Opinion: Princess of Instagram

instagramWelcome to a new weekly segment here on the blog where I voice my opinion on topical issues. Until I get a weekly paid op-ed gig (offers welcome click here); this is it!

This week I’m tackling something that really got me fired up: The Princess of Instagram.

By now you will most likely be familiar with The Princess of Instagram, little Pixie Rose Curtis. The daily mail (UK) bestowed this title on the two-year-old daughter of Sydney celebrity publicist, Roxy Jacenko, after seeing the little girl’s Instagram account which boasts pictures of her in designer clothing, flying first class around the world and lazing by the pool sipping mocktails.

Pixie’s account is, of course, run by her mother as we all know that two-year olds don’t understand what Instagram is.

Roxy, best known for her appearance on the third season of the Australian Celebrity Apprentice, fought successfully to have her child’s Instagram account reinstated after Instagram revoked access stating that users must be over 13 years old.

Back in June Roxy stated that she started the account for her children (her three-month-old son also has an account) “So they can look back and say OMG is that me, and have a good laugh in times to come! I didn’t start the accounts for anything other than a little fun to share with friends and family.”

But it appears that things may have changed.

Little Pixie’s account is now, according to Roxy, ‘ensuring her daughter’s future’ with brands reportedly paying up to $200 for their products to appear on the little girls Instagram feed. And then, of course, there is the range of hair bows and sunglasses that she is promoting, Pixie’s that is, not Roxy’s.

Oh, well that’s okay then Roxy. Anyone would do the same. Wouldn’t they?

No, they wouldn’t.

What two-year-old understands the difference between a Ralph Lauren and a Target polo shirt? What two-year-old sits by the side of the pool sipping mocktails? And what sort of parent seriously thinks that these images of her daughter are okay to splash around on a publicly accessible account for the entire world for anyone to see?

Now I am certainly not suggesting that little Pixie isn’t loved, cared for or doesn’t partake in ‘normal’ childhood activities such as playing in the sandpit. I’m sure she is loved and does have in part, a ‘normal’ everyday upbringing. What concerns me is the exploitation of a child who has no idea of what Instagram is, and at the moment, has no say.

Pixie, no doubt loves seeing herself all prettied up and her photo on the iPhone or computer. What two-year old doesn’t? But at the tender age of two she cannot fully understand the enormity of the situation, in that every picture posted is available and accessible to ANYONE in the world who cares to look.

Unfortunately, I think this child will grow up with an altered view of reality. She is being taught that materialism, expensive clothes, and outer beauty are to be valued above all else.

I’ve tried to laugh about it and think, ‘What a little cutie.’ and ‘How lucky she is to experience such a lifestyle.’ but I just can’t.

Yes, she is a cutie, her gorgeous red hair and innocent little smile are beautiful, but I can’t shake the feeling that this little girl’s childhood is being denied. Nor can I not feel concerned that Pixie will be even more susceptible to low self-esteem and body image issues as she grows into a young woman.

Shouldn’t we as mothers teach our daughters the importance of the beauty within and not to be judged by appearance or materialistic values? Isn’t this sort of exploitation what we are trying to protect our little girls from?

There is plenty of time for kids to grow up but for now, in their youngest years, we need to let kids be kids and not exploit them or share every moment of their lives with the world.

It gets back to the modern day argument of over-sharing.

The internet and social media have made it so easy to share photos and pictures of our children and most of us do so in a healthy way. But how much is too much? Unfortunately, it is up to each parent to decide.

And I say, unfortunately, because there are parents in this world who don’t fully consider the long-term impact of their actions.

Dear little Pixie, please prove me wrong.

 

What do you think of Roxy sharing these images of her daughter?