baby

Zoe Foster Blake and Hamish Blake have been criticised for "sharenting."

They’re arguably Australia’s ‘golden family,’ but on Sunday, the Blakes were the subject of a Daily Telegraph thought piece by Angela Mollard, accusing them of “sharenting.”

Mollard wrote the column in response to a comment by Foster Blake published in last week’s Good Weekend, where the 36-year-old criticised the media for publishing pictures of her two-year-old son and repackaging it as news.

“Once upon a time there was a little boy called Sonny Blake,” starts Mollard, before detailing the manner in which Zoe Foster Blake and Hamish Blake share photos of their son on Instagram.

Mollard describes how “something strange started happening,” when “grown adults started treating [Sonny] like he was a celebrity.”

You better luge yourself in the music, the moment, you own it, you better never let it go.

A photo posted by ZOË FOSTER BLAKE! (@zotheysay) on

With over a million fans, she says, he’s been fetishized by women who say he makes their “ovaries hurt.”

But then Mollard describes how things quickly shifted, when the Good Weekend challenged Zoe Foster Blake on having her child in the public eye.

“I spend my life with this child; it would be weirder for me never to post a photo of him. And we are as sure as shit not exploiting him,” Foster Blake said.

But like every children’s story, there’s a ‘big bad wolf,’ says the writer.

“What if I told you that in our story you couldn’t see the big bad wolf because he was invisible and would only be entering our story 15 years from now?,” she writes.

The ‘lens or screen’ conundrum claims yet another selfie.

A photo posted by ZOË FOSTER BLAKE! (@zotheysay) on

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Essentially, the piece argues that the effects of sharing the lives of young children on social media are largely unknown. We don’t know where pictures of chubby-cheeked, blue-eyed Sonny end up, and we have no way of controlling how they’re used.

Of course, we also don’t know what the impact will be on Sonny, when he grows up. Mollard suggests he might “resent the invasion of [his] privacy,” and that his public profile might put unnecessary pressure on him to be a certain type of person.

She references research into “sharenting” which investigates “how feral it might become.”

Debate about Mollard’s column has started on Instagram, with one woman expressing her solidarity with Foster Blake in a comment below a recent photo of Sonny.

“Really wishing I had something clever or funny to say about Angela Mollard’s column, but I don’t,” wrote the woman. “Just disappointed to read that someone who (presumably) does not know you or your family, feels the need to use you for fodder.”

“I choose to concentrate on raising children who are confident in themselves, polite, friendly and resilient who will not be ’embarrassed’ by the rolls they rocked as a toddler later in life.”

Foster Blake responded, “this is a beautiful comment.”

Mamamia approached Zoe Foster Blake for comment but at the time of writing had received no response. 

Listen to Zoe Foster Blake tell us just how she does it.

How do you feel about sharing photos of young children on social media? Is it innocent or potentially harmful?