Recently, “crunchy” parents online are gaining traction on TikTok, but some are calling them out for spreading misinformation. In case you’re unaware, a “crunchy” parent refers to a parent who is “A mom who is environmental, health, and socially conscious. She cares enough about her family to question the status quo” according to a crunchy mom website. This can look a variety of ways and not every crunchy mom is the same. Some might use cloth diapers and make baby food from home or believe in bed-sharing and giving birth at home. But, some are very against vaccinations and other traditional health information, causing controversy and concern that these moms are spreading misinformation outside.
TikTok creator @Iamlevelingup or Laura, calls herself a “former crunchy cult member” and dispels the misinformation. In one video, she calls out a mother saying that she “healed” autism and believes sunscreen is toxic and you should not use mechanisms to protect yourself from the sun. These types of beliefs are not uncommon in the crunchy parenting community, causing a lot of concern. “I remember a time when being “crunchy” meant eating healthy and using reusable containers, what is happening now is not it,” one person noted.
In one video, she explains why she decided to leave the “crunchy cult” saying that the majority of her friends believed that the vaccinations were turning people gay, saying that there was a lot of hate in the community. Laura has gained over one million likes on her TikTok as she continues to dispel the myths and fear-mongering that many of these mom influencers create. Laura is not the only person trying to dispel these myths, as other creators try to inform those of the misconceptions that come from these groups.
With the threat of COVID-19 and the recent shortage of baby formula, parenting can be incredibly nerve-wracking and difficult, especially for new parents. This might be why the crunchy mom lifestyle might be so appealing, and some of the things like promoting healthy eating, time in nature, and making well-researched decisions are examples of positive things crunchy parents believe in. Other things, like the anti-vaccination movement or shaming mothers for making different decisions, however, are things that happen far too often within the community.