Gabrielle Union’s little family of three has been making headlines a lot lately. Union's daughter, Kaavia, was brought into the world via surrogate in November. And when her husband, Dwayne Wade, took a pretty substantial paternity leave from the NBA, reporters suggested that public opinion of his decision showed a changing view of fatherhood.
Despite the seismic shifts her family is making in our conception of the “typical” nuclear family, the actress is still the victim of good old fashioned mom shaming.
She recently posted an Instagram video of herself kissing Kaavia on the lips with the caption: "Kissing game. She's got my [heart] on a string.”
And moms from around the internet flocked to tell Union this wasn’t a good choice for her baby.
"Never kiss a baby on its lips, they [easily] get bacteria,” one Instagrammer commented.
"Ahhhh didn't anyone tell you you shouldn't kiss a baby in the mouth? Even your own,” another echoed.
Kissing a newborn on the lips can be dangerous, especially if you have a cold sore.
But many babies handle interactions with their family members just fine. And it's wrong to assume you know anything about the health of another individual — or their child.
I mean, Union assured the internet that she is plenty careful when it comes to her baby's health.
“Hey guys I appreciate all the concern about kisses on the mouth... I am blessed enough to have a nurse here with us while at work," she explained. “Kaav is healthy and I don’t even touch her without washing and sanitizing myself and everything and everyone that comes into contact with her. No visits with sick folk."
Like all moms, Gabrielle is doing her best, and she's going to mess up sometimes. But unlike all moms, she has millions of people watching her make her way through motherhood. Talk about intimidating. In some kind of miracle, Gabrielle seems to handle the stress with grace — a great reminder for when we're feeling pressure from our colleagues or friends to be the "perfect" anything. I'll be channeling her next time my imposter syndrome strikes.
Una Dabiero is an editorial associate at Fairygodboss. She likes pop culture, reading things that make her think, and hearing women's stories. Don’t follow her on social media (please), but do follow her on the FGB community.