The Terrifying Rise of the Child Influencer and the Parents Who Profit
Parents exploit a legal loophole to profit from their children.
Miss Aubrey Jade could be a typical Instagram influencer. She wears stylish and trendy ‘fits; her hair is perfectly coiffed in all her photos. “I just love trench coats and I’m obsessed with this one !!” she writes in her latest post to her 177k Instagram followers.
Except for one thing: Miss Aubrey Jade is four years old.
She appears to be doing everything in her power to avoid looking like a four-year-old, though. She holds a Starbucks cup in one photo; the next has her propping her leg up and looking demurely away from the camera. She poses to accentuate hips and a bust that don’t exist yet because, again, she’s a child.
When I looked at related accounts, I was suggested Ariella Rose, another self-named mini-influencer. Big Sister Azaria (following the fashion adventures of a two-year-old and a six-year-old) was the next on the list. Kylie Feliz was a third option for me to follow. Kylie’s bio reads that she’s four, and that fashion is her passion.
I scrolled through these images and accounts, my horror and disgust mounting. They looked exactly like mini-influencers. Not child influencers, but adult influencers made miniature. The clothes they wore looked made for adults, only small. They carried purses that couldn’t possibly hold anything — what child needs money or a phone? They pouted at the camera like mini Molly-Maes. It was the furthest thing from childhood I’ve ever seen.