While one white mom is over here getting shamed for only having one kid, Leslie Lewis, a black mother of four, was criticized for having too big a family when she recently announced that she was pregnant. Leslie is a stylist and an influencer with a large, adorable family whom she often features on her popular Instagram account, @TheLewis_Show.
The Lewis family — Leslie, her husband Joe, their two sons, two daughters, and a scruffy dog — are featured prominently on her Instagram page, often looking ridiculously cute in matching outfits (the dog included). When Leslie announced she is pregnant with her fifth kid on Instagram, the haters came out of the woodwork.
After enduring tons of comments from people worrying she can't afford another kid and shaming her for being pregnant a fifth time, she decided to take matters into her own hands. On February 3, she posted another photo of her smiling family, this time clad in matching denim, and addressed her caption to those who had something to say about the fact that she's pregnant.
"So I don't usually publicly address the Negative Nancys and Pouty Pauls that find it necessary to judge my life choices," she wrote. "BUT a number of ppl have been commenting and even having the nerve to send me DMs regarding my pregnancy...'I thought y’all was done?' 'How can y’all afford 5?'
"Listen here! I am a married ADULT! I have one baby daddy. (This post isn’t by any means intended to shame OR offend anyone whose situation is different). I don’t appreciate getting messages about birth control and questions like 'How did this happen?' SEX... Sex is how it happened..."
Currently, the post has 65,000 likes and tons of comments of support. "Tell ‘em sis! The Duggars captured 2.3M viewers. Now when brown and black families have large families, folks and their microaggressions assume we are exploiting the system," one commenter wrote.
“This is definitely a ppl of color issue. No one questions white women when they have large families, hell it's encouraged but ppl are always policing our brown bodies,” another person wrote.
Leslie spoke with Yahoo Lifestyle and told them that, with the huge audience she has — @TheLewis_Show has more than 200,000 followers — she expected some negative comments, but one woman in particular was the straw that broke the camel's back and inspired her to address the criticism in a post.
She told Yahoo Lifestyle, "The last straw was when another woman felt the need to send me really hurtful messages assuming I must be on welfare and how I should be on birth control, etc."
Large families are acceptable...if you're white. TLC has several shows about families much bigger than Leslie's, but none of them are people of color. Leslie adds that large families of color are rarely portrayed positively in the media.
"It is... common practice, even in this day, for the media to portray families of color as incapable of raising large families responsibly," she said. "In reality, working families of color have historically been large in size, usually with more than three children."
Leslie is determined to show the world what real large families of color look like. She said, "I have learned to use my platform to uplift families and women of color, and to use the criticism as fuel to meet and exceed my personal and family goals! Maybe one day we will get a reality show since there's no families of color with multiple kids on TV that people can relate to."
In the meantime, she's going to keep posting pictures of her beyond adorable family in their matching outfits while they get ready for baby number five (who's a girl, by the way!). The Lewis family is just getting started.
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