Hollywood has always been a bit funny when it comes to motherhood. Women in Hollywood are expected to snap back to their former bodies as soon as they give birth, never appear frazzled from the stresses of motherhood, and make the cutest most adorable babies of all time. However, they are also expected to put in the same amount of work towards their craft as they did prior to having children. The fear of being labeled “unprofessional” or “having a poor work ethic” can lead to a starlet’s quick demise, and so Hollywood mothers must walk a strict line to try and balance all of their duties on and off the screen.
While paparazzi often enjoy taking snapshots of celebrities at the farmer’s market with their kids or walking down the street pushing carriages, not all Hollywood mothers are trying to be the next June Cleaver.
On the contrary, there has been more than one mother in Hollywood that has used her own children to gain opportunities and fame in the entertainment industry. During a time when Joan Crawford was finding it difficult to find work as an aging actress, she began adopting children in what seemed to be a heartfelt and endearing new stage of her life. However, when her daughter, Christina Crawford, wrote a memoir that turned into a motion picture, people began to see what life was truly like as Joan Crawford’s daughter. Mommie Dearest depicts arguably the most controversial mother in Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean new tales of controversial mothers have ceased to appear.
While they’re not exactly beating their kids with wire hangers and strapping them to their beds, they’re definitely making headlines for their out-of-the-box mothering skills. Check out our list of 15 most controversial mothers in Hollywood, and see these celebrities that seem to have a skewed view on child-rearing.
15. Chrissy Teigen
When Chrissy Teigen and John Legend announced they were having their first baby, the world became overjoyed at another addition to Hollywood. Since they had been so open about their love, it was just a natural progression to make way for a baby. However, when Daily Mail Celebrity released a tweet of the couple on their first date night after the birth of their daughter, the public wasn’t commenting on how great the new mom looked. Instead, she received harsh criticisms on why she had left her one week old baby at home so that she could go out with her husband. Numerous critical tweets came in from fans saying things like, “Yeah they could have ordered in… But it’s like a competition with these self-absorbed celebs.” In response to this controversy, Teigen handled it by tweeting, “I never wanted to leave my daughter, I love her, BUT THAT’S JUST ME – the passive aggressiveness is real!”
14. Tokyo Toni
When Tyga started dating Kylie Jenner, people snickered about the fact that Tyga was already connected with the family since his baby’s mother, Blac Chyna, was friends with the Kardashian sisters. Yet things seemed to get even sloppier when Black Chyna started dating Rob Kardashian, and announced the two were going to welcome their first child. As if it couldn’t get any sloppier than Blac Chyna as a mother, the public became acquainted with Blac Chyna’s mother, Tokyo Toni.
Posting on social media sites with various photos and videos, people began to see where Blac Chyna got all her “class” and “style.” From over-the-top false lashes to purple-colored wigs, Tokyo Toni is highly criticized for wearing ultra-revealing apparel that would be shocking if worn by women half her age. So much criticism has gone her way that she felt the need to post a YouTube video addressing all her haters.
13. Alicia Silverstone
Alicia Silverstone first gained celebrity status when she became a favorite for music videos by Aerosmith, and later went on to star in films like The Crush and Clueless. While she was never a stranger to stirring up controversy through her highly sexual portrayals in film and television, it was the video she posted on her blog years later that sparked the biggest outrage. Posting a video on her blog whilst feeding her son food that she had pre-chewed for him, people began calling her out for these out-of-the-box mothering habits.
Afterward, Silverstone made a statement to Entertainment Tonight saying, “I can understand that it would make some people feel uncomfortable, possibly, because it’s new to them. But I do want to let you know that this has been going on for thousands of years – still going on all over the place – and it’s natural.”
12. Mayim Bialik
Breastfeeding has always been a hot button topic, but usually it involves the decision to breastfeed in public. However, when the Time magazine cover was released showing a mother breastfeeding a three-year-old, it was Mayim Bialik that was the biggest supporter to this cause. When she was photographed breastfeeding her toddler on a subway, people began to criticize her actions and she took to her blog to defend herself.
