This Morning viewers have accused the mum of the ‘most followed baby on social media’ of ‘exploiting’ her son and cashing in on him, after they were both guests on the show.
Chelsea White, from Poole, appeared on the show yesterday with her 15-month-old son, who has an astonishing 200,000 followers on Instagram.
Dubbed the ‘most followed baby’, Harlem’s success has taken him and his mum on working holidays to Dubai, Mykonos and the Bahamas, but Chelsea denies she’s exploiting him by putting him online.
‘It generates money but I don’t want to talk figures because then it looks like I’m using my child for business’, she told Holly and Philip.
‘But it’s not like that. I’d be photographing him for free’.
Even though she insists Harlem likes it, viewers took to social media to accuse Chelsea of ‘selling’ her baby, and exposing him too much on social media.
‘She’s choosing to ‘sell’ her baby in these pictures, oh and we get free things..fancy that!!’, one viewer wrote.
Another asked: ‘Don’t parents worry about their children being exposed all over social media?’, while one wrote: ‘Why would you want to publicise your baby?’
Hitting back to the claims that she’s cashing in on her son, Chelsea said she’s no different to mums who start their children’s modelling careers.
‘There’s lots of celebrities and mums who have public profiles who are posting pictures of their children… and he’s no different.
‘There’s thousands of mums that apply for their babies to do modelling and to enter competitions.
‘They might say: “that’s exploitation”. Where does it stop. Brands need babies to be photographed in their products.
‘Baby models earn around £70 an hour which isn’t worth it because you don’t get travel covered. With Instagram I can do it in my own time and I can control what goes out there.’
Harlem seemed to be having the best time during the show
As well as holidays, Chelsea revealed she gets free designer clothes and other products from global brands.
‘I never expected it to take off like it has. We’ve got global brands saying; ‘can we send you this, can we send you that?’ They just want things promoted on his page. It’s crazy’, she said on the show.
Harlem’s social media modelling career started just two weeks after he was born, when Chelsea took him to a London baby spa and filmed him ‘swimming’ using a flotation device.
The shots went viral worldwide, and attracted millions of hits on social media sites.
‘He was two weeks old and it went viral. Companies started sending him gifts. Now I get sent tons of free clothes, toys, prams. I choose what I like him to wear, take pictures and put them on Instagram. I’ll put a link to the company and they get more followers. It’s a win-win.’
And despite the criticism, Harlem’s mum insists he enjoys it: ‘He’s a chilled baby. He’s placid and laid back. He lets me get on with it.’
What do you think of sharing images of your child on social media? Let us know in the comments!