23 Times Celebrities Were Mommy-Shamed
Life in the spotlight isn't always all it's cracked up to be. While there are of course perks that come along with being a star, there's a major downside to fame—especially for celebrity moms. It seems like every other day we read about another actress, model, or singer being mommy-shamed for doing something that critics deem "inappropriate," "wrong," or "irresponsible." The judgment runs deep, and, unfortunately, run rampant on each and every social media platform.
Luckily, many of these moms clap back and show their haters who's boss. But the truth is, no one's safe when it comes to the Internet trolls. Everyone from Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen to Reese Witherspoon and Victoria Beckham have come under fire, and whether they're being attacked for their personal parenting choices or—as is more often the case—just for living their lives, there's no limit as to how far critics will go. Scroll down for 23 times that celebrities have been mommy-shamed.
RELATED VIDEO: Jessica Simpson's Most Precious Mommy & Me Moments
The Bad Moms star was shamed for breastfeeding her daughter Wyatt in public, and she wasn’t having any of it. “If it’s not for you, don’t look,” she told Vanity Fair, defending the rights of women who choose to breastfeed their children. ”That’s what I chose to do, but I think it’s unfortunate that people are so hard on women who choose to do it and do it in public. In the States and in our culture, we sexualize the breast so much that there’s an aspect of it that people just don’t know how to wrap their head around."
One of the most outspoken celebrity parents, Teigen isn’t afraid to stand up for herself or anyone else who’s being mommy-shamed. And unfortunately for the star, it’s happened to her quite often. She’s been called out for choosing the gender of her child (she and husband John Legend opted for a female embryo while undergoing IVF treatment), the way she holds her daughter Luna, and even for going out for dinner shortly after giving birth (Teigen’s response on Twitter? “I went to dinner. People are pissed. Good morning!”). She continues to handle the haters—her own and those attacking her fellow famous moms. “I loathe these sh—thead commenters,” she once Tweeted while defending Kristin Cavallari.
Even the Queen Bey herself isn’t safe from mommy-shaming. First, she was called out for not caring for her daughter Blue Ivy’s hair correctly. One irrationally upset hater even went so far as to start a “Comb Her Hair” petition on Change.org (yes, really). Most recently, after posting a photo of herself drinking a glass of wine—you know, because she’s of legal drinking age and is fully entitled to drink whatever the eff she wants and she is BEYONCÉ, damn it—during dinner with husband Jay Z, the mom of three was mercilessly attacked online. The reason? People were debating whether or not she should have been drinking alcohol considering she may be breastfeeding her newborn twins, Rumi and Sir. The thing is, the haters had no idea whether or not she even is breastfeeding. And that prompted another wave of criticism from those assuming that she’s giving her twins formula and choosing not to breastfeed, proving that even Beyoncé can’t win when it comes to online parenting bullies.
When Pink shared a photo of herself cooking with her kids—6-year-old daughter Willow and then 6-month-old son Jameson—in July, she was mommy-shamed for holding her son in a carrier on her chest while near the stove. While it was clear from the photo that she wasn’t standing directly over the heat with her baby, critics accused the pop star of putting her son in a “dangerous” situation and suggesting that she wear the carrier on her back instead. This wasn’t the first time that Pink was shamed for a ‘gram set in her kitchen. Back in December 2016, she was shamed for sitting in front of the microwave and drinking coffee (it was decaf, which she clearly stated in her Instagram caption) while pregnant with her son. She laughed off the haters, sharing a link to a story that criticized her photo on Twitter. “This was a really good laugh. Enjoy over a cup of coffee,” she wrote before a second Tweet that read, “Uh oh. Now I’m a mommy shamer shamer.”
Let’s face it: the Kardashians have their share of haters. But when it comes to mommy-shaming, Kim has faced the most backlash. In June, she was called out for putting her 1-year-old son, Saint, in a front-facing car seat, when California law requires a rear-facing car seat for children under two years old (for the record, the post never mentioned where the photo was even taken). And when she posted her infamous naked selfie, she was harassed by commenters calling her out for setting a bad example for her daughter, North. Kardashian didn’t stay silent about the accusation, taking to her website to defend herself:
“Hey, guys. I wanted to write a post elaborating on my tweets last night. In all seriousness, I never understand why people get so bothered by what other people choose to do with their lives. I don't do drugs, I hardly drink, I've never committed a crime—and yet I'm a bad role model for being proud of my body? It always seems to come back around to my sex tape. Yes, a sex tape that was made 13 years ago. 13 YEARS AGO. Literally that lonnng ago. And people still want to talk about it?!?! I lived through the embarrassment and fear, and decided to say who cares, do better, move on. I shouldn't have to constantly be on the defense, listing off my accomplishments just to prove that I am more than something that happened 13 years ago. Let's move on, already. I have. I am empowered by my body. I am empowered by my sexuality. I am empowered by feeling comfortable in my skin. I am empowered by showing the world my flaws and not being afraid of what anyone is going to say about me. And I hope that through this platform I have been given, I can encourage the same empowerment for girls and women all over the world. I am empowered by my husband, who is so accepting and supportive and who has given me a newfound confidence in myself. He allows me to be me and loves me unconditionally. I feel so lucky to have grown up surrounded by strong, driven, independent women. The life lessons I've learned from my sisters, my mother and my grandmother, I will pass along to my daughter. I want her to be proud of who she is. I want her to be comfortable in her body. I don't want her to grow up in a world where she is made to feel less-than for embracing everything it means to be a woman. It's 2016. The body-shaming and slut-shaming—it's like, enough is enough. I will not live my life dictated by the issues you have with my sexuality. You be you and let me be me. I am a mother. I am a wife, a sister, a daughter, an entrepreneur and I am allowed to be sexy.”
