Teen daughter of mummy blogger reveals she's making 'no photos' sweatshirt

sad teen with phone on bed
The teen said she felt she had "no other option". Photo credit: Getty.

The rise of the mummy blogger has been astronomical in recent years - it's difficult not to see picture-perfect families shown through expensive, preset filters when you open Instagram now.  

Often, not much thought is given to the children in these photos, whose entire lives are documented, sometimes without their consent.

Now those children are beginning to grow up and the results can be pretty disastrous. 

That has come to light in the case of one teen who has shared on Reddit how they're battling the constant public exposure. 

On the popular 'Am I the Asshole' sub-Reddit, the teen explained their mother is "kinda famous" on Instagram, and she was a large part of her mother's content while growing up. 

"It sucks because there's so much out there about us and it's what's gonna come up when I'm looking for a job, when I'm dating, when anyone looks up my name," the anonymous teen explains. 

"I found a website that will print custom jackets, print all over the front and back and arms... And I ordered some hoodies that say a bunch of phrases all over them."

Those phrases include: 'No photos', 'no videos', 'I do not consent to be photographed, 'no means no', 'respect my privacy', etc.

"I got one for me and one for my nine-year-old sister, who's started to not always want photos," the teen explained. 

"And I guess the idea is that my mom can't take good looking pictures, even candid ones, with us in the hoodies without them having a pretty strong message that we don't want to be in pictures."

It seems ridiculous that a child would have to go to such extreme lengths to stop a parent photographing them - surely a simple conversation would suffice. But apparently not, as the teen added their mother was "really mad" when the hoodie turned up.  

"She says she just wants pictures to remember my young years by, she won't post ones without asking... [but] she always says that and then negotiates me into letting her post, like either by saying that's how she makes income so if I want money for something, to stop arguing about pictures, or by saying 'I thought it would be OK because your face wasn't visible'.

"I am just so fed up, and upset that my mom is mad at me for wearing my new hoodie every day. 

"She's mad I won't take it off for any event and thinks it's inappropriate to wear to certain things... But it feels like my only option." 

The post has racked up over 3000 comments, with many telling the teen she was being manipulated and exploited by her mother. 

"I'm seriously wondering what she's going to do when her youngest is 18 and no longer a minor that needs parenting. She's built her whole online identity on being a mom, so what's she going to do when she's not?" one commenter asked. 

"Maybe OP should consider starting their own blog detailing the difficulties, invasions of privacy and parental entitlement involved in growing up in the spotlight of a mommy blog," another suggested

"You have every right to feel that way. I think the hoodie is a brilliant idea!" wrote another. 

The ethics of parenting bloggers exploiting their children's identities has been an ongoing debate for several years. A 2013 Atlantic article on mummy blogging points out: "It's generally understood that what kids put online about themselves can hurt them later. How can a child consent to a memoir?"