She called her decision to breastfeed her son Fred, “the best nutrition, nurturing and bonding ever.” She has a best-selling parenting book called, “Beyond the Sling,” and she is an advocate of the attached parenting style that believes it is beneficial to breastfeed beyond infancy. While you may not believe in this style of parenting, it’s important to note that many cultures all around the world think of this as standard practice.
11. Brooke Shields
Brooke Shields was an actress that seemed to transition from a child star to a full-on film star with grace, but her role into motherhood wasn’t as simple. When she became pregnant with her child with husband, Chris Henchy, the world thought it would be a great opportunity to see the beautiful new offspring of the famous Brooke Shields.
However, what came out of her daughter’s birth was controversy over her admittance of postpartum depression. She went on to write a book about her experience, entitled, “Down Came the Rain: My Journey Through Postpartum Depression.” While many found this admittance courageous, there were some that weren’t as supportive. Tom Cruise was the biggest voice against her, giving an interview with Access Hollywood where he condemned her use of medication to help with overcoming her postpartum issues, and said she should have used vitamins instead.
10. Mila Kunis
Typically when a celebrity couple splits, the next girl in line gets scrutinized to no end. Yet, when Ashton Kutcher split from Demi Moore, there was huge excitement over him starting to date his former cast mate from That 70’s Show. Famously being her first kiss, this seemed like a much better match than the older Demi Moore. After the birth of their first child, they made their rounds on the talk show circuit to discuss what it was like being new parents.
However, it was comments made on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that landed them both in hot water. Ashton made comments about how Mila was a superior mother because she didn’t have a nanny helping her raise little Wyatt, stating, “we just want to know our kid. We want to be the people that know what to do when the baby’s crying to make the baby not cry anymore,” the comments were taken as a slight against working mothers who don’t exactly have the money to simply take off work for a few years to focus on just being a Mom.
9. Gwyneth Paltrow
Academy Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow is at the top of Hollywood’s A-list, and has starred in a number of blockbuster films. While there are many celebrities that choose to branch out into other fields once they achieve fame, it usually involves perfumes and apparel. Gwyneth started a lifestyle website in 2008, Goop, which is meant to outline different aspects of life as a woman, partner, and mother. However, it repeatedly comes under fire for its outlandish products, recipes, and body services. From a $200 smoothie that is more than just ridiculous for the regular person hoping to grab a nutritious drink after the gym to articles outlining how to plan an affordable yachting trip, she doesn’t exactly come off as a mother living in the real world.
8. Kim Kardashian
Kim Kardashian is no stranger to controversy, especially since the bulk of her success stemmed from a highly publicized sex tape with Ray J. Yet, when she gave birth to her first child, many thought she would start changing her ways in regards to covering up. Not only did she continue to post highly sexual photos on social media, but they seemed to get even more provocative. One of the biggest snafus that happened during her time as a new mother was when she decided to bring her daughter to the front row at New York Fashion Week.
Since mothers usually have an instinct on what types of events are family-friendly, this seemed like just another attention-seeking moment Kim Kardashian used to attend an A-list event. On the plus side, there were some pretty comical photos of North West’s tantrum during the event, and Anna Wintour’s hilarious reaction.
7. Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron is the mother of two, adopting both children on her own. While others may have thought it wasn’t the wisest decision to become a single mother at such a late age, Charlize opened up to W magazine by saying, “I do know that choosing to be a mom in my late 30’s has been really great for me. It’s given me perspective.” However, it’s also given the world some perspective, since she was recently photographed man-handling 4-year-old Jackson outside of her car. While every mom can relate to their child throwing a temper tantrum in a parking lot, not everyone agrees with the way she handled the situation. With some tabloids labeling her the “Monster Mom” it seems like mom-shaming has come into full effect with the Snow White and the Huntsman starlet.
