What is it about?

Examining mothers’ social media accounts that focus on children’s fashion, this study provides insights into how commercialism and social media shape cultural expectations for both motherhood and childhood. The paper contributes to previous research on sharenting, the sharing of information about children or parenting online, extending it to the context of fashion photography.

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Why is it important?

Our findings show that children’s fashion photos play a diverse role in mothers’ identity work. The photos can be used to express a mother’s taste and aesthetic skills, to express values, to fit into peer groups and to store memories of oneself and the children. Through the photos, representations of the prevailing Finnish childhood ideals, such as authenticity, naturalness and playfulness, are reproduced. The mothers perceived the children as part of their extended self and justified sharenting with mother- and child-centered arguments.

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Mothers’ self-representations and representations of childhood on social media, Young Consumers Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers, May 2023, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/yc-06-2022-1541.
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