Where are all the Black Mothers on Instagram?
Whilst I know this is a silly question, it doesn’t mean that I am not going to ask it.
‘Where on earth are the black mothers on Instagram?’
The tone in which I’ve asked that question is a blend of sarcasm and anger. Sarcasm because; of course they exist and anger because was with all things related to melanin rich vagina void of sexualisation, I don’t see enough of it.
I spend approximately 20 hours a day on Instagram, now while that is an exaggeration, I can confirm that the lie is only slight in it’s sin. I’m on the innanets all the time, too much of the time. But enough time to notice that the only kind of motherhood making waves is one that I cannot all the way connect with.
Not only do I only see white women on a platform that has them on a continuous pedalstal, I now only see white mothers. Now whilst like life, the parallels of being a mother meet in sync, with all women who become mothers facing similar if not exact choices and problems, there are nuances and original things solely related to being a black mother of a black child.
To help support this statement just recently singer and TV personality Jamelia came under intense fire for publicly stating that it’s hard to walk into a toy shop in Britain and find a doll that represents her child. The fact that her sincere problem was immediately thwarted with cries of reverse racism and direct racism itself, makes me wonder if I don’t see Black Motherhood on social platforms for a reason.
But that’s a lie, I do see it. But it comes with conditions. If you’re a black woman with a white man and an interracial baby; Welcome to the social motherhood club. See your blackness could be used as a direct weapon agains cries of ‘lack of diversity’, your man could act as a racial buffer, diluting your blackness and making you easier to initiate, and your kid could just be an ambiguous cutie, whose not too tightly coiled hair and light eyes are brand pulling power. This is not to say that black mothers who find themselves in said situation are doing black motherhood a dis service. *UPDATE* (Let me add that this is not my opinion but what I see on social media platforms and the internet on a whole.) But it is to say that we cannot continue to ignore the lack of diversity based on the subconscious and sometimes deliberate attack on Black Motherhood, on such a massive scale. I have noticed that Black Motherhood seems to come with a silent list of conditions, that Motherhood (because privilege dictates that there is no need for me to put a certain race before that word) does not.
When we throw the powerhouse of social media into the mix, this lack of diversity then expands itself into brand representation, opportunity and for lack of being able to cover my mouth - Money.
You see brands are well clued up to the fact that no reach is a deep as the social influencer. Use a targeted celebrity all you want, mothers listen to mothers who are like them. Reviews and recommendations are more likely to hit home if the message is sent by a friendly face with an influential voice, who doesn't seem quite out of reach. The problem with the erasure of Black Motherhood, is that as per usual black women are the last to get a seat at the table, let alone a slice of the pie. A whole host of Black Mothers with influential voices and deep reach are pushed aside with the same opportunities being rolled out to the same faces.
Of course this issue is longer than a blog post and wider than a video. Of course, I know that Black Mother’s are on social platforms like Instagram because I follow HUNDREDS of them. They are educated, trendy, freelancing, in work, out of work, single, married and divorced. They manage newborn multiples and new online business’. They are supportive and encouraging. They are real mothers too. I do wonder what could be done, if anything, to tip the scales or even the playing field. Because it is not only one face that represents Motherhood. And I would like to see some new ones.
The comment section is now open sorry about that!