The Sharenting Reckoning Is Here

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preview for The Sharenting Reckoning: How Things Are Changing for Family Influencers | Cosmopolitan

In 2024, it’s undeniable: The messy, multibillion-dollar business of “sharenting”—where influencers broadcast intimate details of their children’s lives to millions—is in crisis.

You’ve probably already come across the viral prank videos, the “Day in Our Life” vlogs, and the partnerships with big-deal brands on your own feeds. Now, people are beginning to ask unsettling questions about the whole endeavor of so freely sharing your own kids with the internet masses: How do you protect the safety and privacy of these kids when nearly every second of their lives is documented? Can toddlers meaningfully consent to being part of this chaotic ecosystem? What does it mean to stamp their online footprint in ink? Will they eventually share in the profits being made off their work in this almost entirely unregulated industry?

The Sharenting Reckoning

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What’s the Price of a Childhood Turned Into Content?

In the unregulated world of family vloggers, children are, for the most part, not entitled to a single cent they help earn. We spoke to creators—and a former kid influencer—to understand how this unusual family business actually works.

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‘We’re Never Doing This Again’: What It Took for These Parenting Influencers to Pull Their Kids Offline

Millennial content creators built massive platforms—and fortunes—from splashing their children’s lives all over social media. But now some have had a change of heart. Here, we find out why.

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The Parenting Influencers Who Won’t Stop Posting Their Children

The multibillion-dollar industry of family vlogging is awash in accusations of exploitation, but these creators insist that making content out of their kids is worth it. High-profile “sharenters” defend their decisions to Cosmo.

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In “The Sharenting Reckoning,” Cosmopolitan explores all of these dicey dilemmas. Writer Fortesa Latifi speaks with parenting influencers on both sides of the issue: those who tell her about the moment they realized they can no longer make content featuring their kids and those who defend the practice (featuring an interview with a former nanny to an influencer family). And she digs deep into the unregulated world of influencer finances, where families can lose out on tens of thousands of dollars if they stop showing their children and kidfluencers can end up with nothing after a childhood spun into content.

After decades of unchecked growth, sharenting is getting a massive wake-up call. Read all about its present and future here.

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Annabel Iwegbue

Annabel Iwegbue is an assistant editor at Cosmopolitan where she primarily covers lifestyle and fashion. Before joining Cosmo, she covered entertainment at Harper’s Bazaar, The Knockturnal, and Black Film. She’s originally from Charleston, South Carolina, and is currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and Cinema Studies from New York University. You can check out some of Annabel’s work here and also find her on Instagram and Twitter.

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