I want to say, first of all, that I love Alicia Silverstone so much to death and I always will, and just thinking about her little Cher Horowitz face makes me feel as though an eternal golden summer is reigning in my heart. That said, some of the parenting advice she dispenses in her new book The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning (CATCHY) is sanctimonious bonk-bonk garbage.
The Daily Beast compiled some of Silverstone's more creative tips—for how to become what she calls a "kind mama"—including:
1. Your uterus is a "baby house" and if you eat meat and dairy then your baby is marinating in "toxic sludge."
2. Don't listen to the "pseudoscience" peddled by Big Diaper—all babies should just crawl around bottomless leaving little baby poo trails everywhere, and if you see a baby making its doodoo-face, grab it and hold it over the toilet real quick. Because "toxic sludge" is apparently not such a big deal when it's tracked all over your actual house. (Just have your maid clean it up later!)
3. You should pre-chew your child's food and then baby-bird it into their mouth. Like Alicia Silverstone literally does.
4. Not letting your child sleep with you and your partner and your other babies in the "Family Bed" is "tantamount to neglect."
5. Being vegan prevents and/or cures every single major and minor disease, including post-partum depression, and if you acquire any of said diseases it's because you are an unkind mama and also probably a fatty.
6. "Anecdotally," vaccines are baby-ruiners.
According to Drs. Roizen and Oz…While there has not been a conclusive study of the negative effects of such a rigorous one-size-fits-all, shoot-'em-up schedule, there is increasing anecdotal evidence from doctors who have gotten distressed phone calls from parents claiming their child was 'never the same' after receiving a vaccine. And I personally have friends whose babies were drastically affected in this way.
7. The vagina—or "chichi"—is "the most absorbent part of your body" (!?!?!?!), and tampons are murdering you from the inside.
8. Also she uses the word "yummy" a lot.
Now, here's the thing. I honestly believe that all of this is in good faith—I'm sure that Alicia Silverstone has a super fulfilling and "transcendent" relationship with her baby, and I'm sure that she genuinely wants to share her experiences with the world in hopes of helping other families be as radiant and balanced and "natural" as they can be. I think it's fantastic if she wants to do the poo-trail thing and the pre-chewing thing and the co-sleeping thing; they're not what I plan to do with my own children but I find Silverstone's quirky, beaming sincerity completely charming. And I mean that—I don't think there is one "right" way to be a parent. Unlike some people.
However. Back-handedly blaming suicidal mothers for their own illnesses because they didn't eat enough rainbow chard—in flippant terms like "though it's less common among kind mamas, some women experience the blues after giving birth"—is shockingly tone-deaf and not very "kind" at all. And spreading hysterical misinformation about vaccines (even if you're just criticizing vax schedules and not shilling a direct vaccine-to-autism connection) might not seem like a big deal to families that can afford high-quality out-of-pocket medical care, but it is a very big, life-and-death deal to the low-income and immunocompromised.
Other than that, aces. Carry on. I'll be over here mucking out my baby house!
on May. 8, 2014 at 5:50 AM