Mumsnet. A place that should be full of support, helpful advice and solidarity seemed to come together in another kind of solidarity. To verbally bash and mum shame the Insta Mum Clemmie Hooper also known as Mother of Daughters.
Hooper, a part time midwife, author and Instagram influencer was hauled over the coals by so called ‘Mumsnetters’ over the use of #ad on her feed and in Instagram stories.
With over 480k followers, Clemmie enchanted her followers with honest reglales of the often hilarious and mundane, snotty and special, tedious and triumphant moments of motherhood.
Having unmonetised my own blog after feeling under pressure to be more authentic, it doesn’t surprise me that Clemmie has deleted her Instagram account.
Clemmie strikes me as someone with strong family values, who puts her children before her own needs.
I have to agree with some mumsnet comments about influencers generally though, in that the use of #ad is everywhere, making followers feel like free holidays are common place and the only one not getting any sun or sanctuary is the normal mum just trying her best.
As a blogger who has had a ‘free’ holiday I wanted to share my experience of it with you, in the hope that a realisation dawns, nothing in life is free.
On my ‘free’ holiday which amounted to the sum total of 2 days, our itinerary was outlined and full. We had to visit 3 places per day across the two days. Dashing across the county wasn’t cheap and petrol was not included, although food was which was lovely.
One of the places my son absolutely hated and refused to go in, which was abit of a nightmare. Another we felt was unsuitable for their age group so we didn’t go. I knew it was the right thing to do, but still worried about what the brand would think about it.
“On the national forum for mothers, Mumsnet, Mrs Hooper was criticised for “ethically dubious” and “morally wrong” behaviour”
We rushed from one experience to the other. I got cross with the kids if they didn’t smile at the camera and so obsessed was I with doing a good job for the brand that I didn’t relax properly for the whole time. They didn’t ask for any of it, being dragged around, but loved the two pence slots at the arcade, something i neglected to put in my post.
I was so worried that I wouldn’t get enough good photos or say enough great things about it (it really was good though, I would definitely book it) that I worked for days on the post when we got home. Editing pictures, writing and re-writing my post. My sole concern was that the brand who had paid for the holiday was happy instead of giving a real account to my readers. I felt on a knife edge anxious about what they would think when I sent it to them for review.
My husband thought me nuts to put us all through it to be honest, and at the same time thought it amazing that we got to stay somewhere pretty cool for free. Blogging has also opened doors to lots of other opportunities I wouldn’t otherwise have had.
It’s quite a lure, free stuff. I blogged about all sorts of products over the years. Until I got to the point where I realised that we were accumulating a lot of ‘stuff’ that we didn’t want and definitely didn’t need. It got to the point where I had to agree with my husband, the stuff wasn’t worth the huge pressure I was putting myself under.
I am so thankful I started my blog and I’m also thankful I unmonetized my blog and for the most part my children aren’t in it. Honestly, the pressure to be perfect was too much and most of it I put on myself. Blogging for monetary gain just doesn’t align with my values. It silenced me more than anything. Unlike like some others who do a great job, I just couldn’t quite bring blog and business together in an authentic way.
#ad cheapens our message and makes us disingenuous
Bloggers and influencers are put in an awkward position when we take on collaborations. We’re forced to put #ad on every single photo, story and blog post, thereby cheapening our message immediately. It can seem disingenuous from the off to be authentic and be receiving compensation for the said post. Not many people get it right and I agree it’s a hard balance to strike.
Honesty I’d love to get to the point where I can earn from my blog again, and unless I can write about what I want without losing my authenticity and it feeling ‘icky’ that’s not going to happen.
Is this all down to what a few people think on Mumsnet or the dark place that is GOMI? Or do they have a point? With all the mental health awareness we now have, do we have a responsibility to only share our reality without compensation? And do our kids deserve anonymity until they can choose?
In France it is illegal to share photos usually kept for family on the internet. Is oversharenting something we need to be really serious about?
Lastly, is mums net full of support and advice or a place to mum shame? I’d love to know what you think.