Dozens of people shamed this mom’s selfie with her newborn
The internet has given us the ability to share more of our lives as parents than ever before, but it’s also become a vehicle for a lot of shaming and judgment. Too often, moms get picked on for arbitrary things based on a two-sentence status update or a quick photo they snapped. People rarely wait to hear the whole story, and that’s why one new mom is firing back at critics after they left dozens of mean comments calling her out for holding her baby incorrectly in a selfie.
Chontel Duncan is a personal trainer and fitness model who gave birth just 17 days ago. You might recognize her from a viral pregnant belly comparison photo she did with one of her friends a few weeks ago. She gave birth at the end of March, and since then she’s been sharing photos of her sweet son, Jeremiah, as well as showing off her incredible postpartum physique.
A few days ago, she shared a selfie holding Jeremiah to let her followers know how her c-section incision is healing. In it, she’s standing in workout gear and cradling her son as he lifts his head off of her chest.
Unfortunately, the position of Jeremiah’s head led to dozens of nasty comments directed at the new mom. Here are just a few of the gems I saw in scrolling through them:
“I’m concerned with how you’re holding that baby”
“Omg is this even legal?” “Is her baby’s neck breaking?” “Omg that babys poor neck. Hold ur child properly! More important than a selfie [sic]” “Wow, she couldn’t have taken a photo with a real camera and kept both her hands on her baby… what a selfish attention seeking whore… that kid will not live long if she continues to ‘care’ for him this way [sic]”
Ah, the internet. It’s like every nosy grandma who ever came up to you in Target and told you to put socks on your baby in 80-degree weather, multiplied by 400 and all up in your social media experience. Luckily, Duncan isn’t one to take shit. She fired back at the haters in a follow-up post, explaining that her son lifted his head right as she took the photo and she doesn’t need “dumb dumbs” educating her on how to hold a baby.
“Sorry but I’m not going to be nice about what I think about your belittling attempts to educate me on the safety or better yet my intentions as a new mum,” she wrote. “Miah lifted his head up an [sic] for that second that he did so, I just happened to have caught it on camera… Newborns can lift their own heads up its not me standing there with his head flicked back shooting away.”
Duncan isn’t the first new parent to be shamed on the internet. Last year Ryan Reynolds took heat when Blake Lively shared a picture of him holding their baby in a carrier “incorrectly.” Prince William and Kate Middleton even famously got shamed a few years ago when they shared a photo of baby George in his car seat before they’d tightened the straps.
Internet shaming never goes away, but by now we all should know that you can’t judge a parent by a picture. An Instagram photo is not an accurate assessment of someone’s parenting abilities, and people don’t put photos online because they want our advice. We all like to think we’re the experts, but unless someone asks for help, it’s best to keep quiet and trust other new parents to figure things out just like we did.
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