No one escapes the
giant eye of mom judgment—not even Beyoncé, apparently. The
superstar is getting backlash for recent comments about her
grandest achievement. In an upcoming interview with Garage magazine,
the singer said, "Out of everything I've accomplished, my proudest
moment hands down was when I gave birth to my daughter Blue."
Many are puzzled by
Beyoncé's view. Are we really to believe that a baby might be more
noteworthy than 20 Grammy awards or amassing hundreds of millions
of dollars? At the heart of this criticism lies an insinuation that
having a baby isn't really an accomplishment. Anyone can have
one, right? (Try telling that anyone who's had trouble conceiving!)
happened to feminism?" pleads this line of criticism.
What this view
ignores is that a woman's ability to determine her own views and
values is at the heart of feminism. Motherhood is a transformative
experience for so many, why should it be less so for Beyoncé? You
simply don't get to tell her what should be most important to her.
Another kind of
critic laments that "domestic" values must always come first for
women. This suggests that Beyoncé only said her daughter is her
greatest achievement because women get judged—harder—for
championing work over family. One
such critic says Beyoncé is constrained by cultural norms that
require her to care about babies above all else, whether she wants to
To this, I have to
say, do you even know Beyoncé? She's one of the most powerful women
in the world. Everything she does, she does without apology. Her
artistic work has challenged cultural norms about what it means to be
a woman, wife and mother. Few women have the ability to truly live
according to their own rules, but Beyoncé is certainly one of them.
I mean, she doesn't follow
anyone on Instagram. Need we say more?
Beyoncé tells us she's proudest of her daughter Blue, we should
Although I'm an
average, non-superstar mom, I appreciate the discussion, because I
know what Beyoncé is talking about. In fact, this might be the only
thing I have in common with Beyoncé. Pushing my daughter into the
world and the moment she was placed in my arms? My whole universe was
shattered and recomposed in an instant. Without a doubt, giving birth
is the most wondrous thing of which I've ever been a part. It was me
going to my farthest edge of pain and fear, and coming back with a
Just as much as
feminism empowers us to lean out toward out careers, it empowers us
to lean in toward our families. Make no mistake, motherhood is hard.
It's putting on a show seven nights a week for a pint-size audience.
There's no wind machine here.
Like every mom, I'm
no stranger to being on the receiving end of judgment for my
decisions. Did you go back to work right away? Did you take extended
time off? Did you breastfeed or use formula? Did you have an only
child or too many? There's no winning. So maybe we moms need to stop