I read an article recently about the rise of moms made famous by Instagram. These women have tens or hundreds of thousands of followers in the photo-sharing platform and depict an aesthetically pleasing side of their personal motherhood that Instagram users flock to. (And in some cases, they’re making a great living off of those captured and shared moments.)
But I found it interesting that they said they won’t show their dirty laundry there (or their crying baby or their messy living room or their baking fail). Sometimes social media moms and bloggers are chided specifically for not showing the underbelly of motherhood. I think we can all agree parenting is not always pretty. It’s damn hard. But these moms have developed large followings by keeping that dirty stuff hidden out-of-frame. Does that make you love them or hate them?
Have you ever wondered what lies beyond their frame? Do you want to see the reality of other moms’ lives, or is it more interesting and inspiring to see their close-ups of perfect moments?
I clicked through a “Moms of Instagram” article and noticed descriptors like “dreamy,” “fixating,” and “gorgeous” about these sought-after moms’ content. One line said, “Each of her photos is truly more beautiful than the last.” My motherhood doesn’t necessarily look like that. Meanwhile, in a mom focus group I facilitated in my office recently, a millennial mom said she tends to “laugh at the social media perfect world” because “that’s not me and I don’t want to be that.”
So do you think moms flock to Instagram because we want to see the “perfect” and be inspired? Or, do we willingly subject ourselves to unrealistic standards of motherhood because while the photo squares are gorgeous, we can’t see the chaos just outside the frame that might feel a little more relatable… a little more empathetic?
Do you follow any “influential” moms on Instagram? Why do you think they’re so fixating?