The name Gwyneth Paltrow has almost become synonymous with controversy. Usually it's for instructing women to do absurd things to their bodies, but either way it's something. Now, she is causing a stir after posting a picture of herself and her daughter Apple on Instagram. In the picture, the mother and daughter are on the ski slopes. Even though Apple is covering her face with her ski goggles, based off Gwyneth's caption, we know who is in the photo. Well, Apple left a comment on the picture asking her mom to take the photo down. Which opens the door to the conversation about teens and privacy on social media.
Apple, who is 14, makes it seem that this is something she and her mom have previously discussed.
"Mom we have discussed this. You may not post anything without my consent."
Apple doesn't want her mom sharing pictures of her on social media. Or at least, that's what the comment leaves you to believe. It is also social media, and she's 14, so there's a chance that maybe she is being a sarcastic. But either way, the larger conversation still stands. If you post a picture of your child, especially a teen, should you get their permission first?
Gwyneth's response is a pretty typical response from a mom:
"You can't even see your face!"
While we don't know Apple's true intent with the comment, let's gowith her actually being upset that her mom is sharing her picture online without her consent. Gwyneth has over 5 million followers on Instagram. Apple's account is set to private, which means that she has to approve anyone that wants to follow her.
Gwyneth chose a life in the spotlight as an adult. Apple has not made the decision to be the child of celebrities. She likely gets her photograph taken by strangers while she's out and about with her mom. She can't control that. Having final say of what her mom posts likely gives her the only level of control over what kind of image is being put out there.
Tweens and teens are old enough to voice their concerns about how they're being portrayed on social media. They carefully curate a space that works for them within the context of their lives. Many celebrities talk openly about protecting their children from the media when they're young. So it makes sense that the kids would ask their parents to continue as they get older.
Many of Gwyneth's followers agree with her daughter.
"I have 2 teenage sons and now that they're old enough to be effected by something I post I always ask them if its ok first. It's a simple show of respect for them, the same as we expect them to show to us," writes one user.
Other's don't seem to agree with Apple's take, and believe that as mom, Gwyneth has total control
"I tell my kids these are my moments not yours... i made you, Ill post what i want... you child, me parents know your roll. I give, i can take away your "social""
Yes, Gwyneth is the adult in this situation, but at the end of the day, she should be respecting her daughter's wishes. Because if she doesn't honor her daughter's wishes here, then her daughter could lose trust in their relationship. If we're teaching our kids things like autonomy and consent, it's important that it's a two way street.
Ultimately we don't know if Apple was kidding or not. But the questions begs asking, do older kids deserve the right to ask their parents for final say about what's being posted about them online?