Tan France Says He Got Messages 'Filled with Such Venom' About Formula-Feeding Baby Son Ismail

·3 min read

Tan France is clearing up his point of view on feeding one's baby.

The Queer Eye star, 38, and husband Rob welcomed their first baby, son Ismail, via surrogate on July 10. In an August campaign with formula company Bobbie, France said he wanted to "evolve the conversation on how we feed our babies."

"Let's start by sharing and supporting every kind of feeding journey. Why now? It's National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, where one type of feeding is put on a social pedestal and those who can not or chose not to are made to feel second best for formula feeding," he said in an Instagram post at the time.

"... No one should ever feel guilty for feeding their baby formula. 'How is feeding going?' as opposed to 'How is Breast Feeding going.' A fed baby is what matters most," added France.

Speaking on Parents magazine's We Are Family podcast, France said he received 17,000 DMs after making that post, many hateful comments from some people who misunderstood his message. He recalled that "almost every one was filled with such venom."

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tan France
tan France

tan France/ instagram

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"Our surrogate wasn't able to pump for us, and we didn't want to use donor milk. We did a lot of research into donor milk, and for us it just wasn't right for us," explained France. "Obviously I'm in a very interesting position where when we say that we're having a baby, a lot of people have an opinion on how we're having a baby and how we will feed our baby."

"I want to make it clear to everyone listening: I 100 percent believe that breastmilk is the gold standard, so does Bobbie. We all understand that. If I could breastfeed my child, 100 percent I would," he said. "I can't. Therefore, I need to not be shamed for that."

"I think they were misunderstanding what I was trying to say with my participation with this campaign," the Netflix star continued. "I wasn't saying we don't need to support the moms who are wanting to breastfeed — of course they should be given every support they need. We also need to not shame the people who cannot breastfeed their child or give their child breastmilk and have to formula feed, or just choose to formula feed."

France, who said the hate is sometimes "expected" given what he's used to encountering on social media, said there was also a positive side of the post.

"There was absolutely a lot of hate. It didn't bother me, because there was also so much love between women, between moms on these comments... One of them would say, 'I felt such guilt. I struggled with this for so many years.' And other women would comment such beautiful support," he said.

"There are thousands of comments on that post. If ever you just wanna feel like there's some good in the world and that there is some positivity between moms, please just look through those DMs. It's actually quite beautiful."