The Insta-Mum Phenomenon: How Instagram is Giving Mothers a Voice
Michelle Kennedy, Instagram Mum and the founder of the Peanut App, talks about the Insta-Mum phenomenon and how the platform is granting mothers a voice
Lead Image: Michelle Kennedy and her son Finlay (photo: Peanut)
A new type of social media influencer is on the rise. The Instagram Mum has joined the ranks of beauty, fashion and other types of influencers that are taking the social media world by storm.
The Instagram mum community is growing every day and one such member, Michelle Kennedy is the founder and CEO of Peanut, an app for connecting local mothers. As such, Kennedy is in a unique position to talk about the Instagram Mum phenomena.
Instagram has given women a place to talk about motherhood as part of a community. Sure, they might still share fashion or beauty tips, but ‘the difference is that these are women who are really sharing every element of their experience of motherhood,’ says Kennedy.
‘It’s about having something to say and finding that no one else has really said it,’ says Kennedy.
Instagram has given mothers a way to share their experiences but it has also given them a platform to break down barriers. Instagram has given women a platform and voice to talk about motherhood in a way that may have been taboo before.
‘The difference with these women on Instagram is that they are seeing where the taboos are and are busting the taboo anyway. They will go ahead and talk about it,’ says Kennedy.
‘I want to focus on empowering women and whether that’s to change your career, start your own business, or find your support network that’s my voice on Instagram.’
They say it takes a village to raise a child but we don’t live in our village anymore. We have all moved for work, businesses, lifestyle, for all of these different reasons
Kennedy has taken this voice and beyond Instagram by creating the Peanut app. She recognised that motherhood could be isolating and it was difficult for mothers to connect.
‘They say it takes a village to raise a child but we don’t live in our village anymore. We have all moved for work, businesses, lifestyle, for all of these different reasons,’ says Kennedy.
This was the case when Kennedy had her son Finlay. She did not have a network. ‘‘My girlfriends didn’t have babies and that was quite isolating, which is not very comfortable to say. You want to say ‘no I’ve got friends’ but actually I didn’t have friends who were free to hang out at 2 o‘clock in the afternoon,’ says Kennedy. This is where the Peanut app comes in, helping mums find other mothers locally to hang out with, building not just friendships but a sense of community as well.
Taking this a step further, the app has released a new feature where people can ask questions and have conversations on topics such as motherhood, work and money, and love and sex.
These conversations have been happening on the internet across many different forms such as Instagram, Facebook groups, and Yahoo groups, and peanut pages seeks to consolidate these conversations into one place.
‘This entire millennial generation of women has grown up mobile first and of course, they are then going to want to use those products and use those platforms to talk about motherhood,’ says Kennedy.
But what is next for the Instagram Mums? According to Kennedy, the community is here to stay and she cannot wait to see how it will evolve as new mothers join and the existing mothers face new parenting challenges.
‘We all want to share these stories. There will be new up-and-coming women who are having their babies and we will follow women whose children are getting older. We will hear more about motherhood as it evolves and grows,’ says Kennedy.
Looking for some insta-mums to follow? Here are three of Michelle Kennedy’s top picks for London-based Instagram mums:
From owning your confidence in life and fashion to tips for the mum on the go, Freddie has got you covered
Anna Whitehouse is the hilariously frank woman behind Mother Pukka, full of relatable stories of being a mother
Not your usual insta-mum, Jessica combines a beauty perspective, as the Beauty & Lifestyle Director of Vogue, with being a mum