The Pixie Curtis story is all over the internet this morning and I can’t stop thinking about it.
For those of you unfamiliar with Pixie Curtis, she is a 4 year old girl dubbed the princess of Instagram. She is an Instagram sensation with hundreds and thousands of followers. Her mother Roxy Jacenko is a hugely successful PR business woman and manages her daughters account and business, Pixie Bows. Recently a couple of photos of little Pixie were photoshopped to look almost pornographic and then circulated online. An awful thing to happen and wrong on so many levels.
The situation has naturally left me feeling a little uneasy because I also post photos of my children online. Maybe not to the same extent as Roxy, but I still do it. However, contrary to popular opinion, I don’t think we should stop.
The internet and social media is here to stay whether we like it or not, and refusing to use it or to post photos is not going to make it go away. As a parent you may think you are protecting your child by staying away from all social media but there will come a time when your child will want to stand on there own two feet and this will include being on social media. Isn’t it better to embrace it, so that you know how it works, rather than sticking your head in the sand and then having absolutely no idea what your 13 year old child is getting up to online?*
I personally wouldn’t allow my 4 year old to have a social media account but that’s just me and I in no way judge Pixie’s mother for choice. Let’s be honest, Pixie’s Instagram account might be named after her but in reality it is run by her mother who knows what she is doing. Most 4 year old can’t read and write yet, so of course they’re not going to have control over their own social account. Pixie Curtis’s account was used to promote her (and her mothers) business, Pixie bows. Is this really so bad? What is so different from Pixie promoting Pixie Bows to the kids promoting clothing on the Cotton On Kids, Bonds or GAP instagram accounts, for example? They’re all kids, they’re all on social media and they’re all on public accounts, yet none of them are being pulled to shreds in the media. In fact they’re seem as models, but their photos could get hijacked just as easily as Pixie’s did.
What happened to Pixie’s photos is truly disgusting . However, the real question I have is not whether Pixie should have been on instagram or whether her mother was exploiting her, but how on earth can a grown man think it is funny or ok to photoshop a picture of a child into a lewd image? That right there is the problem!
It can happen and it already has, but these types of sick individuals are in the minority and operate both online and offline. Yes it is very scary, but I personally don’t think keeping our kids off the internet is going to stop the problem. There are so many wonderful reasons why I personally post photos of my kids on social media. Without doing it, my family, who live all over the world, would rarely get to see my kids and visa versa. I am pretty sure the majority of people are with me on this, so why should we let the minority win?
As I mentioned earlier, the internet and social media is here to stay and will become the only form of communication our kids know. Instead of throwing blame and judgement at the victims and hiding away, we should all learn the risks, understand how each platform works, use them age appropriately and be on top of security.
Do you post photos of your kids online?
What do you think of using children for marketing?
*13 years is the legal age for children to create their own social media accounts, but so many start a lot younger than this.