With the rise of the smart phone, and immediate access to the Internet, there has been a huge increase in up-and-coming starlets taking to social networking, using high-tech tools and modeling agencies to self-promote their personal brand and aesthetic to an ever-receptive, always on-line audience. But you will find a rising group of models gathering their particular fair share of the action, particularly on Instagram, namely baby versions!
For ambitious musicians like Lily Allan, social tools like Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat have been invaluable in creating awareness of their modelling talents. Self-publishing tools offering current, instant access to fans around the globe have got allowed rising stars to build their brand, create a personal and accessible identity, and led to a strong army of online followers who hold on their every move.
For the Kardashian-Jenner crew et al, this has converted into a constant fascination with their everyday wardrobe, make-up, hair and add-ons. With audiences fully engaged using the latest star looks online, it becomes easy to monetise their social media presence via endorsements and sponsorship offers. The smartest high fashion manufacturers are clamouring to dress social media stars, promoting their goods to fans desperate to emulate the latest trends – often before they already have even hit the catwalk.
With this particular tried and tested method winning the twenty-something modeling pack contracts with the style houses, and grabbing media head lines around the world, another group of aspiring models is jumping on the social media bandwagon – many before they’ve even got the motor skills to do so.
The latest trend on social media may be the rise of the instamom – self-styled social media stage mums – making use of Instagram to increase their youngsters’ baby modelling profiles and find modelling careers. And so far it seems to be working.
With the most successful Instagram baby versions like 4-year-old London Scout offering more than 105, 000 followers plus Alonso Mateo with a staggering six hundred, 000 followers, high fashion manufacturers are bending over backwards to have these little trendsetting models presenting their latest lines. Indeed, younger Alonso recently attended his 1st Fashion Week in Paris, grabbing the headlines at the Dior display.
What is it that compels these moms and dads to so carefully curate these types of photos for a worldwide audience? It’s natural for parents to take normal family snaps of their child because they grow up, but these staged shots – with professional photographers, lighting plus carefully selected clothing stories — put their child in the spotlight. For exactly what end?
Apart from attracting the early interest of modelling agencies, many parents are in it for the perks, with the style industry and online stores providing their latest lines for free in exchange for an endorsement on a busy Instagram feed. Keira Cannon, mum to 5 year old Princeton – whose Instagram following has reached almost 7, 000 users – cites buying discounts, samples of the latest designs plus cash fees per shoot. The girl reports that little Princeton “kind of loves [the attention]. ”
Princeton’s dad, Sai Roberts, is a little more cautious. He says, “There a few concerns in the sense that if it was to obtain out of hand, but so far it’s really already been a positive experience. I’m very very pleased that he’s getting exposure, and I hope he’s able to use that will for his own creative flair plus voice as he grows older. ”
Whilst followers on the children’s’ Instagram feeds are mainly positive plus inspirational, there are of courses voices of concern at the potential dangers of exposing youngsters to such intense scrutiny and high aesthetic criteria at a young age.
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Many argue that these shoots are objectifying the children, and creating long term ramifications for the kids who may struggle to understand why they are being celebrated only for physical appearance. Several professionals compare the instamoms showcasing their children in the digital world in order to stage mums normally associated with beauty pageants.
Ginger Clark, Psychologist plus Professor of Clinical Education on the University of Southern California, says on the subject baby modelling, “Not every single kid is going to have this experience, however it runs the risk of giving the child the particular sense that they are a commodity inside your eyes, ” she said. “You have to be extra careful to make sure the particular messages you’re giving your child are ‘This is for fun, this is dress-up. ‘ But when you’re hiring your personal photographer and modelling agency, then it becomes more commercialised. “