I’d like to raise an issue that bothers me sometimes. And it has to do with kids fashion. I love to sew for my children, but I’m not so sure if I like the world of kids fashion. There are boards and boards of children’s fashion photos on Pinterest, with children dressed as miniature Euro jet setters, and divas, with world weary expressions on their faces. Is the objectification of children thanks to the new social media reaching an all time high? Where do we draw the line? And when does sharing photos of our children on the internet cross the line from innocent sharing to child exploitation?
As a mother who sews for my own children on this blog, this ethical consideration really bothers me. I am really considering not posting any more photos of my kids in their hand made outfits at all.
Sewing for my own children, I often feel torn about sharing photos of them on the internet. Will some weirdo find my child online? Or am I being paranoid because only other mothers who sew and are looking for sewing inspiration stop by to see what I am up to with regards to my children’s sewing projects? I have to admit to being slightly alarmed when photos of my four year old have popped up randomly on Pinterest when I was looking for something else.
Once my child’s photo gets pinned from my blog, I have no control over where that photo ends up, or even if it is used for some advertising in the future, etc. I find it interesting that one of the most well known kids fashion pinners on Pinterest who also sews for her own children, chooses not to show her children’s faces in her blog photos. I think I may do the same thing she is doing from now on.
I don’t want my child to be recognized on the street, not that she would, I don’t have that many followers and I’ll probably lose quite a few by even posting this… But still…. are we posting photos of our children in their handmade outfits to share how fun it is to sew for them and create our own fashions or is there something darker at work?
The need for attention.
And do those cute faces bring attention that pictures of ourselves in our own handmade outfits never could? Let’s face it, our kids are a lot cuter than most of us!
And how are we different from pageant moms? I despise children’s beauty pageants because I feel they objectify children, but how am I different from those mothers? After all, my child is modeling on my blog. Does that now make me a stage mom? Am I validating myself based on the attention my children are getting and how many times they are being “pinned’ or outfits of them are “liked?” Is it REALLY about the clothes we are making and sharing or we getting ego gratification from the attention ? These are all questions I urge you to consider, if you share photos of your children.
Since the advent of social media there are a whole new set of rules being made or not made yet, regarding the privacy of children on the internet. After all, children are under our care and have no say as to whether or not we post photos of them on the web, and we have no knowledge of where those photos might end up, be they someone’s Pinterest board or on some weirdo’s wall in their bedroom.
And how do we regulate the monetary gain that bloggers make from posting photos of their children, either in outfits we make for them ourselves, or parents of pint sized fashion icons with their own Instagram pages and thousands and thousands of followers? And since when did children start BECOMING fashion icons? Since the advent of social media, where everyone is a publisher now.
If people come to a blog to get inspiration on what to sew for their child, and that blog makes money, from advertisers and affiliate links, then it makes sense that some of that money earned should be set aside for that child’s future, especially since the child is the “star” of the blog. Just as several years ago it became required for parents of child actors to put away money that the child earned for that child’s future. But as of yet, there are no regulations on the payment of children in the world of blogging and internet marketing.
Here is an idea : Why not offer the child a prize on a well known kids sewing competition as well as the parent who made the clothes ? After all, the child had to model through the whole shoot. Maybe it was cold outside, and maybe she would have preferred to stay inside and watch cartoons!
And here is one last thing to consider. Does posting pictures of our children set them up for future bullying by their kids at school as well as future cyber bullying? How about the fact that those pictures we post will be out there on the internet FOREVER?
So here is the question, am I over reacting here or am I onto something? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate.