In an age of sharing everything on social media, Chrissy Teigen has every right to open up about losing her baby.
Last week, model and activist Chrissy Teigen suffered the unimaginable pain of losing her third child just after giving birth. Teigen shared the news to her 32.7 million followers with a moving Instagram statement detailing the “deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before.” Her post was accompanied by several heart-breaking black and white images which included one of her crying in her hospital bed.
The images were clearly distressing and poignantly depicted the utter pain and grief that Teigen and her husband were facing. Almost directly after sharing the post, Teigen received an outpouring of supportive and sympathetic comments from her followers who praised her for being so brave and open in such a difficult time. However, she also faced significant backlash from various media outlets who believed her post was oversharing and that the post made them feel uneasy. This sentiment was echoed by the hosts of ITV’s Loose Women in a discussion regarding the validity of Teigen’s post. In an episode that aired just hours after the announcement, Carol McGiffin claimed she felt ‘uncomfortable’ when reading the statement and her co-host Nadia Sawalha added that she ‘just felt like it was not something she (I) should be witnessing.’
Comments like these precisely highlight the stigma that still surrounds people opening up about negative experiences on social media and the culture of suffering in silence. It is estimated that social media users are now spending an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes per day multi-networking across various social networks and messaging apps. This is an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes spent digesting the highlight reels of other people’s lives. Teigen is well-known for her large online presence and had been sharing the details of her pregnancy for the last few months. This is now common practise for mothers-to-be and
women of a certain age often find their Instagram consisting entirely of joyous pregnancy scans and new-born babies.
This depiction of pregnancy is obviously not entirely accurate though. It is estimated by March of Dimes (the US non-profit organisation which works to support the health of mothers and babies) that around 1 in 100 babies are stillborn each year in the United States and 10-15% pregnancies end in miscarriages. Despite these high statistics, it is rare to come across posts that detail this and prospective parents could be forgiven for thinking that they are alone in experiencing this grief and negativity after giving birth. It is evident, that there is a demand for this open discussion about losing a child, as off-com received 261 complaints about the opinions expressed on Loose Women this week, and many more took to social media to criticise the panel for being so insensitive.
It is getting to a point where people are becoming tired of the carefully curated façade of Facebook and Instagram, and rather than criticising Teigen for oversharing, we should be grateful that in her darkest time she was real, open and honest.
Featured Image Source: CNN News