Is It Ethical for Influencers to Feature Their Kids in Instagram Ads?

February 13, 2019

Instagram has evolved into something far greater than what most of us could have imagined. When the application was first released, it was a great way to share fun memories. Friends and family could see what was going on in our lives, like the photos, maybe share a comment or two. Years later, Instagram evolved into something far bigger. Grandma might have just figured out how to follow and like all your pictures, but the rest of the world has moved on. Even if we don’t follow them, an influencer and their ad will be on our feed. I usually scroll right by, but many pause to check out what they are promoting. Influencers are endorsing products that match their mindsets, such as organic skincare lines or a fitness regime. The success of these partnerships is largely based on the fact that these influencers are very relatable, and we, as their followers, want to try the products purely because of who’s selling them to us. If someone has great curly hair, I’m going to want to try whatever products they’ve been using. No one wants to see my frizzy hot mess in the morning.


Photo: Katka Pavlickova on Unsplash


Today, a lot of popular influencers are not just millennials. Mom blogs, in particular, have become a unique niche on Instagram. It’s allowing women freedom to create businesses, share their opinions, and generate income. A lot of these moms have created multiple sponsorships, and have involved their children in the ads. After all, if you write content about being a mom, it makes sense to have them featured in your posts.


Well, this is when it gets a little more complicated. I often find influencers posting multiple pictures of their children, and featuring them all over their insta stories. It is a little overwhelming, to constantly have the camera in your child’s face. It is complicated for parents to decide how much they want their children featured on social media. Many parents don’t want their children’s photos being released in the school year book, so it truly is a parental preference for how much you want your child’s face being shared with the world.


In my opinion, kids are an important part of our society and shouldn’t be hidden from the limelight. They have thoughts and opinions that matter, and if a part of an influencer’s brand involves their children, the influencer has every right to include the kids. It’s when these influencers use their children as a ploy for marketing that takes away from those who want to use their platform for positive endorsements. I believe it is always up to the parent to decide how much the want to involve their child in their businesses, but it is always better to tread with caution than to throw the child’s face all over social media. Using a child to help promote yourself can always have negative connotations; however, I believe that as long as the parent is promoting a product they’ve used and supported, there is no harm in making it a family affair.  


Olivia Orme is a twenty-two-year-old recent graduate of Wofford College. She majored in English and Government, but her true passion is creative writing. She has written poetry for the last decade, but has plenty of opinions on lifestyle, beauty, and body positivity. She is currently a kindergarten teaching assistant, but wants to go back to graduate school for a Master’s in English. She aspires to write a children’s book series someday. You can always find her with a cup of coffee, or talking about Riverdale.


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