Whenever someone with a very public job decides to have children, they have to make some very tough choices about whether or not to showcase their kids on social media / allow them in the public eye. If they feel like it's OK for their children to be a bit public, they then have to decided how much they'll let people see the kids and when, as well. HGTV star Erin Napier seems to be learning how rough social media can be all over again, as the star of Home Town has now had to blast fans over "cruel" comments made about her daughter online.
Viewers who've been watching Erin Napier help renovate and redesign homes in Laurel, Mississippi, along with her husband Ben, on Home Town will only know the artist as a cheery personality with tons of good ideas for turning old houses into new treasures. But, Napier's tough side had to come out recently, after she posted a photo of the back of her daughter's head which led some people on Instagram to make mean comments about the little girl and her hair. In part, here's what Napier had to say:
I think there is a fine line between privacy and helping others by being vulnerable about some aspects of your life when you’re in the spotlight. But tonight, because of this job we have, after posting a photo of the back of my daughter’s head (why do we never show her face? for her privacy and because of vicious strangers who lurk and comment or could seek her out) there were cruel comments within moments. About a three year old child’s hair...And I immediately took it down to be a good steward of my baby’s image and protector of my heart. Those comments and the people who make them are not welcome here. Full stop. If you feel you may be a person capable of communicating this way, please see yourself away from my account or I’ll be glad to help you do that.
Man, not a good look, Instagram commenters. Not a good look at all. Erin Napier posted this caption along with a photo of four member of the Home Town crew, all masked and socially distant per the new guidelines to help keep everyone safe, well, everywhere, but especially as filming takes place on a variety of TV shows and movies. This is because, along with removing the picture because people were saying nasty things about 3-year-old Helen, they also had problems with how the Napier family appeared to be treating the seriousness of the pandemic.
Seeing as how Erin Napier quickly removed the photo, it's not clear right now what was in the picture that led to such mean comments, but, I think we all know it doesn't really matter, right? The internet is frequently a cruel place, where having just one hair out of place can lead to a barrage of negativity for anyone who dares to post a selfie or other snapshot of an actual person. The idea that people took the opportunity to aim that negativity in the direction of a tiny child is terrible, and not the kind of energy we need to wrap up an already troubling year with, OK?
My quick guess is that people thought it was alright, somehow, to make fun Helen's hair for not being styled in a way they deemed fashionable or (maybe) appropriate for a little girl. But, who among us has not seen a child who was clearly very well groomed before beginning to play, only to appear like a feral animal afterwards? Not to mention, if these people didn't like Helen's hairstyle, everyone has different standards for that stuff, and, it's just hair, anyway.
Basically, the message from Erin Napier leads us to one we should all remember, even though it can be difficult to do so when scrolling through social media: if you can't say something nice, simply opt to say nothing at all.
Erin and Ben Napier will be back for Home Town Season 5, which premieres on HGTV this Sunday, January 3, at 8 p.m. EST. For more on what to watch in the new year, check out our guide to all the early 2021 debuts!