Covering parenting news obviously means following all of my favorite celeb moms and dads on social media to see what cute pics and rants they post so I can share them with you. But more often than not, it means watching celeb parents get shamed for literally every single they do by Instagram and Twitter trolls. Luckily, they do their best to not let if get to them, as evidenced by John Legend's response to "dad-shaming," which really puts things in perspective.
As a self-described expert on celeb parent-shaming, let me fill you in: No one gets more hate than Legend and his wife Chrissy Teigen for how they're raising their almost 2-year-old daughter Luna. It's like as soon as they had their baby, people just assumed that the couple would ruin her life by going on date nights together, securing her wrong in a car seat, taking her on slides, and, most recently, carrying her around when they're out an about.
Yup, recently, Legend shared a picture of himself carrying Luna on Instagram and people immediately flooded the comments lamenting how "tired" they were of watching Teigen and Legend carry their little one around, worried that she would have no use for legs as an adult. Because that's a totally rational and reasonable thing to assume about carrying your child across a busy Manhattan street when it's way past their naptime and they're slowing you down.
Teigen is never one to take flak on social media and responded to the person who said they were so tired of seeing two loving parents take good care of their daughter. She snarked back at the commenter writing:
Are you so tired of it? Does it make you so sad and upset we are so sorry to make you... sad and upset. What can we do for you to make it better, sweet angel.
Legend stayed quiet about it, until Tuesday night, when he told Entertainment Tonight, "Yeah, it was hilarious. People, you know, I think people kind of — they see one photo and they want to make judgments about how people live their life and I think the best advice for all of us is, let parents be parents and don't criticize based on what you see on social media."
Everyone should know by now that what parents post on social media is a highly curated version of what their life looks like. So when they post a picture of a messy house and self deprecate, it's not like they're burying their toddlers in trash. Or if the take a cute snap of them hiding in the bathroom to avoid the bedtime drama, it's not like someone has to alert social services. Parenting is hard and fun and sometimes, no one needs to know what you think about the images they choose to share, unless it's a bunch of heart-eyed emoji. Really, can't we all just play nice?
What's most troubling about all the shaming that Teigen and Legend get is that they're doing normal things. Riding a slide, carrying their toddler, or getting a babysitter for a night. Sheesh.
Really, the couple has not spent one parenting moment in the spotlight without things getting heated on social media. Right after Luna was born, Legend and Teigen were "spotted" by paparazzi going out to dinner. Because it was so soon after she was born, people clutched their pearls about a new mom being "able" to be away from her infant for so long and judged them for obviously having enough help on hand.
Legend defended his wife against the sexist tone of some of the comments. He told TODAY at the time, "If you're saying she's a terrible parent for leaving the child at home — and she's not, obviously — but if you're going to say it to her, then say it to me, too." He also tweeted, "Funny there's no dad-shaming. When both of us go out to dinner, shame both of us so Chrissy doesn't have to take it all. We'll split it."
It's not going to be easy to call off the hate from their social media haters, but at least Legend and Teigen know to have each others' backs so that these stories always have a happy ending.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.