often called obese, told she will die of diabetes or other weight-related health issues, and is even told that she will die before her son grows up. These are the kinds of remarks no woman, no mom, should ever have to read. And she reads them every day.
Since when is a mom’s nail length anyone’s business? Khloé Kardashian clapped back at haters and assured everyone that her nails do not keep her from being a great mother to baby True. ““Omg how can you handle a baby with those nails,” one user asked in Khloé’s comments.
Khloé responded, “I’ve always had long nails. I’ve had long nails for 100 years. I’m a long nail type of girl.” She then added, “Everyone told me, ‘when you have a baby you have to have short nails.’ ‘This is gross. You can’t take care of your child.’ If I can wipe my own ass, I can wipe my child’s ass! I mean I’m actually looking at hers. So, it’s a lot easier.” Go, mama!
And that wasn’t the only instance. When a follower asked Khloé if she was aware that her baby wasn’t an accessory, the mom clapped right back. “Would you like a parent NOT to create memories and traditions with their child? Would you like someone else to watch my child and me to do these things on my own? I am her mother and we will celebrate life together every day.”
Khloé and Kim’s sister, Kourtney Kardashian, is also no stranger to mom-shaming. Earlier this year, she was mom-shamed for letting her son, Reign, keep his hair long. One commenter told Kourtney that she “really needs to cut his hair” after she shared a photo on Instagram. And in her response, which really works well for most mom-shaming, Kourtney wrote, “She really needs to not worry about kids that aren’t her own. He is a happy boy.”
Kourtney was also mom-shamed for… taking her kids on a vacation? “Don’t your kids go to school,” one commenter wrote in the comments. “Their education is so much more important than these trips.” Literally what? Newsflash: Most people have obligations — family, work, friends, pets, etc. — and still manage to travel, do hobbies, or otherwise enjoy life. The balance is the whole point.
It seems that the public will look for any excuse to slam The Duchess of Sussex, so it’s no surprise that her every move as a mom has fallen under scrutiny. Things went too far when people suggested that Meghan Markle is a less-than-stellar mother for flying in to support friend Serena Williams at the U.S. Open, without baby Archie.
Sarah Vine, a writer for the Daily Mail, wrote an article that basically flat-out called Markle a bad mom for taking time away from her baby. One commenter came through with the real truth juice, though, saying, ““Here’s the deal – mothers work, mothers travel and mothers have lives beyond their infant children.”
And that is exactly right! Something to keep in mind as we continue our battle against unnecessary mom-shaming in the new year!
Katie Nave is a freelance writer, producer, and mama living in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by her passion for storytelling, she is always seeking opportunities to elevate people who are working to better the world around them.