We’ve written before about this obnoxious yet ongoing phenomenon: Moms are never in their own family photos — from vacation, holidays, you name it. Why? What about motherhood makes us suddenly invisible, unable to be documented for our children (and, dammit, for us) to look back on as we grow old? Because moms are the ones taking the photos, of course. For us to be in a photo, it would require our (often male) partner to get up off their ass and participate in family record-keeping and memory-making. Perhaps they’d do it…just on Mother’s Day? No? Alas: Pink’s latest post proves even famous fathers have some serious progress to make in this department.
Pink’s most recent photo on Instagram shined a light on the recurring glaring absence of moms in family photos. She posted a “family” (I’m going to start putting that in quotes because honestly without the mom it is just a fraction of the family, people!) photo on Mother’s Day — you know, here own damn holiday that should be honoring her — to highlight the fact that she can’t find a single photo of herself to share. Because even famous fathers, it seems, can’t be bothered to pick up a camera and snap their wife. On Mother’s Day. Eesh.
“Happy mother’s day to all the picture takers of the family that can find 5,000 photos of their families and none of them,” Pink captioned her Mother’s Day photo (which was taken, it looks like, around Easter given the festive baskets involved).
Last summer, Chrissy Teigen shared a similar sentiment of subtle shade towards her own slacker-dad husband, John Legend (lol it’s funny because Legend is SO not a slacker in so many ways…and yet, when it comes to photo-taking, he clearly is). “I never have pictures of myself because I am selfless and am the designated photo taker and keeper for my family and no one else seems to care to be thoughtful and take good photos of me,” Teigen wrote on Instagram in August. They merely click them off without paying attention to angles or lighting or general photo ambience… but it’s okay. such is the life I chose.” She signed the post with, “To John.” Burnnnn.
Writer Allison Slater Tate wrote a spot-on essay, The Mom Stays in the Picture, on this phenomenon back in 2012, and it hasn’t stopped resonating to this day.
“I’m everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them,” Slater Tate writes. “Someday I won’t be here — and I don’t know if that someday is tomorrow or thirty or forty or fifty years from now — but I want them to have pictures of me. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how much I loved them.”
Singer Natasha Bedingfield pretty much nails the issue on the head (and on our heartstrings) in her comment on Teigen’s Instagram post:
“Every time his dad holds him I pick up the camera and take a snap,” she wrote of her son. “He’s gonna think that it was only dad who did all those things with him.”
The fact that we, as moms and as a culture, have been talking and writing about this phenomenon (and how it reeks of inequality and the idea that moms should “do it all” for none of the credit) since at least 2012 when Slater Tate’s essay was published — isn’t eight years enough time for some dads to step the fuck up?
Carey Hart, ball’s in your court. We think you’re a pretty cool dude. Maybe you can set an example for the rest of the slacker dads and photograph your damn wife — and not just once a year on Mother’s Day, either.
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