Mom-shaming. It’s needless, it doesn’t help anyone, and if you’re a celebrity with a social media presence and a child, odds are you experienced mom-shaming a time or two.
During the most recent episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Red Table Talk on Facebook, she, her own mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and several other celebrity mothers talked about their own experiences with mom-shaming and out if affected them.
Jada Pinkett Smith Talks Mom Shaming
As Jada talked about her own encounter with mom-shamers, the mom of two brought up a specific moment in time that has stuck with her. That moment was when her daughter, Willow Smith, shaved her head for the first time while touring her hit single, Whip My Hair, several years ago.
As Mamas Uncut previously reported, on Father’s Day this year, Will Smith opened up about the moment he pushed his daughter to her breaking point in 2010 after Willow found success with her song. Because Whip My Hair became her first-ever hit, Willow signed on to complete a 30-day tour to promote it.
However, shortly after starting the tour, Willow decided that kind of lifestyle wasn’t for her and she told her father she was done. But because she made a commitment, Will pushed her to follow through, and in protest, Willow shaved off the long locks that were partly responsible for the song’s success.
Will said he learned at that moment that his one-size-fits-all parenting techniques weren’t going to work with Willow. However, now for the first time ever, Jada is opening up about how that moment in time affected her as a parent and how people perceived her role in the situation.
According to Jada, it was her first time experiencing “hardcore criticism.” “When you first cut your hair,” Jada said to Willow, “I mean, there was a firestorm.”
One of her guests, new mom, model Ashley Graham then asked her what tools she uses in order to get through the moments that may bring out unwanted mom-shaming. “Looking at how my children were being affected, that’s what counts,” Jada told Graham.
“When people are like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe you shaved Willow’s head!’ If they coulda seen this child’s expression of freedom looking at her hair falling to the ground, so to me as a mom looking at that, experiencing that with her—there is nothing that anyone could say to me to tell me that it was wrong. Not one person, because I was there, I was looking at her, I saw her face, I knew the journey that she and I took together to get to that point, and so, it didn’t really matter what anybody said.”Jada Pinkett Smith, Red Table Talk
However, while Jada was able to let the shaming roll off her back, Adrienne admitted that it was harder for her to sit back and watch it all happen. “I felt like, these people are talking about your children, who they don’t even know. Making you out to be these brats, these Hollywood brats. You were never that, ever.”
And while Jada’s example wasn’t recent, according to The New York Times, mom-shaming during the pandemic has become a pandemic of its own—if it wasn’t already. According to a 2017 national poll of nearly 500 moms conducted by Michigan Medicine’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, almost two-thirds have felt mom-shamed. And with parents and moms being faced with the decision of how to handle the coronavirus pandemic, it’s scary to think that even more moms are experiencing it now too.
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