A new Vine from Mariah Carey's Hollywood Walk of Fame star dedication ceremony on Wednesday, August 5, is sweeping the web as a supposed condemnation of her mothering skills.
The Vine, which you can watch on a never-ending loop above, shows Carey smiling with her star while one of her children desperately reaches for her. Carey continues to pose while an offscreen hand drags the child away. The contrast between the screaming kid and Carey's resolutely beaming face is hilarious, and as with any good Vine, the comic timing is impeccable.
Still, there's something unsettling about the way this clip is being passed around. Too much of the discussion around the moment implies that Carey's failure to jump off that star to calm her child at that moment is, indeed, a failure of mothering. Mothers in both the public and private spheres are scrutinized too often solely for how they engage with their kids and little else. The Vine's funny, sure, but the immediate instinct to call Carey out as a questionable mother on a day devoted to her professional accomplishments is alarming.
I don't know if Mariah Carey is a good or bad mother. A Vine that represents exactly six seconds of her life isn't enough evidence to sway me one way or another. But here's what I do know: Mariah Carey is the purest form of "diva" we have on this godforsaken planet.
Carey has sold more than 200 million albums worldwide. Her 2002 MTV Cribs episode is the stuff of legend, thanks to butterfly-themed rooms, boasts of owning Marilyn Monroe's piano, and a quick costume change that a harried assistant helps her with while she's walking.
Carey boasts a five-octave vocal range, and a recent ConcertHotels study even said she has hit the highest note of all time. Sure, her last album flopped, but even just its title — Me. I am Mariah ... The Elusive Chanteuse — proved no one does grandeur like Carey.
In other words, Mariah Carey is a goddamn superstar. She knows it, even if her kid seems woefully unaware.