Arts & Culture News

(UPDATED) Denton Children's Advocacy Group Director Refuses Tattooed Moms' Donation

UPDATE, 2:40 p.m.: Dan Leal, the center's executive director, emailed us this statement this afternoon:

"The Children's Advocacy Center for Denton County appreciated the generous offer made by the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas organization; however, the money was raised with a pin up calendar that could be perceived by some as sexual in nature and our Children's Advocacy Center's mission is to provide justice and healing for children who are the victims of sexual abuse. Unfortunately, we could not accept the proceeds of this pin up calendar's sales because of the calendar's possible perception, and not the hard working mothers who sponsored it."

Original story follows:

Stacy Willingham of Denton, a freelance writer and mother of two very active kids, had trouble fitting in with the square, un-inked, Red State of mind of some pockets of suburban Texas motherhood. She birthed her youngest daughter Stella in 2011 and like most moms, she needed other moms to talk to about trying to juggle a life, a career and two kids.

She described it as an unfriendly experience.

"They acted like I was stupid for being so stressed out, for lack of a better word," Willingham said as she tries to keep her oldest son Cole from making an old fashioned stack of mud pies in their backyard. "They ridiculed me for being open and talkative and I don't get it. ... I just wanted other moms to talk to."

Stacy also has two arms full of carefully sketched tattoos, and like most of her tattooed hippie mommas, she said they also had trouble fitting into "traditional" mom groups. So they got together and formed the Tattooed Hippie Pirate Mommas. It quickly spawned other chapters across the region, the state, the rest of the country and even in London. They started using their awesome, new-found mommy powers to start fundraisers to raise money for nonprofit groups of their choosing. That honor would have gone to the Children's Advocacy Center of Denton County but Development Director Stacie Wainscott declined their offer "due to the conservative nature of our organization," according to an email sent to Willingham.

"It's total bullshit," Stacy said.

This past summer, Stacy and her fellow mommas got together to shoot some playful pin-up photos for a 2-year calendar to sell them at $30 a pop. The calendar was a huge success that not only earned them a hefty check to give to the charity of their choice but also the attention of the national media cycle in places such as the pages of the New York division of The Daily Mail and an upcoming episode of Inside Edition. It even earned them the attention of a reality TV show producer who wants to shoot the moms' stories for a pilot episode to shop to the networks and perhaps bring some sane and likable housewives to the reality culture junkyard.