In a couple of weeks I will heading to Toronto to speak at the “Mega MIRCI Conference.” The Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) is an academic based organization that publishes books, papers, and hosts conferences around various topics surrounding motherhood. For the conference later this month, I’ll be speaking under the umbrella of “Communicating Motherhood / Mothers Communicating “High Culture” to Pop Culture to New Social Media” and you know I have a few things to say about that.
In fact, my talk will be focusing on the Good Mother Myth (what else?) and since I’ve been steeped in the final stages of editing my book (it heads to layout next week!!!!!!!!), I figure I’m pretty well versed on this topic. Yet, that still doesn’t prevent me from feeling like I’ve been slapped in the face when I come across things like this:
The latest cover of Star “magazine” basically writes my MIRCI talk for me. This is what we’re up against. This is why the Good Mother Myth prevails. We continue to pit women against each other in order to fill pages, make profit, and fuel these unrealistic notions of motherhood.
The entire cover is absurd. They’re using random snapshots of women, framed by stories from “unidentified sources” to score mothers? If I wasn’t boiling over in anger I’d laugh it’s so absurd. But the worst part of it all? There are people that buy it. They don’t just buy the magazine, but they buy into the idea that we can score women based on how they tackle motherhood. The judgment dripping off of this cover – unfortunately – does seep into the minds and thoughts of women reading it, causing them to question their own choices and mothering skills. It also seeps into the minds of others who then feel validated in calling out or judging other mothers for things that – in the grand scheme of things – don’t really matter.
What matters is that we’re able, somehow, to make it work everyday. That we manage to balance life and work and family and everything, despite not having the best support system to see us through. We shouldn’t be grading each other, we should be providing support to do as best we can without fear of judgment, shame or ridicule. But that’s not going to happen if covers like this continue to be published.
Join me in raising your voices against exploitative and shameful covers like this one. Because really? This bs has got to end.