- Katie Bowers/Instagram
- Katie Bower, a popular parenting blogger on Instagram, said one of her children doesn’t get as many likes and comments as her other kids on Instagram.
- Her statements led to a flood of negative reactions.
- Bower defended herself, telling INSIDER hat she shared her thoughts to show that Instagram statistics have no effect on how much love she has for her kids.
- She also said her kids notice the statistics on her Instagram feed whether or not she would have said something about them.
Katie Bower – a popular Instagram star who posts about raising her five children – triggered a firestorm of outrage after posting that one of her children isn’t as popular as her others on the platform “from a statistical point of view.”
Bower said she was upset that her son Weston “never got as many likes” as her other children on Instagram, and blamed it on herself.
“Instagram never liked my Munchkin and it killed me inside… He wasn’t as popular with everyone out there. Maybe part of that was the pictures just never hit the algorithm right,” she wrote. “My insufficiency caused this statistical deficit because obviously my Munch should get ALL the love and squinty eyes are totally adorable.”
Bower told INSIDER that she shared her thoughts to show that there’s a difference between what the numbers show compared to what she personally feels about her kids.
“The numbers are public. Everyone can see the likes. As a parent, those numbers mean NOTHING,” she told INSIDER in an Instagram direct message. “Nothing can change the fact that all children are special and unique and deserve love.”
View this post on Instagram
Thankful for Weston today. My Weston was just the best baby….cuddly and easy…a hard toddler…always on the move and slow to talk which led to lots of crying….and one of the most helpful and sweet hearted little boys. He is quiet except when he’s not….overflowing with unique personality. He hates the car and is a complete homebody. He loves art and sports and is quick with a joke. He loves organizing and quality time and says one day he is gonna be a daddy to one hundred babies ???? And when he hugs and kisses you, you believe it. ❤️❤️❤️. . . Guys I am gonna be perfectly honest…Instagram never liked my Munchkin and it killed me inside. His photos never got as many likes. Never got comments. From a statistical point of view, he wasn’t as popular with everyone out there. Maybe part of that was the pictures just never hit the algorithm right. Part might be because he was “the baby” for a very short amount of time before LJ came along…and then Max and then Ella. And people like babies. I say all that because I want to believe that it wasn’t him…that it was on me. My insufficiency caused this statistical deficit because obviously my Munch should get ALL the love and squinty eyes are totally adorable. ☺️ so can we do this right? Because I truly KNOW that my Munch deserves alllllll the likes…whether or not a stranger gives it to them. And on his sixth birthday – I am thankful that I know that…that no matter what other people think of me or my kids or my marriage or my house or my life or my everything…that they are 1000000000x better in real life than any tiny little picture could hold. . . p.s. I wanted to clarify that I revealed this feeling because I know one day he will see the numbers and have to learn that his value is not in online approval. This is a hard lesson for anyone to learn and I’m thankful I have learned it. I hope you all can be understanding and not take things out of context or believe that this in any way affects how I see or treat my children. All comments and well wishes I read to the birthday boy!
The business of being an Instagram star, she says, puts pressure on parents to think about their kids in economic terms.
“Unfortunately from a business side we hear ‘keep posting the content that brings in the most engagement,'” she told INSIDER. “I personally hope my actions show that (1) I am gonna keep posting what I love no matter the numbers, (2) As a parent we are gonna have to teach our kids that their value isn’t in online approval, and (3) Our real lives are 1000% better than a tiny photo can portray!”
“I revealed this feeling because I know one day he will see the numbers and have to learn that his value is not in online approval,” she said. “This is a hard lesson for anyone to learn and I’m thankful I have learned it. I hope you all can be understanding and not take things out of context or believe that this in any way affects how I see or treat my children.”
Nonetheless, Bower’s post led to a flood of negative responses on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Omg this Instagram mommy blogger is celebrating her sons bday by writing about how out of all her kids, he “statistically” performs the worse on her Instagram. And she’s worried one day it will ruin his self esteem ???????? pic.twitter.com/QpFfJwDOab
— Stephanie McNeal (@stephemcneal) November 19, 2018
this is the bleakest shit I’ve ever heard https://t.co/o2JBMZ3Oe8
— Brandy Jensen (@BrandyLJensen) November 19, 2018
Instagram doesn’t get the credit it deserves for being one of the darkest places on the Internet, I think mostly because the people doing dark things constantly insist they are having a good time https://t.co/q6dW0TgMFv
— Amanda Mull (@amandamull) November 19, 2018
I’m not a parent but I’m willing to bet my queendom that having a mother that posts/thinks shit like this is going to do enough damage to his self esteem long before he can ever open his own social media account. https://t.co/92HyOkcMRN
— Cher (@thecherness) November 19, 2018
Bower took to her Instagram story to continue defending her post, and talked about how her Instagram presence is inexorably tied to her childrens’ lives. She had been blogging for years, she said, and joined the platform when Weston was born.
Bower has a career blogging about her children, she and admitted it was a struggle to not equate online engagement with real value.
“That I had to learn, like everybody does, that the likes do not reflect much to me,” she said in an Instagram story. “I had to choose that. Because I work with brands that tell you the opposite. I read articles about how to grow on Instagram that tell you the opposite.”
- Katie Bowers/Instagram
Bower said even her kids think about Instagram engagement, and she wanted to assure them that she loved them regardless of what the numbers seemed to say.
“Kids are smart. Kids know there’s likes on photos, and it’s very human nature to compare,” she said. “For me, my personal growth journey is teaching my kids that it doesn’t matter… I like him. Nothing’s gonna change that. He’s awesome.”
Bower previously went viral, in September, for posting about how she didn’t know people died in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11.
This post has been updated to include a response from Bower.
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