Is the "perfection of Instagram" giving new parents unrealistic expectations?
Chrissy Teigen thinks so.
**Content warning: This article contains references to pregnancy loss.
There's no parenting handbook that comes with the arrival of a baby, which is why getting advice from others who've raised kids becomes a valuable resource for so many new parents.
Yet when coming in the form of an online post from a perfectly curated Instagram grid and captioned with descriptions of a baby who sleeps all through the night, it feels a little less like advice and more like an added pressure.
Chrissy Teigen says she thinks the "perfection of Instagram is a big factor" in why so many women feel unprepared for and overwhelmed by the reality of pregnancy, labour and early parenthood.
The model, who has often been praised by mums for her candid depictions of '#momlife', spoke about how social media can leave many mothers beating themselves up for not meeting parenting standards they've seen online that rarely exist in real life.
"The way to build confident people and mothers is by being able to commiserate and create a bond," she explained at an event for parenting brand Frida last week.
"Pooping on the table wasn't talked about and it's nice to be real, especially after seeing how filtered everything is all the time — whether it's actually filtering or the filter of words on Instagram that makes you think you're the only one experiencing something."
In maintaining a more honest presence, Chrissy hopes her social media pages will instead create a sense of community and camaraderie among mothers. That's why she shared photos from the hospital immediately after she and husband John Legend lost their third child, son Jack, after suffering a pregnancy loss in September 2020.
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"Those loss photos resonate more than anything I've ever posted and it's been healing for me to connect with other people about our shared experiences," she said, adding that she "would do it all over again" because of the "amount of people who come up to me at even just an amusement park to tell me about their experiences".
Chrissy and John share daughter Luna, 5, and son Miles, 3.
The pair have publicly shared that they are undergoing IVF in hopes of expanding their family.