Shaming mothers is a pastime that has gone on for generations. For some reason, people feel the need to judge and nitpick every little decision moms make about raising their children - from how they kiss them to what they feed them (or don't feed them).
Indeed, women must be courageous to take on the role of mother and not just because they are taking on the awesome responsibility of raising responsible citizens who will contribute to society. But they also have to realize they will forever have critics, sometimes not least of all, their own children.
Celebrities, who decide to take on parenting, need to be even more brave, because they'll live under a microscope and face the ire of fans and haters alike. Nowadays, they don't just have to stand up to the scrutiny of tabloids and paparazzi either. Nowadays, they must contend with social media. And the snarky comments and relentless opinions on everything can be overwhelming and unfair.
Still, everyday people - even the rich and famous and powerful - are becoming parents. They're taking their chances and risking the scrutiny. While pretty much everyone would probably agree that no one should judge anyone else, the world still does it. Most of the time the criticism is harsh and unfair. Once in awhile, there's some validation for the critical eye.
Here are 7 mom celebrities the Internet shamed and 8 they should have (or at least it forgot about):
15 Victoria Beckham
When Victoria Beckham shared a birthday greeting for her daughter that included the above photo of mother and daughter kissing on the lips, the Internet exploded with outrage. People slammed Beckham for being inappropriate and some even called her a lesbian. Major news outlets began pontificating about the appropriateness of such affection between parents and their children.
Granted, some moms defended Beckham by posting photos on social media of themselves kissing their children on the lips and suggesting that people should promote parents being affectionate with their kids, especially when there are so many other evil happenings in the world.
The verdict was for people to keep perspective and encourage parents to share tender, appropriate moments with their children (and this was one of those), writes Kait Richmond on CNN's Website.
Still, for a while Beckham took heat for this image and maybe the online haters should have just backed off.
14 Kristin Cavallari
Reality TV star Kristin Cavallari reportedly tries to never show her children's faces on social media. But when she posted a photo of her kids' bare backs at the beach on Instagram as a means of wishing everyone a happy 4th of July, people attacked her and suggested her children were underfed.
She retorted with sarcasm by writing, "Yep, I starve my kids," according to the Today Show. Cavallari also opted to block those who criticized her. The fact is that children - just like adults - come in all shapes and sizes. Judging someone's diet and eating habits based on a photo of this nature is absurd and unfair.
Skinny shaming is indeed as bad as fat shaming. Like a true mamma bear, Cavallari called out the folks for their unfounded accusations and wouldn't stand for them.
13 Charlize Theron
We've all been there. Mom has to deal with a kid having a tantrum for the whole world to see. Now, just imagine mom being a super famous celebrity with paparazzi chasing her. That's when the tantrum is literally for the whole world to see. In fact, Charlize Theron's child had a tantrum and she was photographed trying to get him into the car.
After OK! Magazine published the photos with a salacious headline and story, the Internet blew up with suggestions she was abusive. In the end, she was labeled a "monster mom" as a result of the publicity. Still, some fellow moms came to her defense because, let's face it, many a mom has had a toddler throw himself in the middle of a parking lot or near a street and had the same reaction as Theron.
Kara Illig, a mother to young children, wrote this for Redbook."The prefrontal cortex of the brain, (the area that regulates emotions and controls) only just begins to mature at the age of four. That, combined with stress, means young children are pretty much always ticking time bombs. So yeah, Charlize, you're not a bad mom because your kid threw a fit and you were trying to keep him safe."
12 Chrissy Teigen
John Legend's model wife Chrissy Teigen has faced her share of mom shaming on the Internet - and she's not going to put up with it. She came to Cavallari's defense when folks were picking on her. And don't mess with Teigen herself because she will rip you.
For example, she took heat from someone on Twitter for the way she was holding her baby in a photo, and she replied replete with foul language and disdain. She also made her Twitter feed private after that incident. Her husband also came to her defense on Twitter and suggested people shame him, too, so she doesn't always have to take the heat by herself.
Previously, Teigen had also been questioned on social media about a decision to go out to dinner shortly after given birth. The judgement by some was that it was too soon. Right, because new moms are not supposed to eat or take any me time. Note sarcasm. Team Teigen would.
11 Hilary Duff
Much like Teigen, actress Hilary Duff has faced mommy shaming multiple times. Her experiences include getting slammed for an on-the-lip kiss with her son at Disneyland a la Victoria Beckham and receiving a C-minus for her parenting from an old-school tabloid.
The latter piece included a photo of her dealing with her son's tantrum during a haircut. Duff has spoken out about being labeled as a bad mom, a frankly hurtful and unfair claim.
Duff told Elle in an interview how she felt her whole life was being picked apart by the media and random people. This particular situation, in which there are numerous accounts of people slamming Duff online, begs the question, "Who are we to judge?"
