Listen now (39 mins) | The potential and power of momfluencing in marginalized communities, with Sara Petersen
I am so totally distant from momfluencer culture and really Instagram as a whole (I have an account but I think it's a crap platform and look at it only about once a month), but I find it fascinating when smart people write and talk about it. It feels like a part of the culture that I should have at least some basic literacy around, in the same way that I should be generally aware of what the kids these days are listening to. Though I think, like the person whose email kicked this off, I would agree that this part of the culture should be treated as more optional. Not just the thin white cis part, either. The whole "fluencer" part. And analyses that have that little bit of distance of "this is an interesting thing that's out there and it's important because a lot of people pay attention to it, but it's possible that it doesn't rule your world" can be good, too.
Your discussion of Nabela's relationship to this set of norms of femininity and motherhood made me think of tweets that I'm like 80% sure were by Alyssa Cole (but I just tried searching her feed and couldn't find it, so maybe it was another Black romance author) about writing romance novels in which Black women got to be princesses, and, paraphrasing extremely heavily, obviously, since I'm not even 100% sure who said it, she was like yeah, sure, it's a regressive fantasy, but we never got to be written into it, and so we get to have it now. You can't say "oh, we've moved on past that" before we get our shot at it.
Just wanted to say thank you for bringing up the book: The School for Good Mothers. I tried to read, but finally had to put it down when the "surrogate children" were introduced. I really wanted to stick with it because I've worked in child protection, and can totally see how a majority's concept of good parenting can be used to prosecute those to don't meet it. But, I decided my mental health (I'm an HSP) was more important and walked away.
I am so glad that you brought up indigenous and disabled mothers and the child welfare system. I am a family defense lawyer. For more information on the Indian Child Welfare Act, which is the primary law governing tribal citizens and child welfare, the podcast This Land, Season 2, is excellent.
With "It’s like she’s only allowed one out or something." you very succinctly nailed exactly what I have been ruminating on since the last influencer podcast, but found difficult to put into clear concise words. This idea of I can't be perfect in all ways bc my body is bigger, so I must perform motherhood/domesticity to perfection.
As someone who struggles greatly with perfectionism, and lives in a bigger body I've been trying to unpack this for weeks.