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Mothers are normalising messy homes on TikTok

‘I used to think I couldn’t be a content creator because I don’t live in a pretty house,’ mother says

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Wednesday 20 March 2024 23:30 GMT
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Mothers on social media are trying to normalise having imperfect homes and lifestyles.

In a viral TikTok video, 29-year-old substitute teacher and mother of three Katie Ziemer candidly spoke about the pressure to be perfect as a mother, saying that she often compares herself to the put-together mothers she sees on social media.

“I used to think I couldn’t be a content creator because I don’t live in a pretty house…I mean, look at me.” In the video, Zermer notably kept things lowkey in black sweatpants as she cut fruit for her children in her slightly messy kitchen.

“My husband and I are just normal people who make just about enough money to get by every month,” she added. “Can’t afford to do daily or weekly shopping hauls on here or afford to have the wardrobe of my dreams or decorate the way I would like to.”

Ziemer’s authenticity resonated with viewers as she spoke candidly that her limited circumstances didn’t mean she couldn’t be a content creator.

“I get messages probably every day from people just thanking me for my content, which is so weird to me,” Ziemer told The Wall Street Journal. “They’ll just say, ‘I see so many of these moms who live a luxurious lifestyle, and they have all these pretty things. I can’t relate to that, but you make me feel better about my life.’”

Her first viral video brought her 100,000 new followers as well as interest from influencer management companies, which led to her getting a manager who could book her brand deals from companies. But no matter how many followers or brand deals she gets, Ziemer maintains that she is committed to living a “humble” life.

She noted, “I am always going to be a hot mess, whether I have a matching set of pyjamas one day, or I’m still wearing my husband’s boxers and a big T-shirt in my videos.”

Non-aesthetic or realistic “momfluencers” like Ziemer are gaining traction on TikTok, resonating with viewers through their unfiltered and unvarnished videos depicting an authentic, messier version of motherhood not often found on the platform.

They are evidence of a growing backlash against the pristine mothers that dominate social media - including Hannah Neeleman of Ballerina Farm fame - with their aspirational content full of spotless countertops and picture-perfect children.

Instead, these new “momfluencers” rock mismatched pyjamas, and cook meals for their children in dated kitchens, showing viewers a more accessible view of parenthood and homemaking as opposed to their wealthier counterparts. Their content is also typically more relatable and advocates for a more budget-friendly lifestyle

Through videos that walk viewers through a weekly grocery shopping trip to Walmart, or how to make family meals under $15, this wave of “momfluencing” is all about showcasing how to live within your means.

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