Shay Mitchell: ‘We don’t all have to be pregnant, glowing goddesses’

Despite the plot-holes and sheer ridiculousness of it, I loved Pretty Little Liars. Shay Mitchell’s milquetoast character wasn’t my favorite, but she always looked amazing even though they did minimal hair/makeup/styling on her compared to the others. Since then Shay’s had a couple of roles on Netflix’s You and Hulu’s recently-canceled Dollface. She also has a travel gear company Beis, and a new partnership with Hydralyte (it’s exactly what sounds like). She and her long-time partner, Matte Babel, had their first child in 2019 and are expecting another baby soon.

Shay got on Zoom with Buzzfeed for their version of US Weekly’s “25 Things To Know About Me” which is instead “27 Things We Learned Over Zoom,” to talk about a bunch of topics, including pregnancy, motherhood, and passing on cultural heritage to her kids.

Her first pregnancy and mental health
I think the first time around, it was super important for me to talk about prepartum depression. I hadn’t heard much about it, which is why I kind of went on a whole thing speaking about my experience. I wanted people to feel like they weren’t “crazy,” like they weren’t alone if they weren’t feeling like a glorious goddess during their pregnancy. It’s okay to actually not feel amazing. That doesn’t mean that you’re not grateful to be pregnant — I am extremely grateful. But there were also times where I was like, this is sh-tty. And that’s okay! We don’t all have to be pregnant, glowing goddesses the whole entire time.

Being criticized as a mother
Coming across a negative comment or two. I mean, it’s just more annoying. I can take it; I don’t really care. As long as things feel right to me, and I can look at myself in the mirror at the end of the day, I’m good. Everything you do is going to be criticized, and you’ll be criticized 10 times more when you’re a mother. We’ve all got to just do what feels right. We’re all doing the best that we can, and that’s all you can focus on.

Passing on their cultures to their mixed kids
We love to watch different shows that speak about it. I think it’s important for her to see characters that look like her and ones that don’t look like her. I feel like there’s a lot more that’s out there now in terms of content for children, which is awesome. I think also having our families share our traditions with her as well, even just food. … She loves sushi. She loves Ethiopian food. Just exposing her to as many different cultures as possible is super important. Truthfully, you can’t really pinpoint what she looks like or what her ethnicity is — she has bright eyes, a little fairer of a complexion than me or [my partner] Matte, and lighter hair.

[From Buzzfeed]

Shay’s been very honest about her pregnancy experiences. It’s not her whole brand, but she incorporates into her content. She shared about experiencing a miscarriage years ago and had YouTube videos about preparing for the birth of their first daughter. Her comments seem obvious, but they needed to be said. “Glorious, glowing goddess” is the most common (celeb) portrayal of pregnancy, but there’s a wide range of experiences and feelings aside from the idealized version. And I’d actually never heard of prepartum depression before she mentioned it. It’s good she’s letting criticism roll off her back since moms are judged so harshly and everyone has an opinion. I recall she caught some early flack for attending Drake’s birthday party with Matte a week after the baby was born. (Matte works with Drake in some capacity and they’re all Canadian). But like she said, people have to do what feels right to them and just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy other parts of your life.

I liked what she said about passing on culture to her kid(s). Shay is Filipina and white and Matte is Trinidadian and white. From personal experience, I agree with what she says and think it’s important to pass on all parts of a mixed heritage as much as possible. It’s all important for figuring out who you are, feeling like you belong, and understanding where you come from. And it’s especially relevant when the child doesn’t necessarily look like one or both parents. Shay and Matte’s ethnicities are pretty clear from looking at them, but as she says, their daughter’s background is not apparent right now and that could end up being confusing and uncomfortable for her growing up. Fame and wealth can insulate people a lot, but not completely. And even then it’s like, do you want to be in a little bubble or aware of other cultures and perspectives? And it sounds like Shay is doing the latter with her approach.

P.S. Shay is actually a portmanteau for Shannon Ashley. She’s so funny in her videos.

Photos credit: and via Instagram

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8 Responses to “Shay Mitchell: ‘We don’t all have to be pregnant, glowing goddesses’”

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  1. OriginalLaLa says:

    The only thing I know about her is her insane skin care routine! if you haven’t seen the video, look it up, at one point she is wearing like 5 face masks at the same time (and not in a joking way lol)

    • BothSidesNow says:

      That is dedication!!! I would go mad wearing 5 face masks at a time. Though I appreciate her discussing prepartum depression, as I have never heard of it.

      I guess the bottom line is that women will always be made to feel guilty by a great deal of people. It’s become exhausting to live in a world in which everyone thinks it’s perfectly acceptable to force their own views and beliefs on women. Case in point is the formula shortage. So many mothers across the country are being shamed for NOT breastfeeding!! It’s ludicrous that people feel that they have a right to slam and guilt women regarding how they feed their children.

      I don’t think that society will better itself in my lifetime as it seems that people are becoming more judgmental and inflicting greater harm in America. I am sick of it.

  2. Riley says:

    Dollface was cancelled?! Nooooo!

  3. observer says:

    while i do think the trend of celebs showcasing their pregnancies and not hiding it is generally a good thing because it normalizes pregnant bodies to an extent, but it does also set unrealistic body and beauty standards for pregnant women.

    most pregnant women don’t have a glam squad on-call, people and finances to get them anything they need at a moments notice, to dress them, to do chores for them, and many regular pregnant women still have to work and deal with things like work related stress as well.

    not to mention how pregnancy is completely different for every woman, for some it is very natural and easy but the list of complications you can have is endless, and they don’t have the best doctors on call, they don’t have at home nurses and so on.

    so while i think we should celebrate the normalization of pregnant bodies, i think we all have to remember this. i’m unlikely to ever be able to get pregnant in my lifetime so if i ever have a child i will adopt or use a surrogate if i can afford one (another thing that many women can’t afford that celebrities can just choose to do), but i have incredible respect for them, and not just from a skin deep perspective.

  4. Emem says:

    I know it’s totally illogical, but whenever I see a pregnant celeb displaying a bare stomach I get anxious, thinking “The baby will get cold!”

  5. Originaluna says:

    Sorry but. Matte is not white?! I’ve always seen him clearly a black (albeit mixed) man. I just did a quick google. He is black. But anyway I think she does the glam part but she also has really down to earth content. I can’t lie, I want those Beis bags. I think she is doing great because my african ass wants one of them – I will. Never ship them tho. But I want them. I also want to drink that sparkling tequila she has. Yeah, she does good marketing lol

  6. santan says:

    Maybe its just because im used to seeing mixed people, but i wouldnt say her daughters background “is not apparent” at all. I can clearly tell that shes mixed black and white. I wouldnt guess the filipina in her background though.