Why do we need to know that Alicia Silverstone likes taking baths with her tweenage son?
Live and let live, writes Amanda Cassidy. But the real problem when it comes to celebrity stories like this is simply TMI.
It is hard to get the image out of my head — of a 43-year-old dipping naked with her pre-pubescent tween. And it shouldn’t be in there in the first place.
There are some things in life we choose to do that others don’t always need to know — especially when it comes to parenting. And this is one of them.
Actress Alicia Silverstone hit the headlines this week when she “revealed” in an interview, ostensibly about feeding her child a vegan diet, that she enjoys sharing a nice bath with her 9-year-old son, Bear.
Bully for her if she does. But I’d be inclined to question if it is more for her then her son. Those feelings of comfort we seek out as mothers don’t always mean it is best for the child.
In this case, a result of such a private revelation may also mean Bear may be fodder for bullies as he matures into a young man.
The revelation has caused some controversy with many feeling the need to point out that they believe it is “sick and weird”. Some went so far as to accuse the Clueless actress of endangering her child’s mental health.
We are all attracted to celebrity gossip. We like to know things about those in the spotlight — those unearthly creatures that live in a world we can only dream about. But we live in a society where the usual life filter no longer exists. We have entered TMI territory.
The ways in which we choose to parent are extremely personal and unique to each child. Judging another for how they choose to bond with their child is, at best, too easy a target and at worst, an attack on a precious relationship.
There is also a whole host of things we don’t know. Maybe the baths are an important bonding ritual for the pair. The point is that it isn’t any of our business.
I’m sure nobody agrees with all the ways I parent, myself. Like David Beckham, I enjoy kissing my children on the lips. Others think that is the devil’s work.
We feel as if we have a right to know every detail about their lives.
Would it be different if Alicia’s 9-year-old was a daughter? I have a nine-year-old girl. It hasn’t crossed my mind to ever bath with her because most normal people simply wouldn’t find relaxing in a regular bath comfortable.
Also, it feels entirely unnecessary. But, honestly, I don’t think it would be that weird.
Headlines love picking apart the parenting choices of others — but mainly celebrities. We feel as if we have a right to know every detail about their lives. And celebrities often reciprocate that information exchange. Why is privacy so underrated?
Back in 2012, Silverstone caused another flurry of comments when she explained that she would feed Bear by chewing food in her own mouth before passing it to him to eat, momma-bird style. She has also faced backlash for her son’s vegan diet.
“People said lots of different things, and I was sort of ‘the freak,’ and I guess I’ll take pride in that because it is hard to be the person that’s speaking out, and it is hard to be the person that is saying the thing that isn’t what everybody else wants to hear,” she explained.
But nobody really needs to know these things. It isn’t any of our business how people choose to live their lives or parent their children. It is time to re-evaluate the things we find interesting or worth commenting on.
Not everything needs to be broadcast to seek validation — not least when it comes to raising your children.
Image via Instagram