- Bianca Snyder as been taking her son Tage to Burning Man since he was a baby
- A photo of her breastfeeding him at the festival in 2018 went viral
- She said the candid image led to a barrage of criticism from commenters
A mom has told of the ‘horrific’ mom shaming she endured after photos of her breastfeeding her baby at Burning Man went viral but she says it will not prevent her from taking him to the festival and he is currently attending his fifth ‘Burn’ aged seven.
Bianca Snyder, a cannabis entrepreneur from Chicago, featured in a 2018 Bored Panda article titled ‘Epic Photos From Burning Man 2018 That Prove It’s The Craziest Festival In The World,’ and the shot showed her breastfeeding her 22-month-old son Tage on the dusty playa while kissing her husband Tad.
In a recent TikTok, Bianca said the candid image of her at the festival – which is known for inspiring hedonistic activities including drug use, nudity and sex – led to a barrage of criticism from commenters who deemed her irresponsible and a bad parent.
Some of the comments she received included ‘disgusting, totally gross,’ while another critic quipped ‘what kind of c**p parents take their little kid to a week long drug festival in the desert?’
Despite the damning comments she has received over the years, Bianca – who even attended Burning Man when she was eight months pregnant – says she remains determined to not them let get to her.
She insists the event has helped her son Tage to improve his social skills and things like nudity shouldn’t be considered shameful.
‘We all have that same anatomy,’ she told Insider.
And addressing the topic of seeing people inebriated, she says it provides Tage with the opportunity to learn about ‘handling real-life situations.’
In a TikTok posted earlier this month, Bianca responded to her naysayers.
She explained in a series of overlaid captions: ‘I thought why do I feel shame for doing something that I love.
‘I realize people on the internet don’t know s**t about my life experience or my perspective on life.
‘I breastfed without fear and I use plant medicine freely because I choose to live life on my terms.
‘The lessons I learned was to be confident in my choice and that’s want to share with you.
‘Despite what the haters said abut me, I can live in my happiness bubble and savor every moment of motherhood without succumbing to the criticism or expectation of others.’
As a sign of resilience, Bianca created an Instagram account for her son with the handle @burnervantage.
The account – which sports the tagline a ‘Child’s View Of Burning Man’ – features dozens of images of Tage with his parents at Burning Man, from being an infant to the present day.
He has attended the arts and music event almost every year since birth expect for 2019 and in 2020 and 2021 it was canceled due to the pandemic.
Photos of him as an infant show him clambering around the giant art installations and getting to grips with the dusty terrain on his hands and knees.
However, in recent years he has been able to explore the post-apocalyptic landscape with more vigor alongside his parents and fellow festival-goers.
In a series of snaps posted from the weekend, Tage and his parents look to be enjoying their festival surrounds, with a hotpotch of different outfits worn in each shot.
Given the desert landscape and sudden winds, goggles and sunglasses are a must at all times.
One commenter thanked Bianca for sharing the photos, writing: ‘Love it, you inspiring me to take my son to Burning Man.’
Another added: ‘Incredible photos!! Love them all’
While Burning Man has a reputation for debauch partying, Bianca says you can steer clear of it and ‘find your own tribe.’
She told Insider: ‘You can cultivate the experience that you want to have, and you’re not subject to those extremes if you don’t want to be.
‘There’s people doing yoga, there’s people having important conversations that are relevant to improving the future of mankind. There’s people experiencing art.’
Footage of the family at Burning Man also show them participating in an event called Burner Ball, which is Tage says he loves as it is similar to baseball but it involves no rules and all players are on the same team.
In a bid to combat mom shaming following the uproar over her Burning Man family excursions, Bianca posted a series of tips to her followers on Tiktok.
She says the main thing is to ‘trust your instincts’ as ‘you know your child and your journey better than anyone else.’
Her other key takeaways are to ‘surround yourself with people who respect your parenting choices,’ ‘encourage fellow mothers to be confident in their choices instead of criticizing them’ and to ‘prioritize mental health.’
The festival-goer – who is now enjoying her 12th year of Burning Man – concludes: ‘We are all doing our best. Let’s foster a community of understanding, empathy, and respect for supporting moms.’