The world of mommy bloggers and motherhood Instagram accounts is rich, personal, and apparently extremely vicious. Many motherhood Instagram influencers moved to “cancel” one of their own after learning that Cara Dumaplin, the woman behind the popular account TakingCaraBabies, had committed the unpardonable sin of… donating to President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.
Yes, seriously. Women who had leaned on Dumaplin for emotional support, calling her to cry together, abruptly condemned her for her political views. It sees no friendship or emotional connection is too deep to get ruined by the partisan rancor of political polarization.
MamaBirdLosAngeles drew attention to Dumaplin’s political donations on Instagram, setting off a flurry of denunciations.
MamaBird identified herself as “part of the #babypeople who are actively using our platforms to speak out about hate, and give you the information you need to not only raise your babies, but to raise them anti-racist. So with that, I recommend y’all consider unfollowing and stop giving your support and $$$ to @TakingCaraBabies, who along with her husband, has been actively donating to Trump and his campaign.”
“We need to out these people, especially because they are profiting off of photos of BIPOC [black, indigenous, people of color] families,” MamaBird added. “I encourage you to share this far and wide!”
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Dumaplin’s Instagram account, TakingCaraBabies, is not political. As NotTheBee noted, Dumaplin is a neonatal nurse and certified pediatric sleep consultant. She has 1.3 million followers on Instagram and many Instagram-famous (and some real-life famous) followers have praised her for helping them survive their children’s tumultuous first years.
Yet all this could not insolate Dumaplin from the outrage mob. Some other influential mommy Instagrammers appeared to genuinely struggle with the idea that a caring person and baby expert would support Trump, arguably the most pro-life president in American history.
“There is much confusion about whether our knowing and loving this friend influence[s] what we believe about racism and humanity,” the account FeedingLittles said.
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Many Instagram accounts moved to blacklist Dumaplin for her political views, assuming that if she supported Trump she must be a hateful racist (even though millions of black and Hispanic Americans voted for Trump).
“We as a brand do not stand by these donations and have unfollowed and sent a personal note” to Dumaplin, the Instagram account BigLittleFeelings, which has 1.2 million followers, announced. “If you see something in your feed that is misaligned with your values, create your feed with what you feel is best. For us that meant unfollowing.”
BigLittleFeelings went on to say that the brand dreams of “a world where our next generation, our kids and your kids no matter the color of their skin, their abilities or where they came from, are treated equally. … Empathy, inclusivity, always always.”
Christine Sterling, an obstetrician-gynecologist with 57,000 followers on Instagram, admitted that Dumaplin “was a mentor and friend” to her. “She was someone I really relied on for support. I’ve called her bawling in the past when I felt completely overwhelmed with this online Instagram business.”
Yet Sterling faulted herself for supposedly making false assumptions about Dumaplin because of her kindness. “She showed me a lot of kindness. And I made a lot of assumptions about her, because of that kindness.”
“While I am painfully disappointed, I also need to hold myself accountable for my assumptions. I should have asked. Lesson learned. I am sorry I recommended a business without checking and asking. I won’t make that mistake again,” the Ob-Gyn posted.
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It seems many Instagram users reached out to complain to Sterling, because she posted a few Instagram video stories denouncing these users as part of “white supremacy.”
“All of this vitriol coming my way is part of white supremacy,” Sterling said. “We inherently feel more protective of white bodies, even when they are wealthy and very privileged. … And we don’t have the same level of concern or protectiveness over black, indigenous, and people of color and the very real trauma that they face at the hands of white supremacy and those who uphold it.”
The insinuation that Cara Dumaplin and her husband (who happens to be from the Philippines) must be racist because they supported Trump is disgusting. It seems that MamaBird, BigLittleFeelings, and Sterling have no empathy or inclusivity for the 75 million people who voted for the former president.
Tragically, this is becoming a mainstream perspective.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.