Last week I wrote about Ashley Graham changing her baby’s diaper on the floor at a Staples. She posted about it on Instagram, alongside a picture of her changing his diaper. I am still curious about who took the photo rather than help Ashley get to the restroom or her car to change Isaac’s diaper. Ashley probably told whomever to do it, but if it were me, I would have suggested we get to a better place to change Isaac. In the comments on her post and here, most people said that it was not OK, and that she should have gone to the restroom or her car to change the baby. Changing his diaper on the floor was unhygienic and not necessary. (It also didn’t give him any privacy!)
Someone else who was unimpressed was Wendy Williams. Wendy addressed Ashley on her Thursday show, saying that she was “mommy shaming” the model. People has a recap:
[Wendy said] that that “as a mother, you hate it when you go places and there are no changing tables” but opining that Graham should’ve “done something different,” like took Isaac to the car to change him.
“Mothers are looking at Ashley like, ‘If she can do it, I can do it too.’ No the hell you can’t,” said Williams.
Williams also said that she recognized many moms don’t have a choice to go out to their car because they are somewhere like New York City and have to take alternate transportation. Still, she said she doesn’t consider Graham to be in that group.
“If you have a 7-week-old child [at Staples] … you’re watching the baby more than you’re watching where the Sharpies and the rings of paper and the cartridges for your printer,” Williams said. “When you see that baby’s face turn purple, you know what they’re doing.”
“You leave your whole basket there, you scoop up the baby,” she added. “This is not cool, and I don’t know why we have to know about it on your Instagram.”
“This is not hot. Ashley, I like you. This is not hot,” Williams said. “This is sending a bad message. I don’t want to see this in the store. I don’t, and I’m a mom.”
While she often gets it wrong, I agree with Wendy’s take in this instance and appreciate that she mentioned if you take public transportation as a parent, you don’t have the option of going to your car to change your baby’s diaper. I also like that she pointed out that Ashley doing this and posting about it means it’s more likely that other people are going to do it rather than take their babies to the restroom or their car. It’s not only that Ashley made the decision to do this, but that she shared a photo of it, which people will see as encouragement.
I get it: Ashley’s baby had a diaper that needed to be changed right now, and so she did that without finding a restroom or going to the car because she was focused on getting her baby clean and comfortable, instead of considering the downsides to changing a diaper in public. But documenting it with a photo shared publicly is unnecessary. Yes, being a new parent is hard, and it’s wonderful to be able to talk about that publicly. I’m so glad that Ashley is doing it, as she’s helping herself and others. I wrote this last week: She’d still be helping other people if she wrote about the frustration of changing a messy diaper while out running errands.
Here’s a clip from Wendy’s show as covered on E! It’s queued up to start at that part and only lasts a few seconds.