Every member of the Kardashian family is familiar with critique and judgment — but in recent months, Kylie Jenner has been forced to come to terms with an extra layer of public ridicule.
Jenner initially seemed open with sharing photos and updates about her daughter Stormi, who was born in early February — but as a controversial celebrity mom, the 20-year-old has dealt with everything from rumors about Stormi’s true parentage to weirdly specific photoshop accusations.
All things considered, it’s not altogether surprising that Jenner recently decided to wipe her social media accounts of all photos that clearly showed her baby’s face.
Although she did not offer any further explanation for the Instagram cleanse, a selection of comments under the @commentsbycelebs post may give a little insight into the decision — and demonstrate exactly the issue for celebrity moms like Jenner.
“Probably the worst mother of all time,” one person wrote.
“She waiting until [Stormi] gets her surgery,” another wrote.
“She’s clearly not pleased with her baby’s appearance,” reads another comment. “Thats why they’re always plastering those babies with stupid Snapchat filters. Dumb, shallow family.”
While some fans came to her defense (“wow god forbid the Kardashians and Jenners have privacy in other areas of their lives, like keeping their children out of the public eye … She doesn’t owe anyone anything”), it remains clear that criticism, speculation, and mom-shaming commentary follow Jenner through every post and decision.
To further understand Jenner’s conundrum, INSIDER asked parenting specialist and child psychologist Dr. Tovah Klein about the implications of posting photos of children on social media.
While Klein did acknowledge that there isn’t much research on the subject, there is much to be said about sacrificing a child’s privacy — sometimes before they can even speak.
“Children’s lives are real. Much goes on while growing up that is difficult and challenging, as well as fun and happy. And yet, that is [each child’s] own life; it is personal and private. There is no way for a young child or even an older child to give consent or not give consent to being displayed publicly,” Klein told INSIDER. “So I do have concerns about all the photo and story-sharing that some parents do, and respect Jenner’s decision to try to avoid that — although that is hard in this era of celebrity worship and social media.”
Klein also noted that she’d have concerns about encouraging narcissism and self-centered behavior in young children growing up in the public eye.
Additionally, sharing photos of “personal, intimate moments” may bring that same child a sense of shame or embarrassment later in life, according to Klein.
“Being a parent is hard enough, filled with ups and downs. The same could be said for being a child,” she told INSIDER. “[Posting photos on social media] too often leads to a lot of parent-shaming and parent-criticizing. That goes against what parents and children need, which is support and empathy, especially when there are struggling moments — which there are for every parent, from babyhood to teen years and beyond.”
While we don’t know exactly why Jenner made this surprising move, we do know that every mother is entitled to making decisions that she believes are the best for her children.
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