The tattoo artist and makeup guru posted a defiant message about her and new husband Rafael Reyes’s plans to raise their son as a vegan. More controversially, the parents-to-be — who just tied the knot — have decided against vaccinating the child.
“I knew the minute we announced our pregnancy that we would be bombarded with unsolicited advice,” the 36-year-old first-time mom posted on social media. “Some good and some questionable — [but] unsolicited nonetheless.
“I also was prepared for the backlash and criticism we would get if we decided to be open about our personal approach to our pregnancy,” Von D continued. “My own father flipped out on me when I told him we decided to ditch our doctor and go with a midwife instead.
“If you don’t know what it’s like [to] have people around you think you are ridiculous, try being openly vegan. And, if you don’t know what it’s like to have the entire world openly criticize, judge, throw uninformed opinions, and curse you — try being a pregnant vegan, having a natural, drug-free home birth in water with a midwife and doula, who has the intention of raising a vegan child, without vaccinations.”
The former reality star asked fans to keep their opinions about her parenting approach to themselves.
“I already know what it’s like to make life choices that are not the same as the majority,” she wrote. “So your negative comments are not going influence my choices; actual research and educating myself will, which I am diligently doing.
“This is my body. This is our child. And this is our pregnancy journey. … So before any of you feel inspired to tell me how to do this, I would appreciate you keeping your unsolicited criticism to yourself. More importantly, for those who have amazing positive energy to send my way, I will gladly and graciously receive it with love!”
Von D may not want unsolicited feedback, but her post has certainly unleashed a lot of opinions. The controversy stems from her anti-vaccination beliefs. While vaccinations are widely credited with preventing virus outbreaks and keeping the public safe, some believe that immunizations are unsafe and are linked to conditions like autism.
“I was on board until you got to the ‘no vaccinations’ part,” read one Facebook response, which fetched more than 17,000 likes. “That is not a “my kid, my choice” thing; you are actively putting other people at risk when you don’t vaccinate your child. Please talk to an actual medical professional about this!!”
“While I agree it’s your body and your baby, you need to do more research on the vaccinations,” added a commenter. “You are putting your child at risk and other children around them at risk for things which have been medically gone for years [but] now have returned because of people refusing to vaccinate their kids and children have died needlessly for this nonsense. It isn’t right. Those are facts. And it’s selfish.”
“As a doctor, yes, I vaccinate my kids,” another commenter wrote. “I don’t need them dying from things we can prevent. Remember the last time someone died from polio? No, because we vaccinate!!!”
“I’m generally a ‘you do you’ kind of person,” read another comment. “I felt that way up until the ‘without vaccinations’ part. Nope. That’s not safe. Unliked.”
“Unfollowed!” an angry fan responded. “I support everything you said except the no vaccinations. People who openly decide to expose others to your dangerous choices should be barred from public places. You may think you’re keeping your child safe but in reality you are endangering not only your child but everyone else’s as well!! Poor life choice on your part.”
But Von D has her fair share of like-minded supporters too. Several fans praised her decision and slammed the judgment she was receiving.
“I’m so damn proud to see you not vaccinating,” a fan wrote. “You do you! I wish you guys the best of luck. It seems like you’ve done a lot of research. And for all you pro-vaxxers … go ask your doctor if he or she vaccinates their own kids. I promise you the answer will be NO.”
Others claimed that the vaccinations, some of which can contain gelatin and other animal byproducts, would conflict with Von D’s vegan lifestyle.
Will the backlash make Von D reconsider her stance? Will she lose fans if she doesn’t? We’ll find out in a few months.
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