Kourtney has grappled with mommy-shaming, too. Back in February, she shared this ‘gram of her 4-year-old daughter Penelope wearing a clip-on lip ring similar to the one worn by Kim K. (Kourt thanked her sister in the caption, implying that she had indeed gifted the accessory to her niece). Comments flooded in claiming that a child shouldn’t be wearing a lip ring—even a fake one. We’re going to go out on a limb and guess that Kourtney couldn’t care less what anyone thinks about what her daughter wears, as long as she and little P are both happy with it.
In July, Ciara was on a family vacation with husband Russel Wilson, their 3-month-old daughter Sienna, and her 3-year-old son Future Zahir (whose dad is her rapper ex, Future). After sharing a video of the crew going down the Great Wall of China in a toboggan, she was called “irresponsible” and “dumb” and told to “get a grip,” and commenters began debating whether or not the slide was safe for her kids. Not that it mattered to the singer, who had captioned the video, “I wish I could put into words how fun this was!” Keep doing you, Ciara.
When Simpson shared photos of her 5-year-old daughter, Maxwell Drew, playing in the family’s backyard in a bikini in June, the Instagram trolls didn’t let up. They claimed that the star was “sexualizing” and “exploiting” her child and called her parenting skills into question, even going so far as to suggest that Social Services should be called. The photo has since been taken down from Simpson’s Instagram, although her supporters were quick to point out that critics were promoting a major double standard by suggesting that there would have been no issue had she posted a photo of her son in a bathing suit.
Plus-size model Tess Holliday was not having it when Internet trolls shamed her after sharing the news that she was expecting her second child. She took to Facebook to express her outrage at the negative reaction to her exciting news:
“Having another baby has been a beautiful process & at times, frustrating. As I enter my 8th month, my body overall looks the same other than my belly & I'm okay with that. What I've had to be learn to be okay with (WHICH IS NOT COOL) is the fact that people still think it's okay to comment on my body: 'you don't look pregnant', 'you must be have quadruplets', 'you are putting your baby at risk' & a slew of other uneducated statements that are very far from my reality. When 'celebrities' are pregnant in the press, they look glamorous, toned & are eager to talk about how they are going to get the baby weight off. While I've done my best to look as put together as possible, that's not real life, & it's not for most women. I'm not the first plus size woman in the public eye to have a baby & share it with the world, & I certainly won't be the last. However I'm part of a small minority that's telling you it's okay to not have a perfect baby bump, or not show at all, to be plus size & have a healthy child, & most importantly to find a care provider that doesn't shame you about your size. It's also okay to tell someone to fuck off when they give you unsolicited advice about what's 'best' for you & your baby. As women, we know what's best & that's our business ... No one else’s.”
After posting an Instagram kissing her daughter Harper on the lips back in July 2016, Beckham was called out by followers who deemed the act inappropriate—but her loyal fans came out in full force with words of support.
Even America’s sweetheart faces the wrath of the mommy shamers. Witherspoon was ripped apart after posting a downright adorable photo of breakfast she made for her son back in March 2015, with commenters claiming that the cinnamon rolls weren’t a healthy option to feed her son.
Mariah Carey shared an adorable Instagram post cuddling with her then 4-year-old twins, Roc and Roe, during movie night in 2016. But she couldn’t have anticipated people attacking her son’s use of a pacifier instead of appreciating Carey’s bonding time with “dem babies.” Comments ranged from telling Carey that she should be ashamed of her child’s prolonged use of the pacifier to calling her lazy for failing to take the time to ween him off.
When Cavallari posted a photo of her husband playing with their sons in the ocean during a beach outing back in July 2016, she was criticized by followers who claimed her sons were too thin. Never one to sit back and take the heat quietly, Cavallari clapped back at the haters. “Yep, I starve my children,” she wrote. “Just blocked the most people I’ve ever blocked in my entire life. Happy 4th hahaha.”
In June, Kate Beckinsale posted a video of herself dancing and having fun with a group of people. And according to one angry commenter, the mom of 18-year-old Lily Mo Sheen shouldn’t have been doing that. “Go home and take care of your kids. Hehe!” said the Instagram troll. Beckinsale didn’t let the attack go unnoticed. She responded with a comment of her own, tagging the user directly and wrote, “What's amazing is it is no longer the 18th century so now that my one child is grown I don't have to stay home (while she's out with her own friends ) playing the pianoforte, getting consumption or trying to secure her a marriage. But thank you for the quaint blast from the past. Oh and I can vote now too! YAY.”
