Why do moms like Chrissy Teigen and Serena Williams need social media's help?

Elise Solé
Chrissy Teigen and Serena Williams are crowdsourcing parenting advice on social media. (Photo: Getty Images)

Whether you are famous or not, motherhood is one of life’s most humbling experiences — which might be why Chrissy Teigen and Serena Williams are crowdsourcing parenting advice.

This past week, Teigen vented to her 9 million Twitter followers about getting headaches almost halfway through her second pregnancy. “I love being pregnant,” she tweeted Monday. “I like it more than not being pregnant. But the headaches, my god the headaches. Someone…please help. Don’t say water. Or Tylenol. Or iron. Or magnesium. I need witchcraft.”


The day before, Williams turned to Twitter for pain management advice for her nearly 4-month-old daughter, Alexis Olympia, writing to her 10 million followers: “Teething — aka the devil — is so hard. Poor Alexis Olympia has been so uncomfortable. She cried so much (she never cries) I had to hold her until she fell asleep. I’ve tried amber beads… cold towels…. chew on mommies fingers…. homeopathic water (lol on that one) but……”



Earlier, Williams polled fans on how long they breastfed their children, then shared, “Is it weird that I get emotional when I even just think about stopping?”


Other celeb moms have also been known to turn to social media for parenting support. In 2012, while pregnant with her daughter, Jessica Simpson tweeted, “The average person expels gas 15 times each day. The average pregnant woman fast 15 times that!” And Erykah Badu live-tweeted her labor in 2009.

Our obsession with social media is proven by science — posting fuels a basic human need to connect with others, the anonymity encourages more honest communication (for better or worse), and the validation from receiving likes and shares triggers happy neurochemicals, driving people to keep checking their feeds. And moms in particular benefit from the social support and parenting advice found online, according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center.

Still, why would a celebrity — who likely has more resources than the average person — turn to social media for help?

“Motherhood is the great equalizer,” Jonathan Alpert, a Manhattan-based psychotherapist, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Being a parent can be such a universal experience, and most mothers, whether they’re famous or not, can relate to pregnancy, sleepless nights, and baby care.”

Odds are celebs who overshare are also consulting their doctors and hitting the internet to answer their burning late-night parenting questions. But they’re just like anyone else who just needs to hear it straight, and social media can provide just that.

“If anything,” says Alpert, “it shows that celebrities are a lot like everyone else.”

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