A couple of days ago, I noticed you promoting Mom is Here, a challenge of sorts, a giveaway that encourages mothers to take the filters off their phones for thirty days and upload pictures of themselves and their children to your website and to Instagram with the tags #momishere and #nofilters30.
Ummmmm.....couple of things. Well. Lets start with a quote from the webpage:
"When you become a mom, life gets real. And Sprout knows that’s a real beautiful thing. Sprout wants you, moms, to share the real beauty of being a mom by removing your filter for the 30 days leading up to Mother’s Day. Share your daily, candid photos with us..."
Now, Sprout- and please forgive me for this tone, because I know that you must have meant well with this thing, of course, because we all mean well to some extent- I'm not certain when filters were introduced to the public but I'm guessing, you know, they were meant to soften and blur, sometimes in an artistic way, sometimes because it gives the features a more pleasing appearance. This is still "real." A mom with a child on her lap taking a selfie with a filter is real; feels real love; is a human being. I mean....there's generations and generations of maternal guilt and self loathing that you've tapped into here- again, not your fault, but you should understand the history. This shit is loaded, man.
A small story: after I gave birth to my daughter, now six, I had just been transferred to a room, and, having had an epidural, my legs were still numb and I was unable to walk. Also, the doctor had performed an episiotomy, so at that moment, and for several days, I could not bear down without an excruciating amount of pain. My nurse walked in and looked past my groggy exhaustion to a pile of library books resting on the nightstand beside me. She picked one up, examined it with something like distaste, and said, "Oh, you have time to read?" I'd just become a mother. My insides were, for all intents and purposes, heading outside, and it was already unacceptable for me to have a goddamn minute to myself.
Do you see that, Sprout? Can you understand that? As mothers we undergo a massive amount of scrutiny from outside, from inside, from one another, and this is fraught with an endless dichotomy. There is a general understanding that the role of motherhood is all-encompassing, and woe to the poor fool who wants to be attractive, who needs a few hours to herself, who sees herself as a sexual being when sex is not just a means of release for her mate, or a bartering tool when she craves some trip or shiny thing. You, your channel, this challenge, have turned clumsily around and bumped your ass on everything wrong with the common perception of motherhood.
30 days, no filter. You....you must assume that the child is with their mother every minute of the day. At the office. At the grocery store. In the bathroom, in front of the mirror. And, what, really, can be proven by any of this? As a woman far more clever than I pointed out earlier today, why does being present, being here, have the slightest thing to do with talking a selfie? A millisecond captured, without filter, insinuating that the rest of the day has been as magical. And, don't think I didn't catch the mild shade at celebrities, Sprout. We really like to shame others sometimes, I think, others who enjoy the luxury of things such as lots of money, lots of sleep, nice things and extra help. By your logic, what kind of mom is Kim Kardashian, say? With her beautiful hair and complexion, and her clothes bereft of baby vomit. Does she even know her own child, so distracted by her filters and Photoshop and make up? Well, how dare you. How dare any of us.
In closing, I guess I'd suggest that you reconsider whatever filter-less "real beauty" you covet, and that certainly, despite this-
" ELIGIBILITY: Open only to women who are 18 years of age or older who are a parent/legal guardian of a child 8 years old and under (“Mother”) and who are legal residents of the 50 United States (“U.S.”) and the District of Columbia. Men may submit an Entry, as described in Section 3, on behalf of a Mother, but for purposes of this Promotion the Mother featured in the Entry will be deemed the Contestant. "