By Noah Boonov
Previously on this blog, I’ve been open about what it was like growing up online. One of the reasons I spent many hours on Twitter and Tumblr as a kid and teenager was perpetuated by my love for YouTube. I’ve consumed hours upon hours of videos. I used to stay up until 3 am some nights watching my favourite YouTubers. I’d watch daily vlogs (video blogs), sketch comedy, music videos, gaming videos, reaction videos, you name it – I probably watched it. This includes the genre we’d call “Mommy Vloggers” or “Family Vloggers”. These are people who create videos about their journey through motherhood and parenting.
Many YouTubers start channels to capture their lives as parents or mothers. When I was a teenager, most of the videos involved parents playing “pranks” on their kids. Often, they would get out of hand. For other YouTubers, they began their channels before they started having children. As I grew up, they were growing up too. They were adapting their content to their changing lifestyle. Eventually, they made their kids the stars of the videos. Every milestone and change in their life was captured for the enjoyment of millions upon millions of strangers online.
These kinds of videos have only gained popularity since then. With the rise of apps like TikTok and Instagram, this kind of parenting content has become even easier to access. Countless mothers shot up in stardom on TikTok for the videos they made with their children. Women like Laura Fritz, and Maia Knight made a name for themselves on the app by posting videos of their children. Currently, both mothers have chosen to no longer share the same kind of content they had become popular for posting. Both learned the hard truths about filming and sharing videos of their children’s lives online. Many YouTube and TikTok stars face hate, harassment, stalking, death threats, and general backlash for sharing content. Unfortunately for Mommy Vloggers, this kind of behaviour is extended to their children. Viewers begin to form para-social relationships with their children. “Fans” felt entitled to every moment in their lives.
Now, there are ex-Mommy Vloggers coming back online and reclaiming their presence without their children. Acacia Kersey found fame on Tumblr.com in the early 2010’s for her grunge aesthetic and boy-band centric posts. She grew a large following on YouTube and audiences watched her go through many life-stages, including an engagement, wedding, and multiple child births. Their family posted about every single moment, even the open-heart surgery one of their children received. After countless online controversies and a complete overhaul of her social media accounts, Acacia Kersey is back. This time, without the family style content she was once known for. She’s even made videos joking about her loss of followers after choosing not to share “family/kids’ content”. One video of Acacia’s addresses the trauma of blowing up into stardom at such a young age and becoming the main source of income for the family. Now, her accounts seem to embrace this new phase of life. She is trying to stay away from the previous backlash she faced from stealing other online creators’ content, to the continuous hate she received from being a victim of underage revenge porn. To me, Acacia has been every kind of social media famous you can be. Every single moment of her teenage and adulthood has been judged by the viewers.
These women haven’t disappeared from the internet. They have shifted the way they film their children (by removing or blurring their faces) or removing them from future content. Many of these ex-Mommy Vloggers expressed wanting their children to live life away from social media and the spotlight. Despite all the negativity and toxicity surrounding family and mommy vlogging, the videos continue to be popular to this day. Young women are now excited at the idea of becoming mommy vloggers. They’re able to capture every single moment of their little one’s lives just for a tiny ounce of fame and fortune. I can’t lie and say that I haven’t been watching along too. Maybe you’ve even wondered, “Wouldn’t life be a little easier if I could just film my life for profit?”. I sure have.