The demographic of an influencer has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. No longer is it just a term for young, model-like, cis-gender, heterosexual white women — although they definitely still have a foot in the game — who are here to set the latest fashion and lifestyle trends. No, now there is so much more diversity in the influencing industry (it’s safe to call it that, right?), and it’s not just a solo gig anymore. Lots of couples, friends, and families are making names for themselves.
And it’s this movement that prompted a 15-year-old girl to join the “Am I The A-hole? (AITA)” subreddit to vent about her mom, who wants them to become the next viral family. The teen is one of five kids, including 13-year-old twin brothers and two younger sisters, ages 10 and 7. She told Reddit that her father is a lawyer and her mom is a “housewife.”
“Lately [my mom] has been super fixated about these social media channels of families and the clout they get,” the teen who originally posted (the “OP”) said. “She also has been complaining a lot about how boring being a housewife is and that she plans on becoming an influencer.”
Well, those plans haven’t gone … as planned. And now OP is asking Reddit if she is an a-hole for “snitching” on her mom and causing her parents to fight.
How It All Started
To recap: OP’s mom wants to be the Next Big Thing in the world of family and parenting influencers. And so she asked OP if she would be in her videos. “I told her I didn’t want to because I didn’t feel comfortable about it. It has been bothering me a bit since she’s too insistent and always tries to include me in her videos.”
OP’s Other Reason
Beyond feeling personally uncomfortable with being in the videos, OP didn’t think it was good for her siblings to be in them. “The internet is a harsh place and my siblings are too young to be so exposed here,” OP wrote. “I tried to warn my mom about this but she didn’t pay attention to me.”
Talking To Dad
OP started talking to her dad about the videos and how her mom was sharing footage of the four younger siblings. “I didn’t know that my dad was oblivious to this,” OP said. “It seems like my mom was keeping it a secret.”
The Next Argument
OP’s dad started to fight with his wife about the videos, and said he did not give permission for them to be posted.
“My mom told him to ‘mind his own business’ and that she doesn’t need his permission since they are her kids too. They continued to fight and later my dad went to work.”
OP’s mom knew her daughter was the one to tell her husband and so she “scolded” OP. Ever since then, she has been giving OP “the silent treatment.” Yes. The silent treatment.
Now OP wants to know if she was the a-hole for “snitching” on her mom.
There is no doubt in Redditors’ minds that OP is not the a-hole (“NTA”).
“1. Snitching when you haven’t been told it’s a secret isn’t actually snitching, it’s just talking. 2. Your father has as much right as your mother to know about things involving their children,” one person said, to which another responded, “And just because someone says it’s a secret doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be exposed.”
“Personally I hate families who make TikToks nonstop. It’s so cringy. You just know all they do is set for videos and do retakes etc. It comes off as so egocentric and ridiculous to me. I don’t blame you at all for not wanting to be a part of it. Your dad has the right to know, so telling him was the right thing to do.”
OP responded to that one saying, “It being cringy is the exact reason why I don’t want to appear on her vids 😂. I tried to explain to her that I hate that type of video and that I would feel embarrassed if anybody in my school ever saw them. She didn’t care.”
“She told you to mind your own business, but that’s what you were doing,” a Redditor wrote. “Her decision is going to affect you, and all your siblings. She wanted to record you. She made it your business. Not to mention the fact that there are serious mental health tolls and psychological issues that kids develop from this predatory ‘influencer / kidfluencer family’ stuff. Your mom is trying to exploit you and your siblings, and you don’t want it. You talked to someone you trust about it, that certainly doesn’t put you in the wrong … Just saw at the end that your mom is giving you the silent treatment. That’s absolutely childish, stupid, and pathetic behavior from an adult. Let alone a parent. She needs to act her age and spend less time on social media.”
And on it went:
“If she’s feeling unfulfilled, she needs to go see a therapist or something, not drag her kids into some dog-and-pony show on TikTok.”
“You should never have to keep a concern you have about one parent from the other.”
“It is a tragic situation when a child is more mature and responsible than a parent … I have the feeling that this is just the beginning.”
“If you are a minor, both parents exercise your parental authority. It is correct; your mother also has representation and can make certain decisions on your behalf. However, this does not mean that you must yield to her will if something affects your personal image, honor, or feelings. You did well in discussing with your father the behavior of your mother that bothers you, specifically, her uploading videos of you (or your siblings) to her social media accounts. If your mother’s behavior persists, you can file a complaint and request assistance from a social worker in your locality. Although I don’t believe you’ll need it, given that your father is a lawyer.”
That last point may sound a bit extreme, but states are actually taking legislative measures to protect children’s privacy in these situations and to make sure they’re fairly compensated when their parents make money off these videos. In Aug. 2023, Illinois passed a law that entitles kids under the age of 16 to a percentage of video earnings based on how often they appear in video content. That money must be put in a trust, and if accurate earnings aren’t set aside, the child can sue.
The idea for the law was actually brought to a state senator by a 15-year-old who recognized how much parents can exploit their kids on social media. Sounds a lot like OP, huh?! This Illinois law will go into effect July 1, 2024.
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