The Baby Geniuses of Instagram
No one knows what the stars themselves think, because most of them can’t talk yet.
By Lindsey Davis, Iowa State University
I’m not a parent, and because I’m not, I probably shouldn’t judge those who have, or currently are, raising a child.
But, I’m going to anyways.
Parents are crazy. I worked in a childcare center long enough to know that moms and dads alike are fiercely opinionated, protective and obsessively worried about their offspring. And they should be. But I’ve also observed that some parents cross the thin line of being acceptably overbearing to complete psycho. Am I coming off as rude? The answer is no, because you’ve had the same thoughts.
Think about all the friends/acquaintances/family members, etc. you follow on social media. You’ve seen enough pictures of their little Tommy’s and sweetie pie Lucy’s that you’d think YOU were the one compulsively posting all the child-focused brag posts. I’d be a hypocrite if I said I get tired of seeing little munchkins on my Facebook feed, because I cross my fingers every day that my brother and sister-in-law will post a video of my niece and nephew. Hey, I need updates to monitor their growth and make sure they’re becoming just like they’re fabulous aunt.
Some parents take it one step further and decide that uploading photos and videos of their brood just isn’t good enough. Enter toddler Instagrams.
You know, the accounts that are “run” by 2-year olds? Ugh. I applaud parents for thinking outside of the box in how to document their child’s life, but this just takes it a little too far. Posting selfies is narcissistic enough as it is, but constantly showcasing your toddler’s life seems even more so.
In an attempt to be objective, I did some research and compiled a list of toddler Instagrams that are of admittedly cute youngsters. You can decide for yourself whether they’re adorable, or just plain over the top.
Jagger Craig (@jaggercraig)
The one-and-a-half-year old son of motocross racer Christian Craig and his wife Paige looks like he could be a baby model. With the extremely stylish clothing he sports, he might just be. If you’re in serious need of an adorable baby face, Jagger’s page is the one to check out.
The kid hasn’t even been alive long enough to see both the summer and winter Olympics, yet he has over 30,000 followers and nearly 700 posts. I’ve had my Instagram for five years and have exactly half the amount of uploads as Jagger does. Not to mention substantially fewer followers. But I’m not as cute, and if I posted a picture of myself with food smeared across my face, people certainly wouldn’t be saying “awww.”
Jagger’s captions are “written” by him and prove to be extremely witty, especially for a kid who can’t even form real words. The description of his page reads, “I run this account, not my parents” and then lists his Snapchat handle. Sigh.
I suppose if us adults are allowed to utilize multiple social media outlets, so are children who can’t even properly use a toilet yet.
Scout Ponder (@scoutponder)
Scout, the offspring of ESPN sportscaster Samantha Ponder and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Christian Ponder, turned two back in July. Since the creation of her Instagram account, she’s gained 142,000 followers. So far, she has 339 posts, but has been on hiatus for about three weeks now. Being a toddler is a busy time; I don’t blame her.
Like Jagger, Scout’s Instagram description alludes to the fact that, spoiler alert, her parents actually run the account. It says, “@samanthaponder wipes my butt.” I admit, this is funny. You go, witty mom.
With no photos being uploaded in the past three weeks, I’m led to wonder if mom and dad are finally coming to their senses about creating their tiny girl an Instagram account. There’s already enough self-absorbed, media famous girls in this world (cough, cough Kardashians). We don’t need to be starting them young.
Yet, if you do need a little pick-me-up and don’t think all children are the spawn of Satan, Scout’s account illustrates the cuteness that is toddlers and puppies all in one photo.
Gavin Ray Goza (@gavinraygoza)
At the ripe old age of 9, Gavin isn’t technically a toddler, but his Instagram account definitely needs to be discussed.
Apparently, Gavin Ray Goza likes to go by the name “Gavster” and somehow, this kid got the name trademarked. I kid you not. Right there in the description area of his Instagram account, you can see that Gavster is, in fact, trademarked. Tell me, what is the purpose of this? Are his parents so scared that their son may be replicated that they had to trademark him?
According to Gavin’s Instagram, which wields 39.4k followers, the 9-year old is a model, actor, foodie and dancer, all in one. Clearly, he’s a very fashionable young child, and I’m not so sure I could even afford some of the outfits he’s donning.
As I scrolled through his feed, I was upset by a number of things.
First, Gavin already looks overly groomed and egotistical, which may be a little harsh to say about someone who’s not even reached double digits yet, but I stick to it. Second, there’s a picture of Gavin and a friend roughly the same age as him holding up bottles and cups of root beer.
Even more, the booth they’re sitting in looks like some hoity-toity bar that serves only overpriced whisky. Wait, their mouths are half open and their eyes a little shut…is that root beer spiked?! I would never let my child post a photo like this; I would never post a picture of my kid like that. It looks all too familiar to a Friday night I might experience as a 21-year old with root beer, minus the root.
Gavin’s account is the epitome of why not all children’s Instagrams work. Sure, Jagger’s and Scout’s are run by their parents who likely a) want to show their kid off or b) are too lazy to print pictures and put them in a photo album. But Gavin’s Insta clearly just seeks to promote his social being all while making him appear 20 years older than he actually is.