Mom-shaming is something we all deal with, and that’s why this photo of a mom giving her shamer the evil eye is going massively viral.
According to Babble, Ashley Kaidel is a Florida mom who was breastfeeding her six-month-old son in a restaurant when she noticed another patron gawking at her and shaking their head over her decision to breastfeed uncovered. Rather than feeling embarrassed or trying to cover up, Kaidel turned around and gave this woman the world’s most epic stinkeye.
She then posted a picture of the stare-down on Facebook with a message about breastfeeding and why she doesn’t give in to shamers. She writes:
“Earlier today I posted this picture of my son and I breastfeeding uncovered in a public restaurant. In the picture, it appears I’m staring off into the distance. In reality, I’m staring into the eyes of a woman staring at me. She is looking at me with disgust and shaking her head with judgement in an attempt to shame me and indirectly tell me without words that I am wrong and need to cover myself.”
Kaidel goes on to explain that the main reason she glared back at the woman and then posted the photo was to bolster support for other breastfeeding moms. The picture, she writes, is “for the mother that tried breastfeeding uncovered once and she got shamed, she got stared and pointed at, she got nasty comments, she got asked to leave the room, she got asked to cover up.”
Kaidel says that while she’d never tell a woman they must breastfeed uncovered, she thinks those who do “should not ever feel shamed, belittled, embarrassed or wrong for feeding your baby the way nature intended.” If strangers have a problem with a breastfeeding mom, Kaidel tells them, “Just look away. It’s simple to do so. No harm done at all.”
Most of all, she writes, women should breastfeed in public without shame because both adults and children need to see breastfeeding in practice in order for it to become more accepted. Since the photo was posted, it’s been shared over 120,000 times and shown up on news sites as far away as Germany. It’s resonating not only with breastfeeding moms, but also with any parent who’s ever been judged or publicly scrutinized — read: all of us — for doing what we think is best for our kids.
In an ideal world, a mom could breastfeed or whip out a bottle, give her kids gluten-free cookies, or let her toddler have Cheetos for breakfast, and no one would say a word. Unfortunately, we still don’t live in that world. No matter what you do as a parent, there is someone out there who will disagree and make their disapproval known in ugly and hurtful ways.
This woman’s rant may have been about breastfeeding, but her “zero tolerance” attitude towards judgmental assholes is inspiring no matter what parenting decisions you make. We could all stand to be a little bit bolder in not apologizing our choices and more confident in our abilities as parents. Kudos to this mom for standing up for what she believes in.
(Featured image via Shutterstock)