The line between what's okay and what's not in the realm of Instagram promotion and #sponsored content has been a little blurry for quite a while now. Influencers at the top of their game posting advertorial images is nothing new, but when those posts involve sharing photos of young children to monetize your account, mums are particularly divided. After accusations of using her kids to do just that, Insta-famous midwife Clemmie Hooper has deleted her account.
In a Mumsnet thread called Influencer ethics on Instagram, the 33-year-old mum of four was accused of using her @mother_of_daughters Instagram account to post 'ethically dubious' pictures of her children for advertising, reports The Telegraph.
Posting under the username 'anyalovesrose', Clemmie defended the use of her account and explained to the other forum users that: 'I don't feel I "sell" my children to make money, I actually hardly ever feature the older girls and have changed my approach when working with brands eg I won't feature a picture of my children alone for an AD and I always ask "do they need to be in the post at all?"'
She also said that she shows her daughters the images before she posts them and they give consent to the pictures that they feature in. This was met with further backlash from some users who expressed that it was 'morally wrong', and that 'selling children doesn't just mean using them in an ad. It's also using them as content to the extent that it brings in £'.
It's a conversation that many Instagram users have been having for a while and evidently the boundaries, if not clear, certainly aren't universally agreed on. Clemmie's husband Simon, who also documents his family life on a similarly branded Instagram account @father_of_daughters that boasts almost double Clemmie's old Instagram following with 845K and counting, once posted a picture of one of their daughters on a potty - an image that Clemmie said in another Mumsnet post that she 'wasn't happy with him posting I felt it crossed the line'. However when asked why she didn't ask her husband to take the picture down, Clemmie explained: 'The reason felt it wasn’t wise to have it taken down was I felt it would only anger people and fuel more threads so I remained silent and never mentioned it until now.'
It's unclear whether Clemmie's Instagram account will stay deactivted or whether she's made the decision to take a break amid the heated conversations around her account, however in one of her later posts on the Mumsnet thread last week, she gave some insight into how and why she uses her Instagram the way she does, and why for her it's not just about the money.
She wrote: 'I can see how you’d think I only blag about my ‘wealth’ and use my kids to make money but I would like to point out that neither myself or my husband make huge wads of cash, if we did he wouldn’t still work full time as a management consultant. I also am fully committed to my job as an NHS midwife I adore being a midwife, it’s a selfless but entirely rewarding job and I have lots of plans to expand this and use my knowledge and platform to talk more about midwifery, as per my blog.'
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