Social and Psychological Aspects

The Brat Pack: Mini-Influencers on the Internet

  • Leah Siegel (San Francisco State University)
  • Amy Dorie (Iowa State University)


      “Sharenting” is a phenomenon where parents share information and photographs of their children on social media, often without the children’s understanding or consent. In recent years, sharenting has become a lucrative business with parents of “mini-influencers,” children with a large following on social media, earning millions of dollars and free products through product placement and endorsements via social media posts aimed at other parents and children. Even though today’s children are digital natives that have grown up with the internet, they are part of a vulnerable group that has been found to lack the ability to discern ethical versus unethical activities on the internet. Given the vast earnings associated with mini-influencer posts and the lack of oversight protecting both the children in the posts and those viewing them, the purpose of this research is to investigate the public posts of mini-influencers (ages 5-10) on Instagram to investigate how children are being represented in terms of commercialized and sexualized appearances. Findings supported a link between appearance, sexualization, and brands in posts of child influencers. The researchers call for more oversight and protections for children on the Internet.

Keywords: Instagram, commercialization, sexualization, influencers, child

How to Cite:

Siegel, L., Dorie, A. & LORANGER, D. P., (2020) “The Brat Pack: Mini-Influencers on the Internet”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 77(1). doi:

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Published on
28 Dec 2020
Peer Reviewed