couples

Sophie Cachia defends Roxy Jacenko; "This can happen to ANYBODY."

Earlier this week, we reported that four-year-old Pixie Curtis’ Instagram account had been targeted by a sick hoax with images of the little girl doctored in distressing sexual and pornographic pictures circulated among top Sydney fashion identities.

Pixie Curtis, who has been dubbed the ‘princess of Instagram’, is the daughter of Australian PR consultant, Roxy Jacenko. What started as a way for Roxy to thank brands who sent Pixie gifts as a baby, has turned into a lucrative business selling Pixies bows – super cute hair clips for young girls.

The Pixies Bows that accidentally slid their way into my shopping cart and that will soon land in my letterbox.

Roxy says that what happened to Pixie is sick. "In my eyes, it’s paedophilia," she told The Daily Telegraph.

When my eldest child was born in 2011, I actively tried to refrain from posting photos of him on social media. I posted one or two every now and then, but I really didn't want to plaster social media with his image.

My thinking at the time was that at some stage he would be old enough to develop his own online presence, and I wanted him to be able to choose which images of him were in circulation.

Four and a half years and another child later, I've relaxed my approach a fair bit. Scroll through my public Instagram account and there sure is plenty of my kids for you to see.

Us, at the end of 2015. Happy New Year, lovelies. xx

A photo posted by alysj (@alysj) on

But now, in light of what has happened to Pixie Curtis, I'm rethinking my approach. But how do you decide what to share and where and when to share it?
Chrissie Swan, from Nova 100’s Chrissie, Sam & Browny, told The Motherish it's a tricky one. "I'm naturally an over sharer but I admit I am careful about my kids. They are such a huge part of my life and I am so proud of them because they're gorgeous and funny and of course I want to share them with the world. But they are their own people.
Nova 100's Chrissie Swan. image courtesy Nova 100.

"I don't do photo shoots with them for publication in magazines and I get cranky if we are papped when we're out and about. I try and keep the pics of them that I do put on social media to a minimum. And even then, I aim to put pics where their faces are obscured."

Sophie Cachia, who blogs as The Young Mummy and often shares photos of her son Bobby, has a huge social media following with close to 95,000 Instagram followers. "Of course I have rules. I would never put nudity, or Bobby in ‘adult’ like situations. Like Pixie, he is always laughing outside, sitting with mum at a cafe waiting for his milkshake, at soccer practice, or trying on his new shoes. Although I am well aware how nasty the online world can be (as has been proven on Wednesday!!!) I am confident in my parenting and my guidelines as to what I think is appropriate."

  I can conquer the world with one hand... As long as you're holding the other ?   A photo posted by SOPHIE CACHIA (@theyoungmummy) on

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Siobhan Rennie, who writes for The Motherish and has a growing following of her own on Instagram, says that she's very careful with the photos of her children that she shares. "I would never post a pic of the kids in the bath. One time I posted one of the kids with their tops off (they'd just been to the beach) and instantly regretted it."

Sophie Cachia stridently defended Roxy Jacenko in her comments to The Motherish and for what it's worth, I agree with her. "To those who question why or how Roxy can share so many images of her daughter online; Pixie is well aware her mum takes photos of her. She allows her too, and I’ve witnessed first hand that she too enjoys it. It’s a hobby for them both. She’s just a kid, doing kid things, and her mum captures it.

"This can happen to ANYBODY. Every parent who has put their child on social media could be in the same situation. Not just Roxy, despite her 100,000 plus followers. For all the judgement and criticisms I’ve seen of Roxy, it’s funny the amount of public profiles I come across of parents sharing their kids photos. Everyone is so quick to attack her because she has a profile."

Chrissie Swan says, "the problem is we just don't know the future of these pics and social media so I think it's wise to be careful. I would hate for them to be mad at me later."

Speaking on The Project on Wednesday night Mia Freedman, Creative Director of the Mamamia Women's Network and owner of this publication, put it simply. "The fact of the matter is, when you post photos of your kids online - as we have all had to make those decisions whether we do or not - you lose control of what happens to those photos."

I find myself caught between a rock and a hard place here. I'm asking myself the question, do I need to change my approach to posting pictures of my kid on social media? Or should people simply just not steal the images of children and use them in a distressing, inappropriate and potentially criminal way?

But on the other hand, to a certain point that's the world we live in and I feel a responsibility to protect my children as much as I can while I still can, as unfair and outrageous as that is.

What is your approach to sharing photos of your children on social media?