Today in obnoxious online commenters, people are calling out Carrie Underwood for snapping a selfie on the sidelines of her three-year-old son’s soccer game—while wearing what some people claim is too much makeup for the occasion.
“Show up like most other soccer mom’s [sic], messy hair don’t care, no makeup and a coffee mug in hand,” typed one commenter. “I hate to judge but damn those eyebrows. Yikes,” another wrote. “Well that is a crap ton of makeup for a soccer game,” another chimed in. “Can I get the same makeup artist for my son’s Saturday morning t-ball games?” someone else asked.
Some people even questioned why Carrie snapped a selfie instead of a shot of her kid. To which I say: Ladies, come on. As a seasoned suburban soccer mom, I have to call foul. Isn’t this world a challenging enough place to raise kids without moms nitpicking another mom at a moment when she’s feeling happy and proud—and when she’s clearly feeling her look? Even as someone who can barely manage to apply under-eye concealer before cheering on her kids, I commend Carrie’s soccer glam, and the fact that she took a moment to capture and share it.
True, it is a time-honored tradition for sports moms to roll onto the sidelines with appearances that proudly reflect just how overscheduled their lives are. Just hide under a hat and sunglasses, or don’t—even in my high-maintenance New York City suburb, early-morning sporting events are a judgment-free zone. OK, as I type that I realize it’s not true—let’s say judgment-free when it comes to grooming. We all deserve a participation trophy for getting there with our children and sanity semi-intact. There’s zero expectation that anyone be pulled-together. In fact, if you look really bad, people are probably jealous, since your smushed bun and pillow-smeared mascara mean you likely got up to something fun last night. Even if you’re unshowered at a 3 P.M. kickoff, everyone understands; you probably have multiple kids and have been shuttling to various sports venues since dawn.
But on the flip side, we also shouldn’t judge any mom who puts blatant effort into her look only to sit in an uncomfortable sling chair in icy winds for 90 minutes—someone who obviously woke up early to fire up the flat iron or blend her foundation. Part of being a parent is feeling like crap (overscheduled, emotionally tapped out, a stranger to your former self, and so on), but making an effort to not look like crap is a very effective way to feel human again, and to regain some illusion of control. While famous moms may benefit from ample household help and access to massages, I’d be shocked if this didn’t hold true for Carrie Underwood, too. Plus, hello, she’s pregnant; all the more reason to take advantage of the mental pick-me-up makeup can provide.
Of course, she also faces so much more scrutiny than the average mom. Tell me that if you were as recognizable as Carrie Underwood, you’d be totally comfortable showing up at a crowded local event without makeup. You really think everyone wouldn’t be nitpicking that? There’s no winning—as a celebrity or a mom—so she might as well apply whatever makeup that makes her feel good. Speaking of which, let’s not ignore the fact that some people just love to wear a lot of makeup. Just as I have friends I’ve literally never seen without liquid liner, we’ve rarely glimpsed Carrie Underwood without smoky eyes and full foundation. Makeup wearers are gonna wear makeup, even on a turf field largely populated by proudly disheveled moms.
Personally, I’m going to continue to focus on my goal of putting on my under-eye concealer, brows, and bronzer before I go out in public—because after three kids, this is what I currently require to feel human. But Carrie, I hope you keep applying (and posting) whatever makes you happy. Legions of non-famous soccer moms totally get it and are silently cheering you on. Welcome to the club, and whatever you do, don’t forget the coffee.
–We Can Stop Wondering About Carrie Underwood’s Face Now
–I Wear a Lot of Makeup—and I’m Done With Being Shamed for It
–Kim Kardashian Responded Once Again to Criticisms Over Straightening North West’s Hair