Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott have five kids: Liam, 12; Stella, 11; Hattie, 7; Finn, 6; and Beau, 2.
The couple has been dealing with negative commentary about their kids for … entirely too long now.
Last September, for example, Tori posted a photo of her four older children in their back-to-school outfits. Commenters said they looked “disheveled” and “fat,” which, ugh, how do people like that even live with themselves?
Tori responded to the trolls in the comments:
“For all the individuals on here that felt the need to #momshame and #kidshame me and my children I say ‘Shame on you!’ I was raised to believe that if you can’t say anything nice about someone then don’t say anything at all,” she said.
“Lift others up and you in turn lift yourself up #endcyberbullying.”
In January, a similar incident happened. Tori posted a photo of the entire family at a movie screening, and commenters started asking rude questions, like, “why do you let your kids get so fat?”
That time, Dean stepped in.
“I am absolutely horrified and disgusted by the comments being left about my children,” he wrote. “Body shaming and bullying my children??!! What is wrong with you people??!!”
He said that his kids are going through “different growth stages” and that it’s flat-out mean to comment on their sizes.
“As far as saying my children are overweight, well that’s just mean and uncalled for,” he wrote. “They’re going through different growth phases, and even if our children are on the bigger side. Who cares. They’re happy and healthy and I’m sorry they don’t look like skinny supermodels. People come in all shapes and sizes. So who are you to judge.”
He also responded to the accusations that his kids are “disheveled.” He pointed out that the photo was taken after a long day at school — and we all know what kids look by at the end of school.
“They’re kids. They’re messy and dirty. That’s what they do,” he said.
As for their clothes, which trolls criticized for being cheap, Dean defended their right to shop at Target, because why the heck not?
“The way they grow out of clothing so quickly is astounding. Are we supposed to shop at Gucci?? These are kids folks. Messy stinky little bundles of fun, laughter and love.”
Sadly, though, as his kids are getting older, they’re becoming more aware of exactly what these trolls are saying about them.
On an episode of his new podcast, Daddy Issues, Dean explained how his oldest son, Liam, is dealing with it all.
“Liam picked it up, and that’s when I really went ballistic, because it’s like, you know, it’s gonna happen,” he said.
“He said, ‘Dad, am I obese?’ I said, ‘Look buddy — there’s some sick people in the world … and they need to do stuff like this. They need to say bad things about people.’”
Dean wants Liam to understand that the rude comments say more about the people writing them than they do about Liam.
He explained it to his son like this:
“Think about it, son. You have a busy life. You have school, you got sports; do you think you have time to go on Instagram, scroll through the people that you’re following, and make a negative comment about somebody?’”
“I said, ‘No, you don’t. You don’t, and if you did, you’d fill your time with something else. So think about how sick these people are that they have to do that.”
Tori and Dean are definitely not the only people who’ve had to reckon with the effect of social media trolls on their families. It happens to basically every famous person with a kid. Some, like Pink, have even stopped posting photos of their kids because of it.
It’s a shame that a 12-year-old boy even has to worry about what some jerk on the internet thinks!