When it comes to social media, one thing moms crave is realness and authenticity. In the world of Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram perfection, it's easy to fall into the trap. But in reality, we want to find people who are hot messes just like the rest of us. We often find those spaces on Instagram, where mommy blogs have been replaced with mommy meme accounts. These accounts tap into the reality of being a woman and a parent with just a few words or sentences. Moms Behaving Badly, is a popular mommy meme account, but who runs it has been a mystery, until now.
Moms Behaving Badly has over 330,000 followers on Instagram, and has grown their numbers largely through their content. The account doesn't follow anyone, an intentional move to prove the authenticity of their brand and content. But even if these mommy memers, as they're known, have given their accounts a name, somewhere you can usually find info about who runs the account. Moms Behaving Badly have been very careful to never let the true identities of their creators be known. But all of that changed recently, when a dream opportunity led to a decision. Moms.com got to speak to two of the creators about their decision to go public, and the importance of remaining authentic in the age of forced perfection.
The Webby Awards, which is arguably the biggest award for online content creators, came calling, and they offered the page the chance to submit themselves for a nomination under the category Social Humor. But that meant that they had to reveal themselves as the creators. So, Tara Clark, Kiera Blech, and Renee Davis made the decision to put their names on the thing that had for so long been anonymous. The decision didn't come easily, but when such a great opportunity presents itself, you can't let it pass you by.
"They said, 'hey, we love what you're doing, we want you to apply for this award.' And we said, 'uh really?'" Tara Clark explains
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Unfortunately, they didn't win the Webby Award. But they were up against some seriously huge social media accounts, including Conan O'Brien's "Team Coco," the social media team for The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Funny or Die, and the insanely popular Instagram account "Comments by Celebs."
"Here we are, a rag tag bunch of mommy memers going up against these comedy greats for this comedy award," Clark notes.
It may sound like a cliche, but just being nominated against such internet heavy hitters is huge. Because not only does it validate that there is a universal appeal to the motherhood experience, but it means that people are paying attention to the parenting corner of the internet. And why? Authenticity.
"We have moms in different stages of life. We have a mom with one kid, we have a mom with multiple kids, we have the cat mom. We have all these different outlooks on life and come together to make these funny memes," Kiera Blech says.
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Tara Clark admits that MBB started as a way for her to be a little more "real." Under the protection of operating anonymously, she could vent about all the things she couldn't normally talk about. You know, being frustrated with your spouse, or hating the way your mother-in-law always criticizes your outfit choices. Plus, she wanted a space where she could be a little sweary. Because let's be honest, being a little sweary is just another part of motherhood.
"We bonded over issues with our mother-in-laws and our husbands and different things that annoy us. There wasn't a platform for us to get what we needed out without it coming back to get us," Kiera explains.
After teaming up with Kiera and Renee, (they had become friends through Instagram, where they came up through the meme creator ranks together) they launched MBB. And in addition to creating meme content, they've also created an Etsy store full of cute (and sweary) jewelry and mugs.
"That's when we kind of skyrocketed. Because now women, especially divorced women, can replace their ring with a ring that says the 'f-word.'"
No matter what, being real is the bottom line. We all know that parenting isn't rainbows and puppies all the time — but for some reason, we're afraid to admit that it gets hard. Motherhood can be lonely and isolating, but on the internet, it's especially easy to find the people we relate to and create a community.
"We're [mothers] all not just one thing," Clark points out.
And that's what makes Moms Behaving Badly so successful. It shows that moms aren't just boring women who do nothing but talk about their kids and partners all the time. They're still people (who like to listen to gangsta rap and swear when no one's around) with feelings. We think they'll be around for a long time.