What exactly does a mother look like? For 14 years, I’ve been asking myself this question. This week, I find myself asking the question yet again because recently Jessica Simpson created quite the stir when she posted an Instagram photo of her doing the unthinkable…given that she’s a mother of two.
Yes, Jessica Simpson dared to wear almost nothing, while posing for a boudoir-style shot, wearing a low-cut emerald green looking robe, showing off both her cleavage and her thighs. The cherry on the top? Her pouty red lips.
SHAME!!! SHAME ON JESSICA SIMPSON! I kid. Really. I kid. I kid, unlike the posters and trolls who came out in droves to shame the celebrity for posting a photo that was, I suppose, ‘too’ sexy for a ‘mother’ to wear. Whatever that means. At least according to the trolls.
The comments, especially the ones that just HAD to mention that she was a mother, were appalling. One commenter wrote, ‘Is this how a mother of two children really wants to act? Get it together Jessica, those days should be behind you.’ Another: ‘Great example for your daughter.’ And, finally, ‘Getting Ready for a P.T.A. meeting?’
Sigh. Where do I even begin? First, I do think, unlike the troll who commented, that those days aren’t behind her. I think she looks sexy and beautiful and in the spirit of the holidays in the photo. I never once thought, ‘She looks sexy…for a mother!’
Why should ‘those days’ of her posting sexy pictures be behind her? In fact, how is Simpson ‘acting?’ She’s a celebrity. She has fans. She is beautiful. Of course, she’s going to pose sexy photos for her fans, and even for herself. Going even further, I would argue that she is setting a good example for her daughter, by showing off such confidence.
Poor (but-in-reality-billionaire) Simpson just can’t seem to win when it comes to what a mother is supposed to look like. Either she looks too much like a mother or not enough like a mother. Again, what exactly does a mother look like, because I’m a mother and I don’t think there’s another woman in the world who looks exactly like me. All my mother friends look different. We are not carbon cutouts of each other. But, again, Simpson can’t seem to win.
How can we forget the infamous ‘Mom Jean Situation’ Simpson found herself in 2009 when she was photographed at the Chilli Cook Off in Pembroke Pines, Florida, wearing a (somewhat hideous) very high-waisted pair of jeans, otherwise known for years as ‘Mom Jeans.’ (If you can tell me where the person who came up with the term, ‘Mom Jeans’ lives, let me know. I need to shoot off an angry e-mail)
Back then, the Internet tore Simpson apart, with headlines about her alleged fuller figure including the oh-so-nice headlines like, ‘Jessica Simpson Shocks Fans with Noticeably Fuller Figure.’ But, in fact, I think most people talked about that photo, not because of her figure, but because of the ‘Mom Jeans,’ that covered up almost everything. It seems the trolls hate her when she really covers up and also when she really shows off her body. So it’s lose-lose for Simpson.
Now here we are, nearly a decade later, obsessing again over what Simpson is wearing and only because she’s a mother. If she weren’t a mother, and let’s say a single child-free woman, I’m pretty sure the comments would be, ‘You look gorgeous!’ And, ‘Wow! Sexy photo!’ But, apparently, in troll-world, you can’t be a mother and also look sexy. Apparently, being sexy means you suck at being a mother because no mother is sexy, or at least no mother should flaunt how sexy they are.
Our own Prime Minister can go running shirtless and his photo plastered across every media outlet, and not one person has ever said, ‘Hey Prime Minister. You’re a Dad now. Those days of running shirtless should be behind you.’ Or, ‘Hey Justin Trudeau! Those Dad Jeans look awful on you!’ (Is there such a thing as ‘Dad Jeans,’ or just ‘Boyfriend jeans?’ I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly sure what a mother is supposed to look like because no one will tell me. If you’re a mother, I guess you could figure out what a mother looks like by, um, looking in the mirror and seeing your reflection.
But this assumption that you can’t wear a bikini or you can’t wear a cleavage-baring shirt anymore because you are now a mother really irks me. Plus, the suggestion that, just because you have children, your entire style has to change, is just so old-school. And when did what you wear—whether it’s a ratty old bathrobe or a tight leather skirt—equal good (or bad) parenting? What you wear doesn’t make you a good parent. Yet, still, the trolls seem to think that once you become a mother, you’re supposed to look like a mother, yet no one will or can ever come right down to it and say, ‘This is what a mother looks like.’ Because there is no one way for a mother to look.
If there is, please let me know ASAP. Because I’m heading south where this mother will be on a beach wearing a bikini. To the mother trolls who think I should be wearing a pioneer dress since I’m a mother and have to be a role model for my daughter, I say, ‘You can wear a snowsuit to the beach if you want. But you’re not a better mother.’ Mothers always ask themselves, ‘How do we find balance in our life?’ I think I sort of figured that one out. But I don’t think I’ll ever figure out what a mother is supposed to look like. Take a look at the photo and let us know your thoughts?