Being authentic will attract haters, but its worth it

Being authentic will attract haters, but its worth it

On Wednesday, a wonderful Parentpreneur in our Community Facebook Group highlighted an article in the Daily Mail that complained about a ‘booming trend’ of ‘Slummy Mummies’:

So I read it. I agreed with Juliette. It is a nasty article that names and (attempts to shame) six fantastic women who are using humour and honesty to help others deal with the challenges of parenting.

Daily Mail article on Slummy Mummies

The journalist quotes these women out of context and completely misses the fact that the things said / written were meant to be funny (or at least entertaining).

However, I forced myself to read the article in full and although most of it is just complete vitriol, just for fun I managed to find a bit I agreed with so I could quote it out of context 🙂

“I can understand this movement. It is a reaction against the dishonesty of celebrity mums who pretend to have achieved family perfection in their artfully cultivated press and social media images.”

“The reality of motherhood is not what Hello! magazine would suggest; pregnancy is rather harder than showing off your perfect bump.”

“I appreciate how this ‘honesty’ could make new mums feel less isolated and more reassured, and old-hand mums feel entertained.” – Anna May Mangan

I suppose in fairness to both sides, the Mums that the article attacks are just playing the same game as the author of the article… these days the easiest way to reach a mass audience is to have a more extreme or remarkable view.

The Daily Mail doesn’t want to interview the world’s leading expert on cancer, nutrition or immigration, they want to feature the extreme views of someone who is willing to say things without balance, evidence or caveat. This is what attracts attention and comment, such as:

What also gets attention is calling a book ‘Hurrah for Gin’ with funny stick-figures drawings on the cover (the content is particularly hilarious) and although Katie does a great job of explaining her book is designed to be funny and of course its all a big joke & she loves her kids, including too much of that balance won’t sell copies. Whereas doodles of her telling her ‘capable friend’ to f*** off will. (Seriously, I highly recommend you get her book, I have bought copies for friends, and am hoping to interview Katie for our podcast soon!)

So, both the Daily Mail and honest mums will get attention, but will attract ‘haters’ on both sides.

So, what does this mean for you as a Parentpreneur?

Well, being authentic can be a great way to connect with your audience, enjoy your business more, and get attention. However, don’t expect everyone to be a fan.

The wonderful women mentioned in the article are successful partly because they are being their authentic selves.

Ellie and Helen’s Scummy Mummies podcast is incredibly funny because they use their skills as comedians and don’t hold back. Sarah (Unmumsy mum)Anna (Mother Pukka), Steph (Don’t Buy Her Flowers), Clemmie (Mother of All Lists) and Katie (Hurrah for Gin) share the horrible and unglamorous experiences they have (and sometimes rant about the annoying or boring bits of parenting), to help others to see they aren’t alone.

As a result, they have significant numbers in their ‘tribe’ of followers, customers and supporters.

But they do get nasty comments from people who don’t ‘get it’.

Fortunately it IS worth it, as holding back and presenting a facade to your audience will make you more unhappy.

So to Parentpreneurs reading this, I encourage you to be as authentic as you can.

To Katie, Steph, Ellie, Helen, Sarah and Clemmie, I say: Keep ignoring the hate. You are amazing. I love what you do and I only stop short of jokingly offering to ‘have your babies’ because based on the Daily Mail’s article, you’d send your kids to me… via 2nd class post. (And they sound like sh*ts.) 🙂

About The Author

Alexis Kingsbury

Alexis is founder of the Parentpreneur Accelerator and Making Greatness Ltd. He is a serial entrepreneur, with experience creating start-ups in a variety of areas, particularly in SaaS and EdTech. He is also a lucky husband and proud dad, and now helps other 'parentpreneurs' like him to achieve their dreams of having successful businesses, making a difference in the world, and spending time with the people they love.

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