Ah, the age of the influencer. Over the last 10 years posting photos on social media has gone from fun pastime to serious business for people looking to monetize their image and lifestyle. It can be a lucrative business model, for sure, and, love 'em or hate 'em, it looks like they're here to stay. With the rise of Instagram and Facebook and the decline of personal blogs, many one-time mommy bloggers made the transition from blogger to influencer and the results can be seen all over social media.
Mommy influencers are popular—very popular—for sharing their perfectly crafted vignettes, beautifully staged scenes of a day in the life of a mom. Some of them make us feel better about our own hot mess lives, while others make us wish we had more of what they have. And ever since they became a mainstay in parenting culture, many of us have watched their audiences grow and thought, "I wonder what those kids are going to have to say about all this one day."
Well, that day is here. A 16-year-old daughter of an influencer has finally had enough of her life posted online, monetized, and shared with the public at large. In a Reddit post under the very apt username FinallyAnonymous6, the girl explained her situation and her solution. "I am a teenager and my mom is kinda famous on Instagram and blogging. She had a mommy blog all when I was growing up and of course, me and my sister were always involved," she wrote. "It sucks because there's so much out there about us and it's what's gonna come up when I'm looking for a job, when I'm dating, when anyone looks up my name."
In short, she was done. After asking her mother several times to stop posting photos of her online, and her mom ignoring her request or manipulating her into acquiescence, she came up with a plan.
"I found a website that will print custom jackets, print all over the front and back and arms... And I ordered some hoodies that say a bunch of phrases all over them: 'No photos,' 'no videos,' 'I do not consent to be photographed,' 'no means no', 'respect my privacy,' 'no cameras,' 'no profiting off my image.'" She even had some made for her little sister.
Illustration by Sarina Finkelstein; Getty Images (2)
Her mom, well, her mom wasn't pleased. "My mom was mad when they showed up, and really mad when I'm wearing mine. Like she says she just wants pictures to remember my young years by, she won't post ones without asking. But I know that's a whole mess anyway," she added. "She always says that and then negotiates me into letting her post, like either by saying that's how she makes income so if I want money for something, to stop arguing about pictures. Or posting without asking and then saying I thought it would be OK because your face wasn't visible, you're just in the background, etc."
Mom also had somethings to say about the hoodies emblazoned with messages about consent and bodily autonomy. "Every time I talk about consent, or 'no means no' or how I own my own body, she accuses me of making it sound like 'a dirty sex thing'... Which isn't how I mean it, I just think consent and bodily autonomy matters for many reasons! Not only sex!"
Posted in the popular AITA (Am I The A**hole) Subreddit, FinallyAnonymous6 got a resounding NTA (not the a**hole) from a whole slew of infuriated Redditors. People suggested she talk with other children of influencers and start a movement or even sue their parents.
For what it's worth, we applaud this daughter for standing up for her rights, her autonomy, and her privacy, and we earnestly hope this mom gets a clue before the relationship with her daughter, that she's made a career out of, is irrevocably damaged. No career is worth losing your child.