The Unkind Chord Of An Umbilical Cord

14/03/2017 16:16

Like many of us today, I've been reading the mountain of articles about Rochelle Humes creating a framed keepsake of her umbilical cord after giving birth on Friday.

Apparently this 'controversy' was enough to prompt a trend on Facebook, but when I decided to venture into the comments sections, I was pretty shocked... and not by the image of said umbilical cord.

Social media can be a vile place, as I'm sure many of us are well aware now. The thing that struck me most about this response to this topic was the vitriol with which people used to attack the choice that Rochelle Humes made.

Imagine it, a new mother, days post-birth, chooses to mark the occasion in a non-premeditated cutesy newborn photoshoot manner - and the world erupts with outrage.

How very dare she create something that she considers to be both beautiful and personal? How very dare she not conform to the standard hand and footprints/newborn in a daft hat imagery that we all know and love? She's got a nerve... or a cord, as the case may be.

I'm being flippant, but why are people so affronted by this? Using words like "gross" and "sick" to describe a new mother's choice of newborn keepsake isn't just classless, its cruel.

Why do some people think that their two pence is even worth spending?

I've seen plenty of newborn baby photos and asked myself questions about the parents' choices of attire, placement next to an animal, adornment of jewellery etc... but is it for me to voice my unasked-for questions? Absolutely not. It's uncalled for and ultimately, mothers have every right to mark their child's passage into this world in whatever way they see fit.

What baffles me most is how online media's reaction has been one of questioning and suggested 'controversy'. In what way is this controversial? The body-shaming tone underpinning these articles irritates the life out of me.

It's an umbilical cord - it nourished and connected baby to mother for nine months. Without it there would be no baby - it is a miraculous part of our human engineering and so why does it provoke a reaction of such disgust? Rochelle is proud of hers - so why does her decision to preserve it warrant such discussion?

Whether or not you consider a framed umbilical cord as a piece of art is beside the point. Whether or not you think it's "disgusting" is beside the point.

Whether or not you think it's acceptable to say your bit about it on social media to a woman who has just given birth is completely the point. Ask yourself this - would you have said the same unkind things to somebody you know in real life? Probably not.

Stop being cruel because you think Rochelle Humes is too famous to care. Stop being cruel because she's a mum who has just given birth - and that's bloody hard work without people passing judgement on your choices right from day one.

Just my two pence.

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