Shay Mitchell gave birth to a baby girl this year, and sadly she's had to deal with pregnancy-shaming from the internet peanut gallery and her boyfriend, Matte Babel. But this outspoken actress is not letting anyone come between her and breastfeeding her baby. Mitchell clapped back at one Instagram commenter who had had a dumb opinion (yes, their opinion was objectively dumb, as you'll see below) about her new breastfeeding photo.


Here's the original photo, which is so gorgeous, I can't deal.

OK, how beautiful is this photograph? Mitchell reminds us that breastfeeding is totally natural and normal, while also making another point: Motherhood and sexiness are not diametrically opposed. Shay can slay while feeding her baby, and it doesn't make her any less of a loving mom.


Unfortunately, one commenter was not pleased.

Instagram user srs3720 felt that, by posting the photo, Mitchell was trying to get "attention," even though she posted a photo of herself on her own Instagram account. If posting photos of oneself is attention-seeking, consider me a marching band with a giant hovering neon sign.


In the same breath, srs7320 suggested that Mitchell wasn't "connecting" with her baby.

"She's not even looking at the baby, she's not connected with the baby she's connected with the camera," continued srs7320, in a srsly gross display of mom-shaming.

Mitchell, as you can imagine, was not having it. Replying directly to the srs7320, Mitchell wrote, "I missed the part in the baby books that stated I had to maintain eye contact with my daughter while she feeds rather than capturing an amazing moment we were having. Pls let me know where I can download your parenting manual, I'll get right on it." Go off, Emily Fields!!! 


Obviously, that comment was uncalled for, but let's talk about why it's so bogus.

First of all, the audacity!!!! Why would anyone presume to shame a mother for simply parenting their child is beyond me. Mitchell's baby is not your baby, srs7320, and Mitchell has every right to take photos with her baby however she wants, and post it on her own Instagram account.

But the charge that Mitchell is not "connecting" with the baby, because she's not gazing down lovingly at her like it's for a Hallmark card, is especially troubling. It points to motherhood as a concept rather than an everyday lived experience — that concept being, mothers are supposed to look like angelic creatures who exist purely as a vessel to care for their children and are not supposed to be multifaceted or retain any part of their individuality, and moms are certainly not allowed to feel their look. It's a reductive picture of motherhood.

Thankfully, Mitchell shut down this commenter. Maybe srs7320 will think twice about mommy-shaming anyone — and consider that motherhood takes many forms, camera gaze or not.