Why do complete strangers with nothing more than a photo or a comment online feel as though they have the authority to tutor someone else - public figure or not - on her parenting?
10 Reese Witherspoon
Many moms, even famous ones, enjoy cooking and baking for their kids. After all, feeding someone is a sign of love. Breaking bread together is a way to bond. That's why parenting experts are always encouraging families to gather around the dinner table, right?
So, when Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon posted a photo of a plate of cinnamon buns she shared with her toddler son, the response was shocking. Some followers were quick to tell Witherspoon that this was an unhealthy breakfast. "“Sugar and more sugar…oh, and one piece of fruit…That will definitely get the toddler moving,” wrote one follower, according to Huffington Post UK.
And another suggested that this was a "horrible" meal for a growing child, according to the same article. Some moms came to Witherspoon's defense. But most moms will admit that their children have had sweets on occasion, and in other cultures biscuits or cookies count as breakfast.
Just about every mother can probably relate to trying neat tricks (like making a smiley face with food) to get a child to eat something, anything at all.
9 Mila Kunis
When Mila Kunis breastfed in public, she took heat for it. The issue of breastfeeding is a hot button topic in the United States. But mothers in other parts of the world, even Europe, often breastfeed wherever they are without repercussions or judgment.
Kunis had to defend her breastfeeding. "I support every woman's choice in what she wants to do and whatever makes them happy, but for me, I did nurse my child and I literally breastfeed everywhere," Kunis said at the New York premiere of her movie Bad Moms, according to Vanity Fair.
"There were many times where I didn't bring a cover with me, and so I just did it in a restaurant, in the subway, in the park, at airports, and in planes. Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child, she's hungry. I need to feed her whether it's out of a bottle or out of my boob no matter where I was." This just goes to show that #momscantwin.
While no one should support shaming or judging other moms, there are times when the public can highlight mistakes and help moms and their kids. Discover some examples where some criticism might have done some good:
Nadya Suleman, who now goes by the name Natalie, became famous when she birthed a set of octuplets in 2009. She actually has 14 children and is a single mom and took on the moniker 'Octomom' in the media. Suleman has said Octomom became a character she played. She became notorious after she began posing nude and made a sex tape to make ends meet.
It was her children, who played a role, in turning her life around. Natalie said it was her oldest daughter Amerah that convinced her that it was time for a change. According to the interview Natalie gave with People, her daughter was 10 years old when she started emulating some of her mother's behavior.
When Suleman recognized the destructive path her daughter was on she realized that the time to change was NOW. Suleman told People Magazine"I’d rather be homeless in my van with all 14 kids than continuing down this path. It was not what I wanted for my children."
In fact, she has said that the sex tape is her biggest regret, but she says she remains honest about her past with her children for whom she is the sole caretaker.
7 Britney Spears
Britney Spears was a hot mess from about 2004 to 2008 as she was becoming a new mom. In fact, at the end of that time period she lost a custody battle with ex-husband Kevin Federline, the father of her children. Most people remember unfinished stints in rehab, her panty-less partying with Paris Hilton that included pics of her private parts, a hit and run accident, and shaving her head in a fit of rage for all the world to see.
Certainly, she wasn't able to care for babies at that time. She was investigated once for having her baby on her lap while she was driving and once when one of her sons fell from a high chair. She finally did go through rehab, and a court-approved conservatorship, which is put in place for those who can't care for themselves and has others making major decisions for her.
Spears suffers from an undisclosed mental illness and is a recovering addict, according to an article about Spears' comeback and the conservatorship in The New York Times. In fact, since that breakdown that had her smacking down a car with an umbrella and shaving her head, the pop singer has come a long way.
She now performs regularly in Las Vegas, has come out with new albums, and regularly posts photos of her with her children. Indeed, even Federline says that the two of them are able to co-parent successfully and don't have any beef between them, according to People. Some people have suggested (especially in that Times article) that Spears might not need the conservatorship anymore either.
But people stepping in and calling out her behavior made it possible for her to get help when she needed it most.
6 Brooke Mueller
Brooke Mueller, ex-wife of Charlie Sheen and mother to their 7-year-old twin boys, has a similar story to Britney Spears. Mueller has a history of drug abuse and mental illness. But she hasn't gotten her life together yet. At times, it has seemed as though she was going down the right path.
But as recently as November 2016, she was hospitalized after a bizarre incident in which she showed up barefoot at a bar in Utah with her nanny and children in tow. When she reportedly argued with the nanny, the authorities were called in and Mueller ended up being taken to a hospital. The children stayed with the nanny and then Mueller's mother, according to People.
Charlie Sheen himself had a well publicized breakdown that led him to leave his successful sitcom Two and a Half Men. Sheen is also known to have struggled with drug addiction for years. Although Mueller's mother says their sons' "lives are good," according to People, the public has to wonder if that's true.
