Insta-mum blogger quits account after followers accuse her of exploiting her children in advertising
Midwife and mum Clemmie Hooper has almost 500,000 followers on social media
Four beautiful daughters, a perfect home and endless trips abroad have earned Clemmie Hooper almost 500,000 followers on social media and a reputation as one of the most influential “Insta-mums”.
But despite the glamorous lifestyle that being an “influencer” has afforded the midwife and blogger, her account has now disappeared from Instagram amid rows over using her children in advertising.
Mrs Hooper, 33, one of the most followed mothers on the social networking site, has been accused of taking part in “ethically dubious” postings under her instagram persona “mother of daughters”.
She has defended herself on a Mumsnet discussion, telling users: “I don’t feel I ‘sell’ my children to make money, I actually hardly ever feature the older girls and have changed my approach when working with brands eg I won’t feature a picture of my children alone for an AD and I always ask ‘do they need to be in the post at all?’”
Using the name “anyalovesrose” she added: “I said I hardly ever feature them. They also see and give consent to any post where there are in the picture.”
But users replied saying that it was “morally wrong” and as children they were not able to give consent or understand what it meant.
User MarshaBradyo added: “Selling children doesn’t just mean using them in an ad. It’s also using them as content to the extent that it brings in £.”
On Monday, a week after engaging in the discussion, Mrs Hooper deactivated her social media site.
Nearly 470,000 people followed her Instagram page, which was full of stories of family life and the pitfalls of parenting her daughters Anya, Marnie, Ottilie and Delilah, aged between two and 10.
Her husband Simon, who posts under the name “Father of Daughters” and has almost 850,0000 followers on Instagram, also regularly posts images of the family including advertising.
The couple, who run a limited company together, have repeatedly claimed that talking openly about their failings is important as it helps the enormous number of fellow parents who follow them.
But, as they declare on their posts, they are actually partnered with a number of brands including Pampers and Dorset Cereals and their Instagram show that it also allows them to live a glamorous lifestyle.
Photographs of a family holiday in Florida are labelled as a partnership with Visit Florida, which Mrs Hooper described as a “work trip” in an interview, whilst the couple spent time in Madagascar in October.
Their social media profiles have also acted as a springboard for the couple to write three books between them about pregnancy and parenting.
Mr Hooper, a 35-year-old management consultant, is taking part in a “social experiment” whereby Renault have placed a camera in his car for a year.
Mr Hooper then posts videos of family trips - tagged as being a “paid partnership with Renault UK” – including one in which he says that it is “really the only place” he can have one on one time with his daughters.
Recent Mumsnet posts from Mrs Hooper reveal that it is not just on blogs where the ethics of posting images of their children are discussed as a photographs of one of her daughters on a potty “was one I wasn’t happy with him posting I felt it crossed the line,” she revealed.
When asked why she did not demand he remove it she replied: “The reason I felt it wasn’t wise to have it taken down was I felt it would only anger people and fuel more threads so I remained silent and never mentioned it until now.”
Those close to the midwife, who works on a ward one day a week, say that the de-activation of her Instagram account is likely to only be temporary as she takes a few days breather from online rows.
The midwife had also become embroiled in accusations of bullying on her page after her followers repeatedly criticised someone who accused her of hypocrisy.
Despite posts suggesting that she had been reported for breaches of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s social media rules, her employer Kings College Hospital said that it had received no such complaint.
Mrs Hooper refused to comment on why she had suspended her account.
She has faced criticism for featuring her children in her posts for a number of years and has repeatedly defended her decision.
Her followers have commented on Mr Hooper’s account asking her to ignore the “bullying” and come back, with one commenting: “People still can’t handle someone being a mother and a professional, and a person in their own right.”
Justine Roberts, CEO and founder of Mumsnet, said: “Many Instagram stars are in our own Influencers Network, we consider them to be Mumsnetters and value them highly.
“We know that some have taken the feedback on board; the criticism of a lack of clarity when it comes to labelling sponsored posts seems to have led to some Instamums being more transparent about sponsorship and advertising, which is great and much appreciated by mums.”