From her social media profile, 33-year-old mum of four, Clemmie Hooper, lives a picture perfect life.
The part-time midwife and woman behind the Instagram account @mother_of_daughters, which had 470,000 followers, has deleted everything after a Mumsnet forum post accused her of exploiting her children.
Along with her husband Simon – who has a cool 845,000 followers on his account @father_of_daughters – UK-based Clemmie regularly posted sponsored photos marked with #ad featuring the couple’s four children Anya, Marnie, Ottilie and Delilah.
The children, who are aged between two and 10 years of age, regularly participate in partnerships with Renault UK, Edition Hotels and Visit Florida which included a family vacation to Walt Disney World.
As a result of their social media platforms, Simon and Clemmie also released three books.
While Clemmie hasn’t specified exactly why she closed her Instagram account, a week prior to its deletion she participated in a Mumsnet chat on ‘influencer ethics on Instagram’.
One Mumsnet user said using children to make money was “morally wrong.”
“The way I see it, any use of children in advertising without them being signed up to an external agency who handle their booking and finances is morally wrong,” they wrote.
“I think in the future, Instagram influencers who use and exploit their children for money will feel really ashamed that they did that and wish they’d used other means.”
It was then another user specifically referenced Clemmie’s Instagram – Mothers of Daughters. While the comment has since been removed by moderators, user Lkjem called her “evil”.
Despite this, Clemmie defended posting her photos, and said that both she and her husband are very selective about featuring their children and choosing what brands to work with.
“I hardly ever feature them. They also see and give consent to any post where there are [sic] in the picture,” she said.
“I sometimes feel that for some people they only see the finished, filtered result on a Instagram rather than see the whole back story.
“This didn’t land in my lap, we are not naive we know things don’t last forever I am trying to do a variety of things on IG sometimes they work out sometimes not. For example, I turn down at least nine out of 10 of the paid opportunities that come my way because most of the time they don’t fit with what I want to do, despite the money being really tempting.”
This isn’t the first time Clemmie and Simon have received criticism for their Instagram posts – one Mumsnet user said a photo Simon posted of their daughters on a toilet definitely crossed the line. However Clemmie has since said that she didn’t approve of that photo either.
“The reason I felt it wasn’t wise to have it taken down was I felt it would only anger people and fuel more threads so I remained silent and never mentioned it until now.”
Other critics of ‘Insta-mums’ and parents who regularly post photos of their children on the Internet say that the issue of portraying an ‘overly filtered’ lifestyle also comes into play.
Mumsnet user JellyDots says that while she is technically their target demographic, she cannot relate to their content.
“You’re not ‘normal’ anymore. Certainly not my normal. It’s very easy to have comical car journeys in a free car. [Although] it must be great to go to Florida without worrying about whether you’ve exceeded what would be our (small) daily budget,” she wrote.
“You (and other insta influencers) are like the modern day versions of 90s glossy magazines. Full of unrealistic portrayals, photo shopped within an inch of its life, making us feel unworthy for not working hard enough.
“[I’m] desperately crying out for someone to wipe the filter off so we can all go back to feeling normal again,” they wrote.
What do you think of the ethics of posting photos of your children onto social media, with some influencers financially capitalising from this? Tell us in a comment.