#Opinion

Child Instagram Influencers: Where’s The Line Between Their Public And Private Lives?

influencer children, https://www.shethepeople.tv/film-theatre/rathnan-prapancha-trailer-out/
Child Instagram influencers owe their fame to the intense hard work parents put in to make them look cute every time they face the camera. Maybe it doesn’t even take a lot of their time. You let the child play with mud and you ensure a gazillion likes. But virtually exposing your kid to so many people who are going to judge them, is it the right thing to do? Isn’t it selling an unsuspecting child’s cuteness to grab eyeballs and even sponsors? What about the child’s agency? And how do you draw the line between their public and private lives? What happens if one day they look at the content and start hating themselves?

Recently Instagram star Kiara Khanna got a chance to recreate a scene from Shershaah with actor Sidharth Malhotra, who played the lead role in the film. The video was shared by Sidharth Malhotra from his Instagram handle and garnered over 1,386,000 likes in less than 24 hours. Earlier, five-year-old Kiara’s video, recreating the emotionally charged up funeral scene from Shershaah, in which late Captain Vikram Batra’s fiancé Dimple Cheema (played by Kiara Advani) is seen mourning, went viral on social media.

The videos are shared by Shivani J Khanna, who shares content featuring her daughters Kiara and her elder sister Mayra regularly. The video had garnered 728,711 on Instagram. “Apart from comedy/dance this is the scene Kiara wanted to do..as she has seriously got inspired by the movie..she cried in the end when Shershaah died,” Shivani wrote in the caption, further asking viewers for their feedback on her daughter’s performance.

Khanna has also reenacted scenes from films like Raazi, Jab We Met and Mission Kashmir, featuring as their leading women actors. Kiara can also be seen in MAX Spring Ad campaign, Club Mahindra and Kenstar Ad on the YouTube Channel. They also have a YouTube Chanel which has 354 subscribers. On YouTube, you can see a video where Kiara shares, “Hi, my name is Kiara Khanna. I am five years old. I love, dancing, golgappa and Peppa Pig.”

Free clothes, products and money for some videos which can be shot at home with family sounds harmless. However, this obsession with ‘likes’ and ‘followers’, what is it doing to childhood of the underaged influencer? Are these kids, who are basking in the glory of online success, mature enough to critically think through their actions? Isn’t it taking away the spontaneity from life if every moment has to be worth an Instagram moment? Won’t it create more body image issues in kids? Wouldn’t the pressure of creating ‘best moments’, make the environment around you toxic after a certain point? What happens if one day these kids decide that they don’t want their lives to be shared with the world on the internet? Who takes responsibility for it?

Success and failure both can be meteoric on social media. Are we as adults thinking about these things before creating and consuming content, especially the kind featuring kids? Or are we putting the burden of our unfulfilled desires on them? There are also additional issues such as cyberbullying and identity theft how would these affect young minds who do not fully understand what they have signed up for?

Children are mostly on a wild goose chase trying to figure out the world around them. They need to be told that it is okay to fail to not be perfect every single time. Yes, there is no rule book for parenting but isn’t it a parent’s responsibility to give a child a secured childhood?

Views expressed are the author’s own.


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