A mom-of-three has been openly trashed after participating in an intimate photo shoot with her husband.
Canadian photographer Trina Cary wanted to “showcase self-love, couples love, postpartum and body confidence all in one go.” She found the perfect client in Mel and husband Gabby. After all, Mel had had three babies in the space of a year, and though her husband was supportive, she struggled to “adapt and fall in love” her postpartum body.
“You don’t have time to think of the way you look most days, but sometimes you catch a glimpse of your body and hardly even recognize the reflection staring back,” Mel wrote in a blog post. “[Gabby] still thought I looked as beautiful as the day he met me. It was time for me to feel the same about myself and set an example for my girls.”
The photos soon went viral. But instead of women celebrating a fellow woman, the internet was quick to disparage the shoot and slut-shame Mel. Some openly judged her body, saying she was too “skinny to be insecure” while others called her a “slut and a hoe.”
When I first read the story, I kept scrolling through the images, waiting for the ‘aha moment.’ Where were all the "slutty" photos? Where was this “skinny hoe” of which everyone spoke?
I saw nothing but an intimate moment captured between a married couple who clearly love each other.
So where was all this judgment coming from? Why all the hate? Was it because the images were publicized? Well, photographers like Cary have businesses to promote. You can’t be a photographer without showing off your actual handiwork...
It saddens me that any confidence Mel gained as a result of doing the shoot has long been eroded by the negativity. So much for acceptance.
Anytime you put yourself out there online you become a ready target. Every day that bar is lowered, and even a kiss between a mother and child spurs hate and judgment. Seriously, is anything or anyone immune anymore?
Interestingly, no one had a bad word to say about Mel’s husband, even though he too was exposed in the photos. Go figure.
Cary lashed out “the authors of these [hateful] comments because they are the ones who need a session like this most but will never have the courage or strength to do one. They are the ones shrouded in jealousy and insecurities and choose to reply out of spite.”
Here's what some of our wise bloggers here at YMC had to say:
"It makes me sick that anyone feels they have the right to comment on and shame another person's body size or shape. I've struggled my entire life with body acceptance and it's stories like this that really take the wind out of my sails." ~ Ashley MacInnis
"I will never have the body I had before motherhood and I am (mostly) completely okay with that. I deal with this "new normal" by poking fun at my own (never anyone else's) jiggles and bumps. Chocolate helps too :) Lots and lots of chocolate. As for the Internet haters... if you put yourself out there, you can expect commentary from all sides. It may not be fair, but it's reality. Unhappy people can't help but try to make others miserable too so all this shaming must mean there's a lot of dissatisfaction all around. Sad." ~ Andrea Mulder-Slater
"I thought it was beautiful... but it doesn't matter what I think, it matters what that woman thought. Did she do it to empower others or did she do it because she wanted to feel good about herself? If its the latter than it should never have been shared online at all. Anything online seems to be subject to judgment and objectification. The internet has become a sad, sad place. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but that doesn't mean they are entitled to express it publicly or directed at a target. That's bullying. What happened to "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"?" ~ Catherine Coode
I personally love these photos. And even though I’ll probably never be comfortable enough to put myself out there the way Mel did, that does not give me or anyone else the right to comment on her or her body. As women we have to move past this sense of entitlement. All it does is serve to make us look petty and cruel.
As one commenter put it, if you don’t like what you see, there’s this little thing called a ‘back’ button. All you have to do is press it and carry on with your day.
Image Credit: Trina Cary
You can't be the on the interwebs for long without coming across something about Pokémon GO, the Nintendo smartphone app taking the entire globe by storm.
So far the app isn't even available in Canada (creators are rolling it out slowly so their servers can keep up). But parents need to be prepared because once it's here, there's no turning back.
One good thing about Canada lagging behind places like the US, Australia and now the UK, is that we can learn from the foibles of those countries.
What we know for sure: the game is a highly addictive game form of geocaching using augmented reality (AR) tech. The app relies on a phone's camera, GPS location tracking and map. Pokémon are planted all over town, at public landmarks and even sometimes private residences. Users are tasked with finding and "catching" the critters - some 720 of them. The more rare the Pokémon, the farther its location.
This is great news for children who previously just sat in front of their Xbox. GO gets kids outside and it gets them active. It gets them interacting with strangers and making new friends.
On the flipside, GO is worrying in terms of safety. (It gets them interacting with strangers!) Distracted users have also been involved in road accidents, both for drivers and for pedestrians.
So before your child plays, here's what you need to know:
The hyper-reality of the game is what makes it cool for kids and scary for adults because, as this article states, GO "opens a lot of potential for new, unregulated experiences." It stands to reason that being so invested in play can make someone vulnerable. In the heat of the excitement, children may forget the ground rules.
One concern is that those little Pokémon don’t sleep, ever. So they could nudge you out of your neighbourhood at 3 a.m. Kids could unwittingly ignore and even overstep the bounds of private property trying to catch critters. They could forget all about decorum and common sense.
To that end, you'll want your kids to avoid wandering into strange neighbourhoods, especially if they aren't paying attention to anything but their expensive smartphone. Robberies happen.
The upshot: Pokémon GO won't let others access your entire Google account, though no doubt as the game gets more popular hackers will try to find creative ways to hack. Worth bearing in mind, however, is that GO uses lots of cellular data and since the app draws on camera and GPS, it sucks the life out of your battery faster than you can say Pikachu.
GO is free, with plenty of click-ad bait as you would suspect. Insiders recommend winning Pokécoins through gym battles and by following lures instead of purchasing coins.
Pokémon GO looks fun, and no doubt the hype will prove irresistible for many children (and many adults!). Your best bet is to get out there and play "catch" with them.
As with any tech, forewarned is forearmed.
Designer and mom-of-four Victoria Beckham innocently posted a photo on Instagram of her kissing her daughter Harper on the lips. Cue outrage.
Somehow a sweet pic celebrating her five year old's birthday was deemed "weird" and "strange."
Tell me, since when is it "weird" to kiss your own kindergartner?
The 42-year-old former Spice Girl can't win. As long as you are active on social media, there is someone somewhere who will find something you say or do offensive. It's just a law of averages. But to the average mom, kissing your young child on the mouth is typical behaviour and a natural mark of affection.
Fortunately fellow moms raced to Beckham's defence by posting their own kid-kissing images.
"I love my daughter with every fibre in my body and for someone to say it's wrong is disgusting," said mom Emma Hambleton. "It's a sad world we live in that a picture of a mother kissing her daughter can be turned into something other than the pure love that it is meant to be."
Sad, indeed. Sexualizing a mom's kiss is on par with sexualizing breastfeeding. Sure, maybe not every family shows the same level of affection with its members. Some people aren't big and overt when it comes to displays. Either way, it's no reflection of the love you feel for your kids.
I personally kissed my mom on the mouth up until adulthood! As for my son, I don't know at what age I will stop kissing him on the lips. He's seven now, and maybe that has already gone on too long for some people's tastes. I figure it will naturally run its course and, like breastfeeding, I will follow his cues when it comes to turning a chaste cheek.
One day he'll up and decide he's too cool for all that. So for now I am soaking up all the kisses and cuddles I can. As should Victoria Beckham. If anyone objects, that's their issue.