FACEBOOK: LOVE ME, LOVE MY KIDS
“Why would a woman put a picture of her child’s face – instead of her own – as her profile picture on Facebook?’
That was the question posed by Katie Roiphe in her article “Disappearing mothers” in the Financial Times.
Roiphe admitted it was probably a trivial matter, but that when a woman posts a picture her child, instead of her own face, the world sees: “… a potent symbol for the new century. Where have all of these women gone? What, some earnest future historian may very well ask, do all of these babies on our Facebook pages say about ‘the construction of women’s identity’ at this particular moment in time?”
Look, I get where she is coming from. It’s the “I’m-still-the-same-intelligent-woman-I-was-before-I-had-kids” argument.
I hear you sister. I really do.
But when people start suggesting that women should push their motherhood persona to the background, I start to worry because yet again I feel like someone is telling me that being a mother isn’t important.
According to Katie: “…the whole idea behind Facebook is to create a social persona, an image of who you are projected into hundreds of bedrooms and cafés and offices across the country. Why would that image be of someone else, however closely bound they are to your life, genetically and otherwise?”
I’ll tell you why.
If I choose to upload my children’s cherubic faces into that little profile box it has nothing to do with me freeing myself from “the burden of looking halfway decent for a picture”. Nope, I have absolutely no problem posing for the odd photo or five.
It’s about projecting a part of me that I am bloody proud of. While I am “still-the-same-intelligent-woman-I-was-before-I-had-kids”, these two little people have changed my life.
Being a parent is wonderful, overwhelming, uplifting, depressing, hilarious, stressful, expensive, enriching, and totally and utterly unrelenting.
But now I’m being told that women who choose to express this via their Facebook profile are somehow letting themselves down.
Jeeze, I better let Busy-And-Important-Husband know so he can remove the photo he has proudly on display in his Facebook profile. What will people think of him? I digress…
It was hard enough being told to conceal my motherhood in the workplace. That openly discussing parenthood with professionalism could brand me “soft”.
And it was even harder being told that I should avoid the term “working mother” because it could suggest to others I might be prone to ‘slacking off’ or less serious about my career.
In fact, I find it ironic that the title of this piece is “Disappearing Mothers”, because the one place I do see mothers disappearing is in the workplace.
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