Kids. The symbol of sugar, spice and everything nice. Oh wait, I’m confused them with the Powerpuff Girls. Point is, when I see kids, I am instinctively predisposed to like them. Think back to the last time you saw a baby or a toddler on the subway. If you remember yourself smiling and making funny faces at them, you know exactly how I feel. Then they start crying and get themselves into all sorts of messes. Okay, time to back away slowly.
But wait. There’s a fuss-free way for you to enjoy watching all the cute shenanigans that kids get up to, and that’s from the vomit-proof safety of your screen. Humans have always had a natural proclivity to document family life, since the time of painting family portraits to capturing Kodak moments on the film camera. Now with the advent of social media, it’s just easier to take an iPhone snapshot and share these moments with the world. As a spectator, I get to see only the good and funny stuff that comes with parenting cute kids (thank you, #socialmediafilter). Thus begins the phenomenon known as kid influencers of Instagram with 50K followers. Boom.
So how does a kid become an influencer? Here’s three standard origin stories:
1) Their blood runs blue and true.
Not literally of course. I’m talking about the kids of the rich and already famous. From true royal children like Prince George and Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, to superstar children like Blue Ivy Carter and North West, there’s not one person connected to the Internet that doesn’t know of their existence. Blue Ivy’s name is being used to launch Beyonce’s new beauty line, while North will be playing a big part in designing Yeezy’s anticipated kids line. They might not have their own Instagram accounts, but the paparazzi make up for it.
2) Having Prime Time spots on their mom’s huge social media accounts.
When you have fashion influencers for parents, it is kind of a given that you’ll be given a place of honor on their Instagram feeds. From when the child was barely a twinkle in their parents’ eyes, to their baby bump, to the first days after birth and the long years after, it’ll all be documented on their mom’s Instagram. It’s always heartwarming to see the amount of joy children bring to the lives of the people you admire.
3) All About Family and Parenting
Last but not least, you have Instagram accounts that have children as the centrepiece, with minimal appearances from parents. The attention is on the kid, and posts are accompanied by advice on parenting, kids fashion, kids decor and family-oriented activities. That kind of dedication should be respected.
There you have it. A virtual album chronicling a child’s journey, that in 10 years time, moms can whip out in lieu of embarrassing childhood albums. Physical photos might fade and get lost, but everything on the internet lasts forever in 100% clarity. That aside, the whole business of transforming your child into an influencer is a profitable one. Any post of a kid wearing a nice outfit is likely earning some marketing dollars. It’s not just Instagram, Youtube is also a popular platform for kids. Toys are a particular favorite topic. Taking 6 year old Ryan from Youtube channel Ryan ToysReview as an example. His mom quit her full time job just to manage that million-making advertising machine. Those cat videos better watch out cuz these kids rank right up there in heart-melting adorability. Free toys and salary? Best of both worlds right there.
Kid influencers and their parents are raking in the cash, and that’s because of the huge amount of growth still to be had for the childrenswear market. Fashionista does a deep dive into the childrenswear market with a particular focus on luxury childrenswear. According to Euromonitor, childrenswear has steadily outperformed both womenswear and menswear, and luxury brands like Givenchy, Dolce & Gabbana and Gucci are jumping aboard that bandwagon. Hypebeast has also identified childrenswear as a growth segment for streetwear, launching Hypekids to add to their portfolio.
While I love the idea of matching Gucci dresses for me and mini-me, I do wonder if such fabulous expenditure is setting the wrong expectations. It’s like getting an iPhone. Once you do, you open a new line of spending just to upgrade your phone every two years. The difference is that once your teeny tiny tots hit puberty, that price tag on that D&G dress is going to shoot up by 200%. Though that’s absolutely no deterrence to the Chinese market, where Burberry and Gucci are a particular favorite for childrenswear.
Okay okay. I see right through you. If you’re still reading this, all you wanna see are pictures of cute little tots playing dress-up and looking like adult mini-mes. So as always, I end off with a visual treat. Here’s some of our favorite tweens and tots giving us some sass of their own. How precocious, sorry, I meant precious.