After first being mommy-shamed for hiring a night nurse to help care for her son Noah in 2012, Megan Fox was called out again last month for an Instagram post that included a photo of now 5-year-old Noah wearing a dress depicting Elsa from Frozen on it. Commenters were quick to attack the mom of three for allowing her son to wear a dress and began to debate gender norms—despite the fact that her child looked perfectly loved (and downright adorable) in the photo.
After a photo of her son, Luca, crying over a haircut was printed in a tabloid, Duff was labeled a “C Minus Mother.” She later recalled the frustrating experience while discussing mommy shaming during a Today Parenting Team conversation. “Everything I do feels judged or picked apart, and the whole world gets to know about it,” she said. She also faced backlash after posting a photo of her outfit for school drop-off, which included a pair of shorts that petty commenters found to be “inappropriate.” Duff thought the outfit was cute, and guess what? We agree with her.
Model Coco Rocha found herself under attack after posting about an app that delivered baby formula for her daughter, Ioni, in 2015. The harmless post garnered unwanted attention from critics who shamed Rocha for choosing not to breastfeed her child. She fired back with a second Instagram post, writing, “Getting a lot of unwanted advice based on my last post. Not that this is anyone's business - I loved breastfeeding Ioni for the first 5 months of her life and then one day my milk went dry. It happens to every mom at different times. She's been on formula for a few weeks now and seems to be doing just fine. In the last 4 weeks she gained another 2 pounds, grew another inch and is in the 90th percentile for her age. Anyone who has a negative comment to make on the way I raise my baby will be blocked. This is not a democracy, everyone doesn't get a say.”
In February 2016, Theron found herself scrutinized when a photo of her son Jackson mid-tantrum was printed by a tabloid, claiming that the “monster mom” was “dragging” the 4-year-old when she was clearly trying to calm him down and safely get him away from the paparazzi.
After sharing a photo of her husband, Ryan Reynolds, holding their daughter James in a baby carrier, Lively somehow became the target of mommy-shamers. The logic? Well, there wasn’t any—but James wasn’t properly strapped into the carrier, and commenters continued to take it out on Lively’s feed even after Reynolds took the blame during an interview on The Today Show. “It was me, guys. I’m a first-time dad and that is not the first mistake I’ve made and I can guarantee it won’t be the last.”
When Kelly Clarkson shared a video of her 2-year-old daughter, River, eating Nutella for the first time in April, a mommy-shaming maelstrom ensued. The sweet moment was overshadowed by critics who claimed that the chocolate-hazelnut spread is packed with harmful ingredients from sugar to carcinogens, even going so far as to claim that it was child abuse for the singer to introduce her daughter to the popular treat.
Jenni “JWoww” Farley
The Jersey Shore alum faced relentless backlash after sharing a photo of her husband holding their 2-month-old son Greyson in a pool back in 2016. The adorable photo resulted in comments questioning her decision to allow such a small child to be in the pool (remember: he was held in his father’s embrace…) and whether or not she had put sunscreen on her son. In typical JWoww fashion, she wasted no time in clapping back with a second Instagram post.
“Not even sure why I am even doing this but I feel like schooling people on my previous post. First off, my son is two months and in a salt water pool up to his belly... Probably for a total of 3 minutes. But second is where I need to really educate trolls... Let me explain to the haters that decided to comment about no sunscreen and the dangers bla bla bla My son actually does have sunscreen on. It's the same concept as diaper cream. Probably even better than the crap shit you lather your children in. Remember ass holes im in the tanning industry and pride myself on knowing this. So, here is what I mixed for my son so I know for the 2 minutes he would be safe: Coconut Oil- SPF 4-6 Zinc Oxide SPF 2-20 depending on how much used Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 35-40... Go enjoy your Sunday now.”
And there you have it.
Actress Coco Austin has faced an army of haters since giving birth to Chanel Nicole, her daughter with husband Ice-T. Most frequently, people say she looks “too sexy” when spending time with her daughter, and they call her out for dressing Chanel in a similar style. But when she posted about getting her then 2-month-old daughter’s ears pierced back in 2016, Austin was bombarded with angry commenters attacking her for hurting her child by “putting holes” into her baby—who, for the record was nothing but smiley in all of the photos her mom shared.
Pretty much every statement that Alicia Silverstone makes about parenting comes under fire. She’s faced critics for feeding her now 6-year-old son Bear “bird style,” letting him eat chewed food directly from her own mouth when he was 10 months old. She’s also voiced her support for “elimination communication,” which asserts that babies shouldn’t wear diapers, and she's recommended the “Orgasmic Birth” experience to followers on her blog, which encourages women to enjoy labor … well, very much. Needless to say, Silverstone has become well-acquainted with mommy-shaming for her parenting beliefs.