Katie Bower, the voice behind the popular mommy and lifestyle blog Bower Power, has been dishing out advice, sharing tidbits about her family, and posting photos of her children on her website and on social media.
Over the years, her relatable posts about raising five children has helped her build up a loyal following, but this week, even some of those longtime supporters couldn't stand by some of the comments she made regarding her son.
In the caption of a post paying tribute to her son Weston on his sixth birthday, Bower revealed that although he has a kind-heart and a "unique personality," he "never got as many likes" as her other children on Instagram.
"Instagram never liked my Munchkin and it killed me inside," the Atlanta-based blogger wrote. "His photos never got as many likes. Never got comments. From a statistical point of view, he wasn’t as popular with everyone out there. Maybe part of that was the pictures just never hit the algorithm right. Part might be because he was ‘the baby’ for a very short amount of time before” his siblings were born."
She then put the blame on herself, saying that her "insufficiency caused this deficit because obviously my Munch should get ALL the love and squinty eyes are totally adorable."
Bower explained that she understands that her son's "value is not online approval," and that her family, marriage and life "are 10000000x better in real life than any tiny little picture could hold," but still asked her followers to give Weston's photo as many "likes" as possible since it's a special occasion.
"I wanted to clarify that I revealed this feeling because I know one day he will see the numbers and have to learn that his value is not online approval. This is a hard lesson for anyone to learn and I’m thankful I have learned it," Bower said. “I hope you can be understanding and not take things out of context or believe that this in any way affects how I see or treat my children. All comments and well wishes I read to the birthday boy!”
Unfortunately for her, no matter how well she tried to put her point of view into perspective, people on social media were not having it.
"Omg this Instagram mommy blogger is celebrating her sons bday by writing about how out of all her kids, he “statistically” performs the worse on her Instagram. And she’s worried one day it will ruin his self esteem," tweeted Stephanie McNeal, the Deputy Director of Social News at BuzzFeed News.
"Here we have the #1 reason why your kids should never be your personal brand," wrote Keri Lumm, a writer for Paste Magazine.
Here we have the #1 reason why your kids should never be your personal brand. https://t.co/maatLI4XFf— Keri Lumm (@TheKeriLumm) November 19, 2018
"How about the line 'I say all that because I want to believe it wasn’t him…that it was on me.' So she not only cares, but she thinks it's HIS FAULT. I can't believe there are the people our society encourages to procreate. I want to adopt them all," tweeted another user.
Even Chrissy Teigen had something to say about the situation, tweeting "Oh. My. God. What in the hell??"
Oh. My. God. What in the hell??— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) November 19, 2018
After triggering such a massive backlash, Bower has archived the post and shared an explanation for why she decided to make the comment.
"I had to learn that the likes do not reflect much to me," she said in her Instagram story. "That I had to choose that, because I work with brands that tell you the opposite."
She added that even kids understand and think about Instagram engagement, so she wanted to make sure they know they're loved by her regardless of the numbers.
"Kids are smart. Kids know there's likes on photos, and it's very human nature to compare," she said. "For me, my personal growth journey is teaching my kids that it doesn't matter... I like him. Nothing's gonna change that. He's awesome."
This isn't the first first time that Bower has gone viral this year. In September, she attracted a ton of the wrong kind of attention when she shared that she didn't realize how many people died in the World Trade Center attacks on 9/11 until the following year.
"I told y’all about how literally I had no idea what the deal was with 9-11 when it happened (I was a stupid airhead at the time that didn’t realize that people were actually in the buildings 🤦♀️) and it didn’t hit me until a year later that so many people died," she admitted.