Parents who are addicted to drugs are not healthy and can cause a lot of chaos for their children. In these cases, an intervention - being called out for their bad behavior - can sometimes help the addicts recognize the problem and do something about it. Let's hope that's what happens.
5 Jaid Barrymore
Mother to actress Drew Barrymore, Jaid famously brought her daughter to Studio 54 and introduced her to drugs, alcohol, and even men when she was as young as 8 or 9 years old, according to numerous sources, including the Guardian. When Drew was 13, she began cutting herself and was still getting intoxicated, and her mother had her institutionalized for a year and a half.
During that time, Drew has said that her mother occasionally visited her. When Drew got out of this facility, she sought and gained legal emancipation from her parents, Jaid and her absent father John Drew Barrymore. She was on her own from the time she was 14.
Despite these hardships, Drew has said she is grateful to her mother for bringing her into the world and that she hopes to be an involved, present, and stable force in the lives of her two daughters. In fact, Drew still supports her mother financially, she says, according to Vulture. Jaid was hardly a traditional mother and was largely absent from Drew's life.
When she was present, she failed to provide stability and led her child down the path of addiction at an awfully young age. Still, they have found peace now that Drew is an adult with children of her own.
4 Courtney Love
The relationship between Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter with the late Kurt Cobain, has been rocky from the start. Love also has a history of drug abuse and erratic behavior. There were rumors Love had used drugs during her pregnancy. She has repeatedly lost custody of her daughter.
The last time in 2009, Frances Bean was already 17 years old and she moved in with her paternal grandmother and aunt. Love has publicly criticized her in-laws and claimed they were really after money and not the welfare of her daughter, according to People. Love became a single mother in 1994, when Frances Bean was a baby, and Kurt, an admitted drug addict himself, committed suicide.
The cards seemed stacked against the family from the start. Still, the two have grown closer in recent years. In fall 2016, they were seen at fashion shows together, and Love supported Frances Bean as the 24-year-old went through a bitter divorce and was forced to pay spousal support to her ex, according to the Daily Mail.
3 Tamra Judge
Tamra Judge of Real Housewives of Orange County fame has been facing scrutiny for some years now over the custody of her three children with ex Simon Barney. This case is up for serious debate. Ordinarily, most clear-headed, decent people would say no one should judge this woman.
She says she has never lost custody of her children, but she has made her relationship with her kids and her divorce from their father a centerpiece of the reality show that airs on Bravo. Her eldest daughter Sidney chose to live with her father and has distanced herself from her mother, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Sidney, on occasion, has spoken out on social media about her dismay at her mother's desire to share their issues with the public on the reality show. Certainly, many other children of reality stars would be asking questions about whether their childhood and the parent-child relationship should have been in full view on TV.
2 Kate Gosselin
Much like Tamra Judge, Kate Gosselin has been sharing the story of her older twin daughters and sextuplets, who have been a fixture on TLC's reality show lineup on and off for years. People have been scrutinizing their every move from the beginning. Gosselin took much of the heat in the early years of the show when her ex-husband Jon was still living with them.
Many critics said she was demeaning to him and served as a poor role model for how to create an equitable partnership with a spouse. Behind the scenes, as it turns out, Jon was cheating on her. Still, no one is sure what came first - the chicken or the egg. E Online has reported that she was considered an "authoritarian mom" virtually from the start.
In 2009, the couple announced they were splitting at the close of the final season of Jon and Kate Plus Eight, the original series. While Jon virtually disappeared from public life, Kate and the kids charged forward. Many criticized Kate for keeping her family in the limelight rather than protecting their privacy during these challenging times.
Her argument remains that she does it for the money, a necessity with her being a single mom and having such a large brood. In recent years, she has faced scrutiny for the handling of her 12-year-old son Collin, who now lives at a facility to help him with his special needs.
Jon has publicly questioned Kate's decision to keep the family on TV and has suggested that he does not have enough access to his children. The two still have not found a way to co-parent despite having been divorced for years now.
1 Kris Jenner
The mother of all bad mothers is arguably Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashian clan. Many media outlets have suggested she exploits her kids to make money. She plays favorites and has admitted Kim is her favorite, according to BabyGaga. Jenner is accused of ignoring her stepchildren and supporting her daughter's sex tape, which launched the family to fame.
In addition, she encouraged Kim to also pose for Playboy, something most would not expect of a mother. On the air, Jenner has weighed in on her kid's weight. The list of examples of bad mothering goes on and on. The point is that she comes off as using her kids as a meal ticket and a way to stay famous and relevant and perhaps even youthful.
While many Americans enjoy binge watching the Kardashians, they also bash Jenner's parenting skills. If viewers are to believe what's on screen, then the bashing might not be totally unjustified.