Mom Shaming: The New Epidemic
With mom shaming at an all-time, @Jessica Alba and @Ashley Graham come to the Table to share their experiences as frequent targets. Jada shares her own stories of being mom shamed and Willow reveals how that affected her. Plus, RTT Favorite, Dr. Ramani reveals the devastating effects mom shaming can have.Posted by Red Table Talk on Monday, October 12, 2020
Ashley Graham has an important message for moms who are criticized for simply doing the best they can: "Mommy shamers are just mean girls who grew up to be mothers." In an honest discussion on Facebook Watch's Red Table Talk Tuesday, the new mother, along with Jessica Alba, chatted with Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Jones about being mom shamed and how they deal with the trolls.
"It never feels good to have someone tell you that you're not doing a good enough job, that you're doing something wrong."
Ashley, who gave birth to her son Isaac just eight months ago, got candid about receiving hate from both people on social media and close family members regarding everything from breastfeeding in public to changing her son's diaper on the floor. "It's interesting because my whole career has been based around body shaming because I'm a curvy girl who has come into a skinny world, and said that my body, and other bodies like mine, need to be normalized," she said around the six-minute mark. "I knew that [mom shaming] was coming and I was ready to combat it, but it never feels good to have someone tell you that you're not doing a good enough job, that you're doing something wrong."
She also opened up about being attacked on Instagram for trying to normalize breastfeeding in public for new mothers. "My whole career is based off of being sexy and my breasts have been the forefront of many magazine covers, so then to flip to my baby is there sucking on them, I think that people just had to switch their minds, but they are multi-purposeful," she said.
Jessica, who is a mom to three children — 2-year-old Hayes, 9-year-old Haven, and 12-year-old Honor — added that online trolls are simply projecting their own insecurities when they mom shame. "I've come to this place where I realize that most people who have something to say, it's because they're so insecure and it's more of them being ashamed of themselves, them being overly critical and for whatever reason, the natural reaction is to pull other people apart for them to feel justified or them to feel OK," the Honest Beauty founder said around the 13-minute mark.
Jada, on the other hand, shared her experience as a Black mom raising older children, Jaden and Willow. While the Red Table Talk host remembered the "hardcore criticism" that turned into a "firestorm" when Willow first shaved her head at 12 years old, she explained that comments about her son, Jaden, were even worse because he wasn't seen as "your typical Black man." "Even in the community, we create stereotypes around ourselves and it's something that we, as a community, really have to learn how to let go of," Jada said about 25 minutes into the episode, adding that Black and brown mothers are shamed more than any other group.
"I knew that self-confidence is what helped me survive."
"I know that people felt like it's dangerous, like you cannot afford to raise your children this way because it's dangerous," she said. "You know what it's like to be a Black or brown person in this world. You are doing your kids a disservice. I understood where that fear came from, but I also understood, from having been on the streets and having had not been 'your conventional Black girl' in the streets of Baltimore, I knew that self-confidence is what helped me survive."