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Watch Out, Moms; New Shaming Trend is Aimed at You

The Short of It

In a Huff Post Parents blog, author Rachel Garlinghouse points out a new mom-shaming trend that she's noticed: a stranger uses a cell phone to take a photo of a mom doing something he thinks is inappropriate and posts it online, where the mom is chastised by thousands of strangers—most of the time without her ever knowing it.

The Lowdown

Garlinghouse has noticed two stories appear in her social media newsfeeds in recent weeks where everyday moms—not celebrities—are shamed for not doing something "correctly" by thousands of strangers online. In one story, a store manager took a photo of a mom wearing her 5-year-old child while shopping and posted it on her personal Facebook page with critical comments. The photo went viral, and the mom in the photo later saw it.

In another story, a stranger took a photo of a mom nursing her baby in a restaurant, posted it online and commented that she needed to "cover up." Once again, after the photo went viral, the mom in the photo saw it.

Garlinghouse points out: "Moms are used to opinions, often unsolicited, from relatives, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and sometimes more annoying and intrusive, from strangers. But taking a photo of a mom and her children and using it to crucify her for her decisions is horrifying and a total invasion of privacy. These are moms doing everyday things: eating, browsing merchandise at a store, walking down a sidewalk."

The Upshot

"Taking and posting photos of women during times when they are mothering in order to shame them publicly is cowardly and quite telling of the person who takes the photo and those who choose to post comments online about the mother and her child," Garlinghouse wrote. "It shows that instead of reaching out a hand to help, a smile, a compliment, or sometimes better yet, nothing at all, some are willing to spend their energies tearing down the women who are raising the next generation."

It's hard to silence the inner judgey mom voices we hear in our heads, but people need to mind their own business. I agree with Garlinghouse: Unless you see parents doing something that is truly dangerous to their child, stay out of it!

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