Influencer Mom Responds After She Was Slammed For Posting TikTok Of Her Dancing Beside Her Baby In ICU

Photo: TikTok
TikTok mother dancing

TikTok influencer and mother Whitney Leavitt (@whitleavitt) saw a lot of mixed reactions and vitriol after posting a video the other day involving a viral dance trend and her baby.

“Lil Lee was taken [to the hospital] cause of low oxygen,” wrote the 28-year-old in her caption for the video that was quickly taken down.

Her infant son is seen laying in a hospital bed while she stands in front of the camera.

The mom performed a viral TikTok dance in front of her baby's ICU bed.

The video had reached over 1.6 million views in less than 24 hours before it was deleted and featured the mother dancing to Kendrick Lamar’s hit single “Love,” while her baby Liam lays with a blanket on and what looks like tubes attached to his face.

The video was posted in response to a comment that read “sending prayers… but what happened? im so confused,” with a couple of emojis to show support for the mother.

According to Leavitt and the captions in the video, Liam was diagnosed with Respiratory Syncytial Virus or RSV for short.

“Waiting for him to breathe better on his own,” read the caption on-screen as she danced in front of his ICU bed in the hospital.

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For obvious reasons, people reacted to this very negatively and criticized the mother for dancing while her baby was sick.

“That kid is fighting for his life and you’re dancing?” read one of the comments. “My infant literally cannot breathe,” mocked another comment that was followed by the dancing emoji.

However, this video, while maybe going a little further than normal, falls in line with the other content on her TikTok — always dancing and making jokes and taking nothing seriously.

It seems as though she uses dancing and humor as ways to cope for things, and even says as much in her follow-up TikTok where she talks about all the hate she’s getting.

Whitney Leavitt responded to the backlash on TikTok.

   

   

“I just want to be clear and communicate that, that was me just trying to be positive,” she started in the video. “I think it’s important to not just assume what someone’s going through.”

According to the CDC, RSV causes very mild, cold-like symptoms and while it’s very rare that infants and toddlers need to be hospitalized and hooked up to tubes, they mention that those who do generally recover from the symptoms within days and get discharged from the hospital quickly.

In the original video, the baby looks fine while he yawns after she kisses him on the cheek, but other people weren’t entirely convinced.

“People use the term ‘coping mechanism’ wayyyyy too loosely now a days,” read one of the comments in the apology video.

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But some people defended her, saying “oh mama. people are so awful, you’re doing amazing! people are always looking for something to be offended by, prayers for you and your fam.”

People expressed their experiences to her in the comments as well to try and criticize her actions, but everyone is different and deals with things in different ways.

'Tone-deaf' TikToks are often debated on TikTok.

Another viral TikTok showed two sisters in front of their mother’s casket performing the viral “Rick and Morty” dance while she lay deceased, and they also saw a lot of criticism.

“Humor is a great way to deal with sorrow and pain,” said Keya Murthy, a clinical hypnotherapist and spiritual life coach. “Most comics and people who laugh or smile a lot are internally dealing with pain.”

Sometimes, instead of crying, people want to just be able to laugh and focus on a brighter future over wallowing and worrying all the time.

“A lot of y’all moms ain’t passing the vibe check on that video going around of the young mother dancing next to her baby in the hospital,” wrote another ally online. “You don’t get to judge someone who has probably not had a shower or any sleep in over 24 hours. Someone who is clearly stressed and manic.”

She seemed teary-eyed and stressed about all of the hate she was getting in her apology video, even though some might say it was entirely undeserved.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.