“Facebook group bashes toddler and baby photos”
I assumed it had to be fake or link bait or something of that nature. There’s no way that a bunch of people on Facebook were making fun of infants. Except, there is a way and there were people doing just that.
Essentially, a group of mostly women, many of them mothers themselves, belonged to a “secret” Facebook group where they posted other people’s pictures of babies, many of them very young infants, for everyone to discuss and, well, let’s call a spade a spade here, to mock. The commenters discussed and dissected the appearances of these babies as if it were some sort of game, comparing them to ugly cartoon characters and discussing what they’d look like when they grow up.
According to the article, the comments included things like, “You can absolutely not fix ugly.” when discussing a picture of an infant. And “An ugly baby thread.. I have died and gone to heaven. Why can’t you guys live near me so we can do this over cocktails?” because apparently this was fun? And in case there was confusion over whether these women knew what they were doing was wrong, one said after commenting that “I’m probably going to hell for saying that.” According to one report, some of the pictures included babies with special needs.
I’m trying really hard to stay even keeled on this, but honestly, I’m horrified. I have worked hard to not let my heckles get raised and not cry bully at the first sign of disagreement on the internet (a lesson I learned the hard way), but I can’t come up with any other way to describe this. These women stole pictures from parents, pictures of their infants, of their new babies, for the sole intention of making fun of them. If that’s not some sort of bullying and at least several kinds of wrong, I’m just not sure what it is.
I think this is particularly appalling to me because they weren’t discussing adults who had altered their appearance or people who had made themselves look a certain way, they were mocking babies. Having a baby is one of the most joyous occasions in a woman’s life and to steal a picture of someones infant, of their pride and joy, and call them ugly or unfixable is just terribly wrong. I can only imagine how I would feel if someone did this to a picture of my son. Many babies (and adults!) go through phases that aren’t move star glamorous, but parents should feel okay to share a picture of their infant with their friends without feeling like their baby is going to be mocked by strangers.
Even though my son is still a baby, we have worked hard in our house to not comment negatively on appearances. Not our own appearances, not people on tv, not people in public. We don’t want our son to grow up thinking that it’s okay to judge people by their appearance, or to ever put anyone down for not fulfilling someone’s definition of beauty. And I think it’s absolutely shameful that a group of adults were doing just that.
If we want to teach our children to be kind, we need to lead by example. These women should be ashamed of what they have done and the example they are setting for young people. And I can only hope that the public outcry that has followed this news story will help push us forward and help these women find the compassion they are so obviously lacking.