Join us for an event with Sara Petersen, author of Momfluenced: Inside the Maddening, Picture-Perfect World of Mommy Influencer Culture, in conversation with Katie Adams, on Wednesday, May 19th at 7pm!
On Instagram, the private work of mothering is turned into a public performance, generating billions of dollars. The message is simple: we're all just a couple of clicks away from a better, more beautiful experience of motherhood.
Linen-clad momfluencers hawking essential oils, parenting manuals, baby slings, and sponsored content for Away suitcases make us want to forget that the reality of mothering in America is an isolating, exhausting, almost wholly unsupported endeavor. In a culture which denies mothers basic human rights, it feels good to click “purchase now” on whatever a momfluencer might be selling. It feels good to hope.
Drawing on her own fraught relationship to momfluencer culture, Sara Petersen incorporates pop culture analysis, interviews with prominent momfluencers and experts (psychologists, academics, technologists) to explore the glorification of the ideal mama online with both humor and empathy. For fans of Lyz Lenz's Belabored, and Jia Tolentino's Trick Mirror, Momfluenced argues that momfluencers don’t simply sell mothers on the benefits of bamboo diapers, they sell us the dream of motherhood itself, a dream tangled up in whiteness, capitalism, and the heteronormative nuclear family.
Momfluenced considers what it means to define motherhood for ourselves when society is determined to define motherhood for us.
Sara Petersen is a writer based in New Hampshire. Her essays about feminism, domesticity, and motherhood have appeared in The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, The Washington Post, InStyle, Glamour, and elsewhere. She also writes a newsletter about the myth of the ideal mother, In Pursuit of Clean Countertops. You can find her at sara-petersen.com, and on Twitter and Instagram @slouisepetersen.
Katie Adams runs her own freelance book editing business, Katie Adams Editing. She previously worked as a full time in-house editor in New York City for Liveright/WW Norton, Other Press, Doubleday, Bloomsbury Press, and Oxford University Press before striking out on her own when she and her family relocated to Exeter, her hometown . She has edited books by award-winning authors of literary fiction, history, biography, memoir, current affairs, sports, and narrative non-fiction.