Family bloggers exploit their children for views

Bella Lee, Staff writer

In the age of social media, families will do everything in their power to show off their children, especially by means of platforms like Instagram and YouTube.

It has come to the point where there are two options when it comes to parents and their children with social media: either they document every moment of their child’s life, or they do not show their child(ren) and if they do, their faces are away from the camera or covered with an emoji.

However, some parents take this a step further and become vloggers or influencers that use their child as a means to generate content. Sometimes, this can end up extremely toxic.

A rising concern among family vloggers is the treatment of their children.

One of the biggest examples of this was with Myka Stauffer back in 2020.

In May of that year, it was revealed that her son Huxley, who was autistic and adopted from China, had been “re- homed” after Stauffer and her husband said they “were not aware” of how much care Huxley needed. This sparked quite a bit of outrage amongst her followers, since Huxley had been with the family since October of 2017. Additionally, Stauffer has four biological children, leading many to believe that Huxley was re- homed due to being too difficult for Stauffer’s family aesthetic.

Two other family vloggers that have made the news for not the best reasons are the LaBrant family and Wren Eleanor.

The LaBrant family consists of husband Cole (who used to be famous on Vine), his wife Savannah, and their four children: Everleigh (Savannah’s child from a previous relationship), Posie, Zealand and Sunday.

One thing that is noticed in the LaBrant family’s YouTube videos is that literally everything is documented, including births, first days of school, morning routines, home activities and trips to theme parks.

There is very little, if anything, that is left undocumented.

They have also documented what are supposed to be “sad” videos, but only mainly left their viewers angry.

For example, in 2018, they released a video implying that they had to be evacuated due to the California wildfires, but by the end it is revealed that they were not at risk of evacuation; they left on their own accord because Everleigh was scared of fires.

Another video, cryptically titled “She got diagnosed with cancer,” implies that one of their daughters, Posie, might have a cancer diagnosis, but then it is revealed that no one in the family had cancer.

“The LaBrant family should be absolutely cancelled for scaring their young fans into thinking one of their daughters was diagnosed with cancer,” said Kelsey, an angry fan on Twitter. “They knew what they were doing. Why do they still have a following?”

This was released in the wake of the knowledge rising that the LaBrant family was allegedly anti-vax and did not strongly adhere to COVID restrictions in Los Angeles.

Wren Eleanor is a family vlogger who generally posts on TikTok. She is actually a toddler girl, whose account is run by her mother.

The main controversy around her is that her videos have been receiving creepy and sexual comments from grown men, but Wren’s mother said this will not stop her from continuing to post videos.

This has scared many users into deleting any evidence they have of their children on social media so as to not suffer the same fate.

Overall, I would not say that all family vloggers are toxic, but most of them certainly are.

I follow a couple of family vloggers on Instagram and TikTok who are humble and do not always have a camera shoved in their children’s faces.

Maybe those such as the LaBrant family and Wren Eleanor could learn from them.