This week I felt compelled to write a blog post about a crazy topic that came up in our readings for this week…Instamoms. What is an Instamom you ask? A New York Times article by KJ Dell’Antonia sums it up:
“Meet the Instamom. She is not just snapping pictures of her cute child in adorable moments, she is staging them, using clothing she has requested from brands and a professional photographer. Regular shoots feed the illusion of a life lived outshining the most ordinary of surroundings: playgrounds, grocery stores, the sidewalks most of us walk so forgettably, our toddlers completely without the purple faux-fur jacket and fedora that would so surely enliven their days and the days of what could be legions of adoring fans.”
Another New York Times article defines Instamoms as “a Stage Mother for Social Media”.
One of the most well known is 4 year old London Scout. She has 118 000 followers on Instagram and a blog Scout the City (all accounts are run by her Instamom). I was looking around on the blog and found myself rolling my eyes at things like describing London’s style as “playground chic”. She’s 4 years old!!! Why does a 4 year old need “chic style”!? Whatever this reason, this is one very famous 4 year old. But what happens next? What happens when she reaches an age where she is old enough to make her own decisions and shape her online identity?
- Other popular kids on Instagram include; Millie-Belle Diamond (144 000 followers), Michelle (162 ooo followers), and Gavin (207 000 followers).
My biggest issue with this? The Instamom is creating their child’s online identity and digital footprint. Most of these children are around the age of 4-5, some even younger. The fame and incentives the Instamoms get (including clothing and discounts) sound great, but what happens when the child grows up and doesn’t want the fame and attention? This situation also reminds me of the discussions we have had previously about how social media portrays an edited version of our lives. These are all edited versions of these children’s lives- things are not all smiles, balloons, designer clothing and cupcakes. Instamoms are also not portraying a real picture of what it is like to be a parent.
What are your thoughts on the Instamom? Do you think they are exploiting their children or do you think it’s a unique opportunity for the children? Do you have a problem with the way these children are being portrayed online? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment below.