Serena Williams’ baby, Alexis Olympia, already has an Instagram page with more followers than all of us combined and we’re not bitter or jealous. At all. Seriously.
Why – in this world where social media stats seem to account for so much – you ask? Well, because it’s a bit weird, isn’t it?
Serena Williams – athlete, feminist, legend, activist, and now, mother – gave birth on September 1, just over a fortnight ago, amid serious complications.
After a week stuck in hospital, Serena and her fiance, Alexis Ohanian, headed home to get to know their daughter… and set up her social streams.
Now, at just two weeks old, their bouncing baby, Alexis Olympia, has joined Instagram.
Presumably, she didn’t use her newfound opposable thumbs to set up her account on the oh-so addictive social media picture sharing platform herself, considering she doesn’t yet have the power of language – or the power to lift up her own head!
Nope. Alexis – who is named after her father – co-founder of Reddit – and a man who knows his way around the front page of the Internet – has been unwillingly thrown into the deep end of our unforgiving modern-day Internet.
Okay, so her account is already showing signs it could be a positive platform for her parents to share their love, hopes and aspirations for this little girl, sharing a strong message about gender equality and the importance of familial bonds.
After all, the usually private couple have happily shared their pregnancy journey in the media:
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Alexis Jnr (read: her parents and their PR teams) has only posted two photographs so far and they seem pretty harmless.
They join the ranks of adorable snapshots scattered across all corners of the Internet, taken by proud parents who rightly want to share their joy.
And already the little ankle-biter has racked up 22,000 followers at the time of writing:
Of course, Alexis herself has neither the language nor the wherewithal to understand the glowing reception she’s receiving from fellow ‘Grammers because she’s a baby.
Far be it for me to criticise anyone else’s parenting – all who know me know I’m an adult baby who can barely keep a cactus alive.
Furthermore, sharing photographs of your children is a perfectly natural instinct which all parents should take pleasure in…
Yet I can’t help but feel uncomfortable about a baby, barely out of the womb, being transformed into an unsuspecting social media superstar with her own feed, identity and personality – years and years before her character can develop on its own without online pressures.
It all stinks of parents in the public eye who have created a self-serving social media account for their daughter, shrouded in sweetness and light, to boost their own brand.
It might take years for Alexis Jnr to understand the concepts of cyber-bullying or curated self-image, which are so consistent with Instagram, or for the youngster to have the capacity to opt in or out of that world of her own accord.
But before she’s even developed to that stage, she’s in it, at the deep end – and through no log in of her own.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.