Last week, new mom Julia Stiles, star of the 1999 classic 10 Things I Hate About You, posted a photo of herself carrying her five-week-old son, Strummer Newcomb Cook, in a baby carrier on Instagram. In response, comments poured in critiquing her baby carrying technique:
Haters' main complaints concerned the baby's positioning: "Legs need to be out and baby should be close enough to kiss with nothing blocking air way," one person wrote in the comments section of Julia's post, which has since received more than 39,102 likes and more than 1,000 comments.
A tutorial on the baby-carrier maker's website suggests the back panel of the baby carrier should allow the baby's entire head to be visible, while the infant's legs should be outside the carrier in an "M-shaped" position, with their knees slightly higher than their bottom and the fabric positioned under the crease of each knee.
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Two days ago, Julia posted a response to the backlash on her technique, insisting she knows how to wear her baby safely, thank you very much: "What was supposed to be a shout-out of products I like suddenly becomes an invitation to comment on my baby and my ability as a mother. That's the Internet for you, the carnivorous plant from 'Little Shop of Horrors,'" she wrote.
The clapback, to the delight of Julia's fans, was reminiscent of her 10 Things character, Katarina Stratford, a sassy, quick-tongued feminist known to sprinkle literary references like a boss. In the film, she gives zero sh*ts about what people think of her – and operates as such.
"I was trying to keep much of my son's image private, including, I guess, his little feet," Julia wrote in her Instagram response to mom-shamers. "And it was just a photo taken at home, not how I normally carry him around. Thanks for the concern, anyway. Yes, mothers, always read the safety instructions. But also, Instagrammers: Instead of writing snarky comments about a 5-week-old, try dancing around your living room to a Clash record. It's way more fun."
Although you've got to love it when life imitates cinematic art, wouldn't the world be a better place if people talked less about new moms' possible indiscretions, and more about a 10 Things I Hate About You sequel?!
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