As you may have guessed from my previous posts, I try and be kind and nice and treat others as I would like to be treated, (see, all those hours in church as a youngster weren’t totally wasted Mum!), and there is something that I just can’t get my head around. Why is it seen to be acceptable to abuse celebrity mothers? I can’t think of anything worse then to go through the early days, months, years of motherhood under really intense scrutiny with people from all over the world commenting on your every choice and decision.
I think that the anonymity of the internet is a lot to blame. Would these people walk up to a new mum in the street and tell them that they look fat? Or if their friend manages to loose her baby belly quickly, would they tell her that they think she has an eating disorder?
It seems to be social norm to pass judgement on just about every little detail of a celebrity mama’s life and they should just be so thick skinned that any comment directed at them, no matter how hurtful, should just wash over them without leaving a trace. There are magazines devoted to catching them at their lowest and pointing out their flaws using giant red circles. Can you imagine the outrage if your neighbour snapped you stepping out of the house in your pajama bottoms with unwashed hair and made giant posters circling your flaws, putting them up on every lamppost on your street?
There is no such similar outrage if it happens to someone in the public eye, with some arguing that it is their own fault for putting themselves out there. I just don’t believe it is fair to suggest that because someone is famous they deserve to hear truly horrible things about them or even their children, really personal and unpleasant things that would drive most women, no matter how strong, to doubt themselves and to feel very hurt, especially if the looks of their beloved child are debated over.
If a mother is a model and works unbelievably hard to regain her figure after the birth of her child, forgoing all the cakes and comfort food that most of us indulge in to cope with the sleepless nights and spends long hours working out despite their exhaustion while the majority of new mums are watching hours of Philip and Holly debating the merits of spanx, lying on the sofa in their milk and drool covered dressing gowns, (yes this was me, both times!), surely she deserves respect. And our sympathy, because, cake!
There seems to be a suggestion that because someone is very wealthy, this will somehow make them immune to feelings. That they can pay for a therapist maybe? This seems a very strange attitude to me. It doesn’t matter how much you have, whether your riches are measured in money or material things, possessions or love, anyone can suffer after the birth of a baby, from self doubt, crisis of confidence, feelings of fear, post natal depression. I think there is a very good chance that reading page after page of negativity about yourself can drag the happiest person into a very dark place.
The other argument, they don’t have to read it. Well, for a start, it is pretty impossible nowadays, to avoid information. You go to buy milk and there is a headline of a magazine screaming about your 4 stone weight gain, you pick up your phone and there is a news title shouting about your husband’s alleged affair. Not to mention the hoards of people desperate to catch a snap of you at an unflattering angle every time you step out of the house.
It would also be so difficult not to read a thing about yourself because we all need appraisals in work, we like to know how we’re doing, to receive feedback. Why would that be any different for an actress or a singer. But imagine if your work appraisals were peppered with comments about your physical appearance, the choice you made for lunch, the day you lost your hairbrush and failed at a messy bun.
It leaves me wondering, is the idea that it somehow makes someone immune to hurt if the people the comments are aimed at is reading them in a Gucci dressing gown soaked in milk instead of a Tesco one?
I read an article in a magazine recently about how kindness is something they are bringing back, (shame it had to leave), featuring a lady who felt lost and alone after moving to New York, and so she started writing love letters to strangers and leaving them hidden around the city, from that her blog and website were born connecting people up to write to each other. What a simple and wonderful thing to do. Our words can be such powerful tools for good and unfortunately for spreading bitterness too. If every word that we put out there on the internet was recorded and presented to our children as a book on their eighteenth, surely that would make a lot of people think harder about what they write online.
If all these people hiding behind their keyboards, trying to chip away at others really stopped and considered the pain their words could cause someone, the tears that could create, maybe they would think of the old adage about not saying anything at all when you don’t have anything nice to say.
I’m going to try and be online kind. Who’s with me?!
(With all this nicety I’m going to need to up the running or something, everyone needs an outlet for their inner cow!! 😀 )