Shaming is unfortunately an all-too-familiar experience for parents, and it’s mothers who bear the brunt of it.
This was the topic of the latest episode of “Red Table Talk” ― the Facebook Watch show hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith, alongside her daughter, Willow Smith, and mother, Adrienne Banfield-Jones. This week, the women discussed mom-shaming with actor Jessica Alba, model Ashley Graham and singer Maren Morris.
“Mommy shamers are just mean girls who grew up to be mothers,” Graham quipped.
“That’s so true!” Alba said. “I’ve had to do a lot of therapy, and certainly now that I’m almost 40, 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.”
Alba noted that she felt judged about the amount of weight she gained during pregnancy, while Graham said that people shamed her for breastfeeding in public and sharing a nursing photo.
“I remember when I would be out with Jaden and Willow breastfeeding,” Pinkett Smith recalled, referring to her two children with Will Smith. “Remember I used to have that little breastfeed cover, and it would make it so difficult. They’re in there, they’re suffocating, I can’t see them. I had so much anxiety about it because back when I had them, breastfeeding was like, What?! What are you doing?!”
The hosts also discussed sleep schedules, social media, potty training and more with Alba and Graham.
“Because it’s quarantine, they’re like, ‘What a great time to potty train your kid.’ And I’m like, ‘What a great time to add another frickin’ stress on me? No, thank you,’” Alba said.
As for the breast vs. bottle issue, she declared, “You’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.”
Morris, who welcomed her first child in March and is already well-versed in the business of being mom-shamed, appeared in a previously taped interview.
“I just find it really unfortunate because we’re all trying to do our best,” she said. “We all love our babies and so it feels like a bigger betrayal when it’s a mom shaming another mother because they’ve been there too.”