Smashing the myth of the perfect mother, one TikTok video at a time

Smashing the myth of the perfect mother, one TikTok video at a time

Here, we see mess, setbacks, a mountain of chores, and the very real possibility of being tired

Imperfect mums are getting their revenge on social networks by becoming the go-to for users in search of authenticity.

THE perfect mother doesn’t exist, and many female influencers are now trying to shatter the illusions surrounding motherhood and the daily life of new mothers.

So, after the idealised Instagram pictures of seemingly flawless ‘mumfluencers’, comes a wave of much more authentic TikTok videos featuring mess, fatigue and other less ‘aesthetic’ aspects of motherhood.

All of which should make new parents feel a lot less guilty.

Knowing what goes on behind the scenes of many seemingly perfect Instagram posts is not always enough to take the pressure off. And that can be true in many fields.

There are the perfect bodies that highlight our own self-neglect, the dream vacations that stand opposed to our daily lives of routine and dullness, the luxury clothes that remind us of the state of our own finances, and also the perfectly tidy interiors and the well-behaved, well-groomed children that make us sigh at our own inability to effectively manage a family and a home.

This idealised vision of daily life that every social network user is confronted with at some point, is one of the ways these platforms can be harmful to mental health, especially when it comes to family, education, and the legendary myth of the perfect mother.

Fantasy meets reality

The subject is far from trivial. These idealised pictures and videos count in the thousands on some social networks, and have done for years.

They showcase perfectly tidy interiors, with no toys on the floor (or anywhere else), meals lovingly prepared in advance, smiling children busy getting on with creative activities in the greatest of calm, and mums who are just as neat and relaxed, all enjoying this dream life to the max.

But if these kinds of mums undoubtedly exist, it’s important to remember that the fleeting moments of life shared online are most often staged, and totally unrealistic, ultimately contributing only to making other mums feel guilty and pressured, when they’re often already physically and emotionally exhausted.

This is a problem that some TikTok content creators, all mothers themselves, have decided to tackle head on, with videos with no filters and no staging, highlighting a more authentic and imperfect view that’s more in line with the realities of their lives.

Gone are the spotless kitchens, the toys hidden in double-locked trunks, and the days filled only with fun and educational activities.

Here, we see mess, setbacks, a mountain of chores, and the very real possibility of being tired, overwhelmed, and maybe even reaching breaking point.

Without going overboard – no one is trying to portray mom life as a living nightmare – it’s about taking away guilt from the majority of women who do their best on a daily basis, and showing them that this famous perfect mother is nothing more than a myth.

Finding perfection in imperfection

Among the hashtags that keep rising on the Chinese social network are #nonaestheticmom, with more than 50 million views, as well as #nonaesthetichouse, #nonaestheticlife and #hotmessmoms, which has more than 20 million views and counting.

In both cases, it’s about showing the authentic daily life of non-perfect moms – just mums, in fact – as opposed to the Instagrammable moms who only show an idealized view of their lives. And, of course, users seem to identify with them more easily.

Messy interiors, outfits and hairstyles that are sometimes neglected, tasks to accomplish throughout the day, and children not always cooperating are recurring themes in these short-form videos, all of which tend to raise a smile in a spirit of kindness and goodwill rather than making anyone feel guilty about not doing enough.

US TikToker Emily Jeanne (@emilyjeanne333) is one of the influencers who now bill themselves as one of these ‘non-aesthetic mothers.’

Followed by more than a million users on TikTok, the young mother films herself surrounded by toys, unironed laundry, and reflecting on the many meals to prepare, and more generally, on a daily life that is far from being constantly rosy.

As she says in her videos, her goal is to “normalise the normal,” and to make mothers – and more widely parents – who feel imperfect or inadequate to feel less guilty.

Looking at the comments posted under her videos, it’s clear that many users are grateful for her honesty: “Thank you for normalising what’s normal! “Glad it’s not just me” and “Thank you for this very real narration of my own home,” read some comments.

And she is far from being the only one trying to deconstruct the myth of the perfect mother, as can be seen on the social network.

The trend continues to grow worldwide, responding to many people’s desire to no longer be faced with unattainable ideals.

This shift can also be seen in fiction, with shows such as ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ helping to shine fresh light on the realities of motherhood.

source – ETX Daily Up

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