Bianca Snyder sparked quite the discourse after she posted a TikTok about how she had "no regrets" bringing her 7-year-old son to Burning Man — a festival in the Nevada desert where thousands gather annually to build a "participative temporary metropolis," its website touts.
Burning Man has kind of a reputation for being a little intense, centered on philosophies such as "decommodification" and "radical self-reliance.” And in pop culture, the festival is synonymous with Mad Max-type fashion, sex, and drugs.
In her viral video, viewed over 90k times, Snyder showed her family decked out for the festival, dancing in the desert and taking in all the art installations.
"We pack in more fun, laughter, play and adventure into 2 hours of exploring on the playa than most families will ever experience," she wrote in text-overlay on the video.
While some applauded Snyder for her out-of-the-box parenting, others shamed her for taking her son.
“So you dragged your kid to burning man,” one user wrote.
“I drag my kid to school and the grocery store but I don’t drag him to burning man,” the OP replied.
Another wrote, “Nothing kills my festival experience more than see a little kid running around.”
“Leave your kids at home. What a bummer. Also, stop bringing them,” another said.
In a follow-up video, Snyder compiled a set of video clips from her family’s time at Burning Man, showing that (with the right boundaries) kids can have a good, appropriate time.
“You won’t believe the number of times I’ve heard that Burning Man is not for kids,” she wrote in text overlay on the video. “I think that Burning Man is not a place for crotchety adults.”
“Burning Man is everything you didn’t know you needed, but it is definitely a place for kids of all ages. If you are not ready to release your inner child into the wild, then you should probably stay home and watch TV,” she said.
Snyder told Insider that she first brought her son to Burning Man when she was eight months pregnant, and every time she posts their family’s trip to the desert, these kinds of criticisms pop up.
"Our son goes everywhere that we go and that's just the way that we live," said Snyder.
Snyder told Insider that she continues to post about taking her son to Burning Man and sharing the negative comments she gets because she wants to raise awareness about “mom-shaming” and to inspire others to “live an alternative lifestyle.”
She says that though the rumors about Burning Man being a breeding ground for drugs and sex might be true for some, she doesn’t see the desert festival that way.
\You can cultivate the experience that you want to have, and you're not subject to those extremes if you don't want to be," she said.
“There's people doing yoga, there's people having important conversations that are relevant to improving the future of mankind. There's people experiencing art,” she said.
No matter how you feel about her decision, let’s please stop mom-shaming about every.single.thing.