Anyone who knows me knows I am all about girl power so imagine how delighted I was when I heard 2018 had been proudly declared ‘the year of the woman’. Everywhere I look just now whether it be social media sites, celebrities in the media or clothing brands there is a massive focus on GIRL POWER. I absolutely love seeing so many strong women getting behind the year of the woman but recently I can’t seem to shake this feeling that all is not as it seems…
If you’re on any kind of social media platform maybe you’ve noticed it as well, every single day something has become common place….SHAMING. Yes every day without fail as I casually scroll through instagram (sometimes for a full hour when MJ naps) I see other women trolling other females posts. Everyone is well aware of what shaming is now, skinny shaming, fat shaming, slut shaming to name a few. I’ve been a victim of skinny shaming myself a few times, I’ve heard all the old classics “go eat a burger/men don’t like bones” but the most recent type of shaming I’ve come into contact with has to be the worst yet….MUM SHAMING.
When I had MJ a year and a half ago I assumed myself and other mums would be part of an exclusive support network with everyone battling the same struggles, helping each other through the tough times, how wrong was I?? Here are some personal choices you might make as a mother vs what criticism people online or even in your personal life may judge you over. ‘I didn’t breastfeed – worst kind of mother’ ‘I breastfed till my child was 3 – what a weird thing to do’ ‘I started exercising not long after I gave birth – selfish mother’ ‘Exercising is low on my list of priorities now – she’s let herself go’ These are only a few of the things I’ve witnessed mums be judged on but the list could go on.
I suppose my question is why? Why the constant need to judge others decisions purely because they’re different to yours? What shocked me most about being exposed to mum shaming was the fact that one mother could so easily judge another! Motherhood is like nothing I ever imagined, the last thing a new mother needs on top of all the other shit she has going on is someone to be raising their eyebrows judging her choices. I grew a thick skin quite quickly and can now overlook the raised eyebrows but trust me I still get them, YES my child still drinks milk out of a bottle when I know he should be drinking it from a cup. And please nobody ask me one more time when I plan on taking his dummy away.
It’s currently March 2018 there has never been a wider social platform to have your voice and opinion heard. Shouldn’t we be teaching our little girls/sisters/nieces to use this to their advantage? We should be teaching them about power, self respect and ambition not letting them think that going on another females instagram pictures and leaving a barrage of comments based on their looks is in anyway acceptable or common place. Grown women leave hurtful comments online everyday, what is this showing our younger generation of girls? and maybe even more importantly our younger generation of boys, no wonder men think it’s ok to tear a female down based on her looks when all they see is women constantly belittling each other over how they look. I want my son to grow up knowing what strong women look like, I want him to grow up and know respect.
When I was little I loved disney films, I always wanted to be a princess. Recently I stared thinking about the princesses that I adored, the majority of them had one thing in common – they were all waiting on a man to save them. Nowadays things have changed there has never been more kick ass females to look up to, modern day princesses are everywhere and while I still find cinderella and her girl gang endearing the modern day girl gangs that are emerging will be a force to be reckoned with and I find that pretty amazing.