By now you are familiar with the story of the birth photographer who told a potential customer her cesarean delivery wasn’t a real birth. The photographer chastised the pregnant woman for “cutting corners” and choosing surgery over vaginal birth. The alleged text message exchange was first posted on the Sanctimommy Facebook page and has since been covered by Scary Mommy, Daily Mail, Glamour and more. Mom groups buzz with disdain for the photographer and disbelief over her insensitivity.
How could someone who works with pregnant women be so cruel?
I’d say ask the photographer, but, she doesn’t exist.
Yup, this so-called exchange fueling the mom wars never happened.
The whole thing was made up by a woman named Kayla Eby; the same woman who convinced her husband she adopted a pet coyote. We all laughed at her hilarious Photoshopped pics and sent this woman into viral fame.
Apparently, it wasn’t enough.
When her 15 minutes of Internet fame ended, Eby thought it would be a hoot to just make more shit up. Hey, it worked before. Instead of sticking with funny spoofs, she attempted? satire and managed to rip open the emotional wounds of thousands of women in the process. I have no doubt the photographer, if she were real, would have had her head on the proverbial stick. What’s worse, is the undeserved sympathy garnered for Eby. Sympathy, which we could direct at the millions of women who experience real birth shaming.
What did Eby do once she was outed? She attacked the women who called her out, and called them, “twats.” Classy.
Eby said she wanted to help women who were shamed for their births feel supported. Nothing wrong with that. There are many ways to show your solidarity. Here’s a great meme from January Harshe of Birth Without Fear.
See how easy that was?
I hear some of you saying, “She was just being funny.”
I get it. I love satire, and my taste in humor runs darker than the soul of Steve Bannon. Good satire tows the line between the real and the ridiculous. It is the difference between The Onion and the bullshit fake news sites.
This wasn’t good satire. The joke soared over our heads and crashed landed in a minefield of pissed off women.
The irony is there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of real instances of professionals shaming women over their health care choices. Eby could have easily shared one of those. She could have parlayed her earlier viral fame into a rallying cry for moms.
Instead, she put more drama and anger in the world.
Here’s hoping she wins us back with her original lighthearted humor.