(ETX Daily Up) – The perfect mother does not exist, and many influencers today want to smash the injunctions that surround motherhood and the daily life of young mothers. The idealized Instagram clichés of seemingly irreproachable ‘mom influencers’ now respond to much more authentic TikTok videos made of disorder, fatigue, and other ‘imperfections’. Something to exonerate young parents.
Knowing the backstage of the multitude of clichés that abound on Instagram is not enough to relieve the pressure, and this in many areas. There are those perfect bodies that suggest that we are neglecting ourselves, those dream vacations that refer to a daily life made of routine and greyness, those luxury clothes that remind us of the state of our own finances, but also those interiors perfectly arranged and these well-behaved and well-groomed children who refer to our inability to ‘keep’ a family and a home. This idealized daily life that every social network user faces occasionally or regularly is one of the harmful effects of these new media on mental health, all the more so when it affects the family, education, and even more so the famous myth of the perfect mother.
A fantasy image
The subject is not anecdotal. These photos and videos have been counted in the thousands on certain social networks, and have been for years. We discover perfectly tidy interiors, without toys on the floor (or elsewhere), meals prepared in advance, smiling children dressed to the nines who indulge in creative activities in the greatest calm, and mothers equally neat and relaxed enjoying this dreamed – or idealized – life. Because if these mothers undoubtedly exist, we must not omit the fact that these shared moments of life are most often staged, and totally unrealistic, ultimately only participating in making guilty and pressurizing young mothers who are already physically and emotionally exhausted. .
A problem that TikTok content creators, all young mothers, have decided to tackle head-on, with videos without filters and without staging, highlighting a more authentic and imperfect daily life – or more exactly a daily life in tune with their reality. Gone are the dazzlingly clean kitchens, the toys hidden in double-locked chests, and the daily life punctuated only by fun and educational activities, make way for disorder, delays, tasks that accumulate, and the possibility of to be tired, to saturate, and even – let’s be crazy – to crack. Without going overboard – there is no question either of transforming the daily life of a mother into a real nightmare – it is a question of ridding the majority of women who do their best on a daily basis and showing them that this famous perfect mother is indeed only a myth.
Perfection in imperfection
Among the hashtags that continue to rise on the Chinese social network are #nonaestheticmom, which has accumulated more than fifty million views and also comes in #nonaesthetichouse and #nonaestheticlife, and #hotmessmoms, which has already generated more than twenty million views. In both cases, it is a question of showing the authentic daily life of non-perfect mothers – simply mothers – in contrast to Instagrammable mothers who only reveal an idealized vision of their life. And of course, users find themselves there immediately more easily. Messy interiors, sometimes neglected outfits and hairstyles, tasks to accomplish throughout the day, and children who are not always accommodating punctuate these videos of a few minutes which make you smile with benevolence more than they make you feel guilty.
The American Emily Jeanne (@emilyjeanne333) is one of the influencers who today claim to be ‘non-perfect mothers’. Followed by more than a million subscribers on TikTok, the young mother films herself in the middle of toys, unironed laundry, in full reflection on the many meals to prepare, and more generally on a daily life which is far from being always pink. She specifies it herself in her videos, her objective is to “normalize the normal”, and to make mothers, and more generally parents, who consider themselves imperfect feel guilty. Looking at the comments posted under the videos, we can say that many users are grateful to him: “Thank you for normalizing what’s normal!” (“Thank you for normalizing what is normal!”), “Glad it’s not just me” (Happy to see that I’m not the only one in this case”, or “Thank you for this very real narration of my own home” (“Thank you for this very real storytelling from my own home”), can we read.
This young American mother is far from the only one trying to deconstruct the myth of the perfect mother, as we can see on the Chinese social network. The phenomenon continues to grow in the world, responding to the desire of the greatest number of people to no longer be confronted with inaccessible ideals. We also see it in fiction with series like “Little Fires Everywhere” which help to shatter the injunctions related to family and motherhood.