Evening news anchor Erin Kiernan is really, really tired. Not only is Kiernan’s 6-month-old son Michael Francis teething, but she works 40 hours a week at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa. “I used to think I knew what exhausted was. Hilarious,” the new mom wrote in an April 12 Facebook post. In the accompanying photo, the 42-year-old is bespectacled and makeup free, her hair thrown up in a messy bun.
“You’re beautiful Mama! This is parenthood for real,” wrote one follower, while another reminded Kiernan, “Your exhaustion shows you’re taking good care of the bright eyed baby!!!!” But not all of the comments were so kind. In an April 13 Facebook update that has since gone viral, Kiernan revealed she received several “mean, nasty, hateful comments,” including one that accused her of not looking like the same person who appears on television.
“Newsflash! These ARE NOT pictures of the same person,” she wrote, posting a side-by-side comparison of her head shot and sleep-deprived selfie. “The woman on the left is well rested, spent two hours on her hair and makeup, had a professional photographer take her picture (and photoshop it, I’m sure), and is in the “glowing” second trimester of her pregnancy.”
Kiernan continued: “The woman on the right got two hours of sleep (maybe), hadn’t looked in the mirror, took a selfie, did not put a filter on it and is covered with spit up and drool from a teething and very crabby baby. You are an idiot if you think these are pictures of the same woman.”
She has since cooled off. “The reason the [comment] made me so angry is that it went on to imply that I am a ‘fraud’ or somehow disingenuous because of the stark contrast between those two photos,” Kiernan tells Us Weekly. “My reaction was pretty visceral and not terribly well done. Sleep deprivation makes us do crazy things.”
Visceral or not, Kiernan’s message resonated with others. Her retort has been liked 13,000 times.