”You are an idiot if you think these are pictures of the same woman.”
It started out innocently enough. WHO-TV News Anchor Erin Kiernan snapped a late-night selfie with her 6-month-old son to meet the network’s requirement of one social media post per day. Kiernan, who works 40 hours a week and is the mother of a teething baby, captioned the photo “I used to think I knew what exhausted was. Hilarious.”
Many commenters praised Kiernan for exposing a “real mom” moment—no makeup, tousled hair, utter exhaustion painted across her face. But just as quickly as people reached out to offer their words of support, a handful of trolls also jumped at the opportunity to litter her post with “mean, nasty, hateful comments.” One person even went so far as to accuse the anchor of not looking like the same person who appears on television.
Clearly irked by the cruel commentary, Kiernan retorted by posting two side-by-side photos of herself, contrasting her professional life with the realities of motherhood. Kiernan commented: “Newsflash! These ARE NOT pictures of the same person. The woman on the left is well rested, spent two hours on her hair and makeup, had a professional photographer take her picture (and photoshop it, I’m sure), and is in the ‘glowing’ second trimester of her pregnancy.
The woman on the right got two hours of sleep (maybe), hadn’t looked in the mirror, took a selfie, did not put a filter on it and is covered with spit up and drool from a teething and very crabby baby. You are an idiot if you think these are pictures of the same woman.”
Kiernan’s fiery response to the haters has gone viral, garnering support and praise from other mothers. Kiernan told US Weekly: “The reason the [comment] made me so angry is that it went on to imply that I am a ‘fraud’ or somehow disingenuous because of the stark contrast between those two photos.”
For Kiernan, the intended message of her response was to embrace the beauty of all aspects of womanhood. “I’m in a really different place now than I ever have been in my life,” she said. “I just feel stripped down and I don’t have it in me to fake it anymore and I don’t want to. I am at a point and I have been through enough stuff that I am just like, this is me. If you like me, great. If you don’t, well, that’s fine, too.”