6. Kris Jenner
Kim Kardashian seems to get the bulk of public criticism when people accuse her of being opportunistic and willing to exploit her sexuality for fame. However, many believe it’s her mother, Kris Jenner, who is to blame for how she ultimately turned out. As manager to the Kardashian brand, Kris is often shown on Keeping Up With the Kardashian pulling the strings and setting the deals. Known for pitching reality shows, endorsements, and a few wedding specials, Kris isn’t shy about exploiting her children for money.
However, the biggest example occurred when Kim was offered a deal with Playboy magazine to pose naked. Throughout the episode Kim seemed hesitant to participate, even referencing the fact that her career began through a shaming and embarrassing sex tape. Yet, Kris kept pushing for her to accept the deal, and can be seen cheering her on during the topless photoshoot.
5. Tan Mom
Just as everyone else in the world was starting to see how ridiculous the tanning craze had become, Patricia Krentcil was earning herself the nickname “Tan Mom.” In 2012, she was accused of bringing her 5-year-old to a tanning salon. Since the world was seeing celebrities like the cast of the Jersey Shore as more and more ludicrous, having a mother bring a little girl to sit under harmful UV lights was more than they could take. One look at this leathery-faced woman, and the nickname became permanent. Not only did people worry about what kind of mother she was being to her daughter, but they started worrying about her own mental health.
4. Dina Lohan
Dina Lohan and Michael Lohan have made headlines recently for their apparent attempt to make amends. Appearing on the television series, Family Therapy, they aired out a lot of their family drama, but not much of it was a secret. Most of these woes played out in the tabloids, and sometimes on social media. With a highly publicized lawsuit outlining alleged cocaine use between mother and daughter, Dina was often seen as a hanger-on that was using her daughter to get on the red carpet and into the hottest clubs. Knowing details about her past makes the public wonder how sincere this televised “therapy” show really is.
3. Michelle Duggar
When the world was first introduced to Michelle Duggar, her TLC show was called 17 Kids and Counting. While it started as a show that endorsed family values and a simpler way of life, the public started to turn on them once it reached up to 19 Kids & Counting. During the birth of their 19th child, Michelle came down with a case of placenta previa which put the life of her and her baby in danger. People started to criticize whether or not she was doing the right thing by continuing to get pregnant at such a late age. Also, the scandal that involved her knowing about their son Josh inappropriately touching their daughters as they slept, didn’t exactly sit well with fans. Nowadays, the family is no longer being filmed for TLC, and it looks like her 15 minutes of fame are done.
2. June Shannon
June Shannon, known as Mama June, from the hit TLC television show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, didn’t quite start off as “Mother of the Year.” However, she had an endearing quality about her that let fans have a voyeuristic experience of a simpler life. Mama June often spoke about how she was trying to maintain a normalcy in her daughter’s life, which meant only doing interviews when it didn’t conflict with her school schedule and setting aside the money they made from the show rather than frivolously spending it.
However, public perception of her mothering skills came into question when Mama June started dating Mark McDaniel, a convicted child molester. The Spalding County Superior Court released shocking documents of the alleged McDaniel molesting the then-eight-year-old sister, Anna Cardwell during a 2002 incident.
1. Jaid Barrymore
When Drew Barrymore first became famous as the adorable child actress from ET, her mother didn’t wait to capitalize on her new-found fame. Now-infamous photos show Jaid Barrymore toting a tender-aged Drew to nightclubs, but the most disturbing details emerged from Drew’s own accounts. In an interview with People magazine in 1989, Drew claims her “first drink at 9, began smoking marijuana at 10 and at 12 took up cocaine.”
Her mother went on to commit Drew into a mental health institution, and she was later stripped of parental guardianship. It doesn’t get any more controversial than that, and people have long-since said Jaid Barrymore was not a nurturing mother at all, but just something that Drew had to endure to become the woman she is now.