Leandra Medine Cohen, the founder of women’s fashion and lifestyle site Man Repeller, recently welcomed twin baby girls, Laura and Madeline. (Mazel tov!)
The twins were born after Cohen’s very public journey about her struggles with infertility, miscarriage, and getting pregnant. Yet as she wrote in her pregnancy announcement, fearing backlash, “I thought a lot about how I would share this news and whether, frankly, I would share it at all.”
A true Instagram icon, however, once she announced her pregnancy, she began documenting it, and shortly after her twins were born, she shared an image of them.
But, ah, the Mom Internet can be a tough place. While the Jewish new mom is no stranger to Internet brouhahas, a recent selfie caused some serious backlash:
What I’d wear if I wear if I were leaving the house pt. II. #highwaistnonstretchdenim #hi 👈🏻 I totally see what you’re saying w this hashtag looking like a humble brag but it was more a reference to how many times I shouted that I missed high waist non stretch pantz during pregnancy. Anyway, I am so very deeply sorry if I made you feel like less with this post. That sucks and is the opposite of my intention, always. Public learning experience no. 107579 logged 🤯
In the caption, Cohen hashtagged #highwaistnostretchdenim — in reference to the jeans she was wearing (only two weeks after giving birth).
Many of her followers started commenting: “how do you look so good so fast? Amazing!” and “I wish I look[ed] like you after my pregnancy,” and “You look bloody amazing! Can hardly believe you’ve just had twins!”
But some negative reactions popped up, too, like from @ally_horn82, who wrote, “I would have cried if I seen this post partum.” Or one from godofsmall.things: “The narcissism is real. Why are you showing off that you can fit into your high waist non stretch jeans so soon after giving birth. It’s really not helpful for other women who are struggling with their self image 🙄 grow up.”
And another commentator, lesliejane99, wrote that she wasn’t so much upset by Cohen’s post — it was the reactions: “it’s more reading the positive – ‘wow you’re amazing!’ comments on the post that gets other new mums. Congratulating someone on being really thin 2 weeks postpartum is basically a slap in the face to those who didn’t lose it that quickly (or ever). Leandra can post whatever she wants, it’s her story, but I wish we (as a society) weren’t even thinking about commenting on her weight, more that she looks glowing and healthy and back to enjoying her love of fashion.”
Cohen quickly updated the caption with an apology to those who read her hashtag as a humblebrag and to those she may have hurt.
Much like motherhood itself, there’s a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the Mom Internet. This was among Cohen’s first forays into this world — welcome! — and we hope it won’t be her last.