If you take a quick glance at the successful fashion cute kid Instagram accounts, it’s pretty obvious childhood is overrated. California’s Alonso Mateo has over 600,000 followers, Gavinduh has 200,000 and Mini Style hacker boasts 260,000. Then there’s little two-year-old Millie-Belle Diamond from Sydney with 134,000 followers and four-year-old Pixie Curtis (daughter of P.R. queen Roxy Jacenko), also from Sydney, with 108,000.
Instead of spinning in circles with a bucket on their head in the backyard or playing hide and seek, these amateur child models, like Alonso (pictured below), are spending hours getting dressed and being photographed looking profound in a camel-coloured leather jacket, deck shoes, aviator sunglasses and flat-front cuffed pants.
Watch Pixie Curtis complain about her clothes not matching below. Post continues after video.
Alonso may need to take off his aviators before he plays a rigorous neighbourhood game of tip-the-bucket or gets his hands dirty making a racing track in the garden. Who are we kidding? He’ll take off his aviators after he parks his trike on Melrose and has a cognac.
There are scores of little kids on Instagram who have become fashion icons according to the New York Times.
“Instamums” like Angelica Calad who says her two-year-old daughter Taylen (Taylensmom, followers 112K) has become “a brand”. London Scout (Scoutfashion, followers 109K) went to New York Fashion Week in her native city and her mum says, “it was like she had her own little paparazzi”.
Jacenko said to Sunday Style magazine of daughter Pixie in June: “Then people offered to send her garments or toys and pay to post them, and you know what? It never really crossed my mind if it was right or wrong.”
The images aren’t just pictures of little kids playing dress-ups. These insta-star kids come with endorsements, which means they are paid to wear clothes from certain brands and stores and these brands and stores are tagged in the Insta shot. Due to the social reach and influence of many of these tiny insta- stars, there is a commercial transaction going on.
It’s a commercial transation that academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham University, Susan Scafidi, says – unlike the world of editorial and advertising modelling – is not regulated at all, which is a concern when kids (and parents) are working hard. There are clothing changes, stylists, professional photographers, hours of shooting time and brand strategies involved in scaling the number heights of Instagram.