Voices: Stop mocking Paris Hilton’s ‘big-headed baby’

People should back off from Paris Hilton. After the 42-year-old reality star posted a sweet photo of herself and her son Phoenix on Instagram, with the baby sitting on her lap dressed head to toe in Burberry on their first trip to New York City, it sparked shocking online reactions – the worst of which involved commenters making rude remarks about the size of her nine-month-old son’s head.

Really? Attacking a baby? What is wrong with people?

Why the hell shouldn’t Paris be able to post images of her son online without it turning into a traumatic, humiliating experience?

I know some celebrities choose not to post pictures of their kids online, and I respect their choice. But there are plenty of proud mums who do want to post a picture of their baby for the world to coo over. I do it all the time with my own kids.

I’m not a “sharenter” by any stretch of the imagination (that’s a parent who overshares images of their kids, for the uninitiated) – but neither is Hilton.

In fact, she only posted one image of her and her little boy Phoenix – and, it should be said, she looks great! She looks so radiant, just like I did when I had my first baby (like Paris, I was also in my forties).

The fact that people want to assume there is something wrong with her son because he has a big head is quite frankly ludicrous, not to mention cruel. As internet users became more and more obsessed with Phoenix’s head, they took to Hilton’s comment section to voice their opinions, speculating over whether or not his seemingly large head was a result of a medical condition.

Sadly, it’s something I can relate to.

When my youngest daughter Liberty was born with a club foot – a condition that is easily treated – and she had to wear a plaster cast on her leg to start the process of rectifying it, I got loads of funny looks just walking down the street – let alone online.

Yes, I got comments like: “Oh dear, how did you manage to break your baby’s leg?”. It was implied it was somehow my fault. When she had to then wear boots and bars for one year – a very unattractive contraption that I hid under pretty dresses as best I could – people looked at me with sympathy, thinking she had some terrible impairment.

Some kids do suffer from disabilities – but surely us mums shouldn’t be explaining ourselves to total strangers? Poor Hilton had to respond to comments about baby Phoenix’s head publicly. “My angel is perfectly healthy”.

Paris Hilton and son Phoenix in New York City, posted on Instagram (Instagram)
Paris Hilton and son Phoenix in New York City, posted on Instagram (Instagram)

I didn’t attract unwanted comments online like Hilton has – I’m not a celebrity. But I know how it feels as a mum when you end up defending your baby from endless negativity.

Hilton struggled to have her child with her partner via IVF as I did – she also used a surrogate. As Hilton says, having a baby after infertility issues is “the biggest blessing” of her life.

Why can’t she show her precious baby off to the world like we all do? Just because she is in the spotlight doesn’t mean others have the green light to take potshots at her.

Yet people think that by posting images of her child, she is somehow inviting unwanted comments – as if she has done something to invite ridicule and blame. There are all sorts of pressures as a mum to post a picture or two of your children. Hilton said in a text post that people would assume she was “not a great mother” if she didn’t share images of him occasionally. As a new mum you often feel vulnerable and want to fit in. Why would Hilton be any different?

The truth is she just can’t win – if she posts or doesn’t post, she will get attacked.

The problem isn’t Hilton showing photos of Phoenix. The problem is the sheer number of people who think it’s somehow acceptable to troll another person and target their baby.