'The Hills' Star Heidi Montag Sparks Backlash After Drinking in Photo With Toddler Son

Heidi Montag is used to causing a stir on social media, whether it’s due to her fiery posts with husband Spencer Pratt, her adorable ones with son Gunner, or by posting clips from her many iconic moments from The Hills. But one of her latest posts, in which Montag could be seen drinking while her son sits nearby, caused a little bit more than a simple stir.

In the photo, Montag and her son can be seen spending time at the beach. And while that sounds innocent enough, the part that caused many to question the reality star was the fact that she was drinking out of a bottle of wine in the snap while Gunner plays next to her. She captioned the post with a simple, “Mood.” Now, there were some followers who thought the photo was playful enough, as they wrote, “[Laughing my a— off] definition of mom life right here! Wanting to be glamorous but f it!”

However, there were just as many who were critical of Montag’s Instagram post. “If ya wanna drink, go to a bar not with your kid j/s,” one user wrote. Another commented, “you can drink but with you child next to you that’s f—d up! Grow up.” Yet another took a sarcastic approach to their comment, writing, “What a role model....sarcasm.”

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Emily Lynn Paulson, a mother of five, a certified professional recover coach, and author of Highlight Real: Finding Honesty & Recovery Beyond the Filtered Life, was especially displeased to see Montag glorifying drinking around her child. In a statement to PopCulture.com, Paulson, who has gotten sober herself, opened up about her thoughts on the drinking mom culture that the reality star is seemingly perpetuating in her post.

"Oh, Heidi. This is so irresponsible. With nearly one million followers, you have an obligation to set a better example. No doubt, this is setting a terrible example for the child you are raising, but that's your choice as a parent," Paulson wrote in an open letter to Montag. "The overall issue is your obligation to your readers, who cling to the things you say and do, and use photos like this to justify problem drinking."

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She added, "And let me be clear, drinking out of a bottle on the beach within reach of your child is a problem. If you replaced the champagne bottle with a cigarette, or a bong, would you have posted this photo? And that's the irony! As a society, we've conditioned ourselves to believe that alcohol is a required accessory to parenthood. This is the ‘wine mom’ narrative that you are perpetuating, and it is dangerous and destructive. You can do better."

Montag has yet to respond to the controversy.

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