Model and left-wing activist Emily Ratajkowski is facing backlash on social media after she posted a photo of her appearing to hold her baby as if it were a cheap prop for a photo-op.
Wearing matching bathing suits, the photo featured Ratajkowski stoically staring into the camera while she hugged her baby close with one arm. “That’s not how you hold a baby,” tweeted Piers Morgan. “And your millions of followers shouldn’t be encouraged to do the same. Happy to give you some tips if you need them.”
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) June 7, 2021
Other social media users posted side-by-side photographs of the model appearing to hold a dog in the same position.
“Dogs and babies are not props for your ig photos, hold them with two hands. This has been a PSA,” tweeted one user.
— 𝖘𝖕𝖎𝖓𝖊𝖑𝖑𝖎 (@LaurenM8123) June 7, 2021
Other users were concerned for the well-being of the baby, fearing that its three-month-old neck could snap.
“You know holding the baby like that could snap it’s neck right? Babies that age can’t hold their heads up straight, they need someone to support them while being held. It’s literally common sense and the most basic parenting knowledge,” said one user.
“May one respectfully suggest this young lady gets advice from a qualified midwife on holding any baby. She will find that even in this day and age supporting the babies head is essential to the health and safety of any young baby,” said another user.
“All she is trying to achieve in this photo, is how flat her stomach is, just after giving birth… sorry but who bloody cares? As for the poor baby’s neck maybe she thinks her picture is more important than her child’s health?” said another.
Others defended Ratajkowski, accusing her detractors of “mom-shaming.”
“People love to be judgmental,” Dr. Tamar Gur, a psychiatrist and women’s health expert at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, told Yahoo Life. “All new parents are incredibly hard on themselves. Our biggest fear for parents is that we’re not good enough and shaming does a huge disservice.”
Emily Ratajkowski gave birth to a baby boy in March. In October of last year, she promised not to force gender preconceptions on her baby.
“When my husband and I tell friends that I’m pregnant, their first question after ‘Congratulations’ is almost always ‘Do you know what you want?’ We like to respond that we won’t know the gender until our child is 18 and that they’ll let us know then,” Ratajkowski penned in an essay for Vogue.
Ratajkowski concluded that forcing gender preconceptions onto babies damages them in the long run.
“I don’t like that we force gender-based preconceptions onto people, let alone babies,” she wrote. “I want to be a parent who allows my child to show themself to me. And yet I realize that while I may hope my child can determine their own place in the world, they will, no matter what, be faced with the undeniable constraints and constructions of gender before they can speak or, hell, even be born.”
“I used to call myself superstitious, but now I understand it another way. The idea that I could ‘jinx’ something or the belief that I could project my thoughts in a particular way to bring about a certain result is actually called ‘magical thinking,’ a coping mechanism one develops to make oneself feel more in control,” she continued.
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