People ask us almost every day why we don’t show our baby’s face on social media, so we decided to address it in a blog post. There are a few reasons.
First of all, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH HER. Like all other parents, we are immensely proud of our baby. We take pictures of her more than we probably should, and we share photos of her with our family and close friends every single day. She is adorable, perfect, and precious beyond words. There is nothing “wrong” with her (as some have questioned, believe it or not, *major eye roll*), and there is absolutely nothing about her that we are ashamed of. I can’t believe I even have to state that, but yeah.
WE RESPECT HER PRIVACY. We’d like to think that keeping her face out of plain sight leaves her with some semblance of privacy. She can’t consent to any of her photos being shared, so the least we can do is ensure that we aren’t sharing too much of her, or anything too personal or private that she might not appreciate one day.
IT’S A SAFETY MEASURE. A few years ago, way before we even knew we would have a baby, I heard a story that totally freaked me out. A woman from my mom’s rez who had been posting her baby’s pics on Snapchat found out that another woman (who she didn’t even know) had been saving the images and sending the baby’s photos to a random man who she wanted to be with. She kept telling the man that it was their baby, and she was able to keep up the ruse because she had a consistent flow of pictures from the real mother’s account. Eventually, the real mother figured it out, took to Facebook to make others aware of the issue, and (I’m guessing) became way more careful about sharing her baby’s photos from then on. Think about the negative energy that the man must have been sending to that innocent baby! The thought of it makes me cringe. I would never want people who I don’t know sending pictures of my baby to one another for any reason, especially something like that. When I cover her face, I am able to remain in control of her image. In addition to that, I heard another awful story about a white woman using photos of Native kids from social media to encourage outsiders to adopt them. I realize that the likelihood of something awful like this happening to us is pretty slim, but there’s no harm in being extra careful. Which is related to the next point..
WE ARE PROTECTING HER. We have learned that the eyes are a gateway to connect more deeply with a person (even over the internet). We keep her eyes covered in order to protect her spirit.
WE USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR WORK, SO OUR PAGES AREN’T PRIVATE. Trust me, if social media weren’t a huge part of my job, I would simply keep my page private and my friends list extremely limited. This is what a lot of moms I know do to protect the privacy of their babies, and I think that’s really smart. In our case, though, blogging and sharing online is a part of our job, so we had to get creative with how we stay private.
IT’S MORE FUN TO INTRODUCE HER TO PEOPLE IN PERSON. Because of the fact that we don’t show our baby’s face online, everyone gets really excited to meet her in person. It’s a small and simple joy. We might one day decide that we’re ready to share her with the world. But for now, we’ll keep her protected in every way we know how because it is our right and our preference as her loving parents.
Hopefully by now, you can understand the many reasons why we don’t show Alo’s eyes or close-ups of her face. You might want to take our method into consideration if you have or plan to have children. Social media privacy is a huge issue that isn’t often addressed in parenting books or resources because it is so new, and many people, like us, are just starting to figure it out. This is also a reminder that it’s important to be mindful of other parents’ privacy wishes. Never take or post a photo of somebody’s baby without asking them first. Finally, please respect our decision. Everything in parenting is a personal choice. We don’t judge those who post photos of their babies, so please don’t judge us for not.