Gisele Bundchen, sanctimommy extraordinaire

Sanctimommies of the world, rejoice! You have a new spokesperson, and even though she is a super model, she’s just like you: obnoxious, self-congratulatory and anxious to make all the other mommies feel bad. Gisele Bundchen, model, and wife of Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady knows what’s best, not just for her baby but for your baby, too.

Bundchen, who gave birth to her first baby less than a year ago, is yet another self appointed expert on what babies need. In fact, she is so sure that she is right that she thinks her personal preferences should be the law of the land. According to Bundchen:

“… Some people here think they don’t have to breastfeed, and I think, ‘Are you going to give chemical food to your child, when they are so little?'” she tells Harper’s Bazaar UK, The Daily Mail reports.

“There should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months,” she adds.

Gisele, like all sanctimommies, is an expert on how you should raise your children. No, she’s not a pediatrician, a child psychiatrist or a child psychologist, but that doesn’t matter. She knows what food your baby should eat, and dammit, if you don’t know any better we’ll have to make a law to set you straight.

The best part about sanctimommies like Gisele is that they are always ready to share their wisdom with the rest of us. Gisele doesn’t hesitate to point out the deficiencies of other women’s parenting practices (in other words, how your parenting choices differ from hers). She doesn’t hesitate to make dire predictions about what the future holds for your children (“You feed him chemicals? You know he’s never going to be able to …”). She never hesitates to bemoan your lack of understanding of the key issues of childrearing, letting you know that you are not as “educated” as she is.

The ultimate irony is that Gisele is busily criticizing women who don’t breastfeed as if breastfeeding is a matter of life and death. It’s not. The benefits of breastfeeding, while real, are actually quite small. Yet Gisele deliberately exposed her own child to a risk of death by choosing to have a homebirth.

Bottling feeding has no measurable impact on neonatal mortality rates, whereas homebirth in the US triples the risk of neonatal death! Yup, Gisele pretended that her son’s birth was a piece of performance art and she was the star. She valued her “birth experience” over the well being of her son for no better reason than that she could brag about it later. And this is the same woman who thinks she knows what is best for babies?

Sanctimommies are not sticklers for intellectual consistency. If someone were to propose a law that mandated hospital births for all babies and criminalized homebirths, the sanctimommies would be braying that their right to control their own bodies was being violated. Yet they cheerfully propose laws that regulate women’s breasts and fail to see the hypocrisy.

And of course, Gisele, like all sanctimommies, is shocked that other women are offended by her intemperate and self-aggrandizing comments. She never meant to “judge” anyone! How could anyone think that? According to the Telegraph:

In her blog, Bundchen, a 30-year-old Brazilian, insisted she was not trying to judge other mothers who fed their offspring from a bottle

She said: “My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law.”

… Stung by the criticism, Bundchen said that she understood that “everyone has their own experience and opinions, and I am not here to judge I think as mothers we are all just trying our best”.

Really, people, just because she said that breastfeeding should be mandated by law … that has nothing to do with the law. And just because she derided women for feeding their babies chemicals … that doesn’t mean she is judging anyone.

Sanctimommies can never understand why other women think they are being judged. The classic sanctimommy lament is:

Please do not accuse me of judging those other mothers who don’t love their children as much as I love mine. I’m well aware that different ways of mothering are right for different families. Of course women who are obsessed with their own convenience find that bottle feeding is right for them and their families…

Sanctimommies are judging you and even when they are apologizing for judging you, they are still judging you.

The problem with Gisele (paraphrasing the words of the late, great governor of Texas, Ann Richards) is that she was born on third base and she thinks she hit a triple. She had an easy birth, a healthy baby, and no difficulty breastfeeding. Instead of thanking her lucky stars, she’s trying to claim credit for it. And instead of offering sympathy to women who have difficulties or support to women who make different choices, she offers blame and condemnation. Best of all, she can’t figure out why you think she’s judging you.