Can We Back Off? Celebrity Moms Don't Owe Us Sh*t

by Christine Burke
Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve undoubtedly heard that Beyoncé and JAY-Z welcomed twins to their family recently. In fact, word started to spread almost the moment that Beyoncé’s water broke, and Twitter was aflutter with news that the Beyhive just welcomed two more bees to their honeycomb. And almost instantly, people were demanding not only pictures of the new arrivals but also glimpses of Beyoncé post-delivery.

As I watched the stories flood my newsfeed and make headlines on TV, I wondered what it would be like to have that kind of spotlight on me after I had my children.

I decided it probably fucking sucks to be a celebrity mom.

When my son was born, his birth was, for lack of a better term, a trainwreck. Twelve hours of hard, induced labor that led to an emergency C-section, IV fluids, and post-surgical swelling left me looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. It was nine days until I could put shoes on that weren’t flip-flops, and until I was able to finally poop again, I was a hormonal, constipated bitch. And don’t get me started on pants that zipped. I still haven’t made up with my zippered pants, and it’s been 14 years.

My point is that if I had the pressure of having to be red-carpet-ready for millions of nosy fans, I’m not sure what I’d do.

And we need to cut celebrity moms some serious slack.

Just because they are famous doesn’t give us the right to pictures of them shuffling around in their mesh underwear as they leak fluids from places that are swollen beyond recognition. Beyoncé gave birth to twins, you guys. I’m sure she looks just as bad as the rest of us did when we had our lady bits blown to smithereens in the name of bringing humans into the world. I’m not sure when we decided that we are entitled to pictures of a perfect stranger’s new journey as a parent, but it’s time we CTFD and take a step back from our social media frenzy every time a celebrity mom has a baby.

When Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George, pundits and social media junkies speculated for days about what she’d wear when she left the hospital. Naturally, she didn’t disappoint. She looked resplendent, rested, and magazine-cover gorgeous as she stood on the steps and royally waved to the crowds who had gathered to catch a glimpse of the new prince. I admit that even I was impressed that her hair was blown out to perfection and a tiny bit jealous that her ankles didn’t look like she was retaining more water than the Hoover Dam.

But I also felt tremendously sorry for her. Truly. If reports are to be believed, Kate Middleton spent months battling hyperemesis gravidarum, a condition that causes a pregnant woman to have intractable vomiting and difficulty gaining weight during pregnancy, before she gave birth. This poor woman had her head in the toilet for the better part of nine months and was mercilessly judged for her appearance postpartum.

How many of you would be camera-ready after your first post-baby poop? I can attest that no gossip magazine would want a piece of what I was offering when my milk came in five days after delivery, trust.

Why are we so obsessed with celebrities and their parenting journeys? Why is it that we hold these women to such high standards? Imagine for just a moment what it would be like to have to coordinate your appearance during a time that should be dedicated to receiving visitors bearing flowers and balloons. I don’t know about you but I was exhausted after having my kids and just the thought of having our families in my hospital room made me want to beg for mercy. If I had to deal with a hair stylist, a makeup team, and PR people in my room, I’d be fit to be tied.

And don’t give me that “well, that’s what they get for being famous” bullshit either. Just because a woman has excelled in a career that has brought her fame and notoriety does not give us the right to infringe on her personal space, particularly after she’s had a baby. Women can be downright mean when it comes to judging a celebrity mom’s appearance or her parenting choices, and I genuinely feel sympathy for celebrity moms. Because motherhood is hard enough as it is without the constant scrutiny of sanctimommy keyboard warriors they’ve never met.

So, Bey? You do you, girl. I don’t care if your Halo is crooked these days, and I’m sure you are Crazy in Love with those new babies. This regular mom hopes you are finding time to sleep after being up All Night, and I think motherhood looks Flawless on you, even if you are wearing mesh underwear. And I won’t be digging around looking for pictures of you and your babies because I know the memories you are making are Irreplaceable and should be kept close to your heart and out of the public eye (unless/until you want to share).