Why Shawn Johnson Is Defending Herself From Mom-Shamers

Former Olympian Shawn Johnson seemed to be living the dream. Happily married to her football player hubby Andrew East, she had finally given birth to long-awaited daughter Drew Hazel East after an earlier tragic miscarriage in 2017. Excited about all of her 3-month-old's baby milestones, she recently took to Instagram like millions of other proud new parents, posting a sweet video to share with her followers. This clip, which featured mom and baby on the beach, caused controversy among her followers for showing the seemingly innocent act of Johnson gently turning her baby in a 360 degree circle, or, as she captioned her post, "Roo's first flip!!"

While Johnson went on to clarify that Drew was, in fact, "PERFECTLY safe," warning any would-be trolls "so don't even haha," well, trolls gonna troll. Poor Shawn found out, as so many other mothers have, that mom-shaming is a thing... a thing with a sting.

Shamers gonna shame, even when it's Shawn Johnson

One of the top comments on Johnson's video, posted the same day, was quite judgmental:

"While she may have been perfectly safe, sometimes you are a bit rough handling such a young baby." Not content to criticize the flip alone, this commenter went on to rip Johnson for "not making [the baby] warm enough when you take her out," saying "She needs at least socks if not shoes, as well, and hats."

While the critical comment did receive 233 likes, most of the replies to that comment sided with Johnson. Many pointed out that an Olympian gymnast would know more than most about how to support the body safely, while others noted that there's no way Johnson's critic could have been able to tell the temperature from the video alone, much less know what type of clothing would be appropriate under those unknown circumstances. One self-identified mom said simply, "You need to keep your [opinions] to yourself, you give grandmothers and mother in laws a bad name."

Shawn Johnson didn't bow down to the mom-shamers

While Johnson may have appreciated those Instagrammers who came to her defense, she wasn't about to suffer this mom-shaming incident in silence. On an Instagram story she posted in response (via Yahoo!), Johnson appeared baffled that anyone would feel the need to criticize her — or any mom — in such a public forum. She went on to say, "There's comments that come across like, 'You're doing this wrong. How could you do this to your child?' And those just aren't good, those aren't nice. Those aren't worth the effort, and they make mamas feel like crap. All of us mamas are doing the best that we can. We're trying, we're crying, we're pushing our way through it."

While she confessed that "none of us [moms] know what in the heck we're doing and we're all just trying to figure it out," she suggested that everyone just "be kind [and] talk to people the way you would want your daughter or your son to talk to people. And just be nice. And stop picking on our little babies, ok?"

You tell 'em, Shawn. Let's make mom-shaming something to be ashamed of.