Parenting choices can be highly contentious. Many parents having strong opinions on everything from what age ear piercings are acceptable to what kind of education their children should have to whether spanking your kid is OK. One issue that is particularly divisive among parents is vaccines, which protects children from diseases like measles and whopping cough but who some have erroneously tied to autism. On Thursday, Kat Von D – who is expecting her first child with Prayers’ Leafar Seyer – talked about her birthing plans (she’s opting for a midwife and doula and wants a water birth) on Instagram and revealed that she doesn’t intend to vaccinate her baby.
“If you don’t know what it’s like [to] have people around you think you are ridiculous, try being openly vegan,” she wrote in an image that prominently features her baby bump. “And if you don’t know what it’s like to have the entire world openly criticize, judge, throw uninformed opinions, and curse you – try being openly pregnant vegan on Instagram, having a natural, drug-free hoe birth in water with a midwife and doula, who has the intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations.”
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I knew the minute we announced our pregnancy that we would be bombarded with unsolicited advice. Some good and some questionable – unsolicited none the less. I also was prepared for the backlash and criticism we would get if we decided to be open about our personal approach to our pregnancy. My own Father flipped out on me when I told him we decided to ditch our doctor and go with a midwife instead. If you don’t know what it’s like have people around you think you are ridiculous, try being openly vegan. And, if you don’t know what it’s like to have the entire world openly criticize, judge, throw uninformed opinions, and curse you – try being an openly pregnant vegan on Instagram, having a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula, who has the intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations. My point being: I already know what it’s like to make life choices that are not the same as the majority. So your negative comments are not going influence my choices – actual research and educating myself will – which i am diligently doing. This is my body. This is our child. And this is our pregnancy journey. Feel free to follow me on here if you like what I’m about – whether it’s tattooing, lipstick, Animal Rights, sobriety, feminism, ridiculous gothiness, black flower gardening, cats, or my adorable husband. But if you don’t dig a certain something about what I post, i kindly ask that you press the unfollow button and move the fuck on. So before anyone of you feel inspired to tell me how to do this, I would appreciate you keeping your unsolicited criticism to yourself. More importantly, for those who have amazing positive energy to send my way, I will gladly and graciously receive it with love! X
While the lengthy Insta post came from a place of frustration at those criticizing her parenting choices (and some of them have been wild, like the person who said that having a baby meant she was “undoing” her vegan lifestyle), her post has only further attracted negative comments. Many are surprised that she’s opting not to vaccinate her children. Some are especially troubled that she’s using her huge platform to send this message, which could influence her followers. Others have called her out for endangering children who cannot get vaccines and rely on others to get inoculated so they can stay healthy. The backlash is so great that people aren’t just denouncing her, they’re also talking about boycotting her vegan makeup line. Leafar is also receiving heat for posting anti-vaxxer documentaries onto his Instagram stories.
Check out a few of a few messages directed at the two below: