Mommy influencer faces backlash for posing with baby near ‘dangerous’ balcony edge

‘So dangerous just for a photo,’ says one critic

Meredith Clark
New York
Thursday 23 March 2023 15:17 GMT

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An influencer has come under fire after she shared a photo of her baby being propped on the edge of a balcony.

Camila Coelho is a social media influencer known for sharing photos of her seven-month-old son, Kai, to her nearly 10 million Instagram followers. However, she recently sparked backlash when the 35-year-old mom posted a photo of herself holding her son while standing on a French balcony overlooking the Eiffel Tower.

The post in question, which was shared to Instagram last month, showed Coelho on her balcony at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris with her infant in her arms. The seven-month-old is seen wearing an all-gray ensemble with a matching beanie, while Coelho is dressed in a pink turtleneck, denim skirt, and matching pink coat.

In the first photo, Coelho propped her son up on the balcony ledge as she supported him with her right arm. The second image shows Coelho holding her son in the air with his back turned towards the balcony ledge, and pulled in closer to his mother in the third.

Despite the picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower, many followers were outraged by the series of photos and criticised Coelho for “putting [her son] in danger”.

“This picture makes me so nervous!!! Don’t put the baby on the balcony please!!!” read one Instagram comment.

“Ok, you’re amazing but don’t put him in danger!” wrote another fan. “You got him, but just for the sake of his life it’s not necessary to lift him up on the edge of the balcony!”

Another critic wrote: “Really? So dangerous just for a photo.”

Some people saw the controversial photo as an opportunity to call out influencer culture on social media, like one person who commented, “When you care more about the Eiffel Tower being in the shot than your child’s safety,” and added: “Influencing at all costs.”

“How far can you go for likes?” asked someone else.

Since sharing her Instagram post on 26 February, Camila Coelho has not responded to the backlash. However, the mommy influencer shared yet another post of her son near the Paris balcony edge earlier this month, which sparked even more criticism from her followers.

The video – which was posted to her Instagram on 4 March – saw Coelho holding her son while sipping tea on the French balcony, as the camera zoomed in on their view of the Eiffel Tower. “Tea break with the best company (and view),” she captioned the Instagram video.

Some users believed the video was in “spite” of the backlash she received for her previous balcony post, and others vowed to unfollow her as a result.

“Six days ago you posted photos on the balcony with Kai, you got an awful lot of messages from people who found [it an] especially dangerous idea that you posted photos with Kai on the edge of the balcony,” commented one follower. “That yielded more than 500,000 likes, I now seriously wonder, is this also the case?”

“I’m starting to think you’re just trolling people,” said someone else, while another user wrote: “This honestly makes me want to unfollow you.”

The Independent has contacted Camila Coelho for comment.

According to the Child Injury Firm, more than 4,000 children in the United States receive emergency medical treatment after falling from a window or balcony. An average of 12 children die every year as a result of such falls.

A report from the British Columbia Children’s Hospital found that 146 children were treated at BC Children’s Emergency Department between 2009 and 2015. Eighty-five per cent of them were between the ages of one and six. In 2019, 14 children aged less than one year old to 16 years old were treated for falls from high elevations, such as windows and balconies.

Camila Coelho isn’t the only famous figure to receive backlash for posing with her child near a balcony. Most notably, the late pop star Michael Jackson dangled his then nine-month-old son, nicknamed “Blanket”, over a balcony at a Berlin hotel in 2002. In response to the public outrage over the event, Jackson issued an apology.

“I got caught up in the excitement of the moment,” he told BBC News. “I would never intentionally endanger the lives of my children.”

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