Freaky Moms

Actually, I wanted to write about beauty pageants for little girls, because it’s my favorite topic in the (total freak show) “Explosiv” on RTL. But as I heard that some other people of the course also like watching (and troubling over) these pageants I decided to write about something different. A few weeks ago I watched a movie that deals with a similar topic. It’s not about pageants, but also about a mother, who objectifies her daughter and wants to have success at the cost of her.

The movie is called “My Little Princess” or “I’m not a Fucking Princess” and is based on a real story from the 70’s , namely the childhood of the director Eva Ionesco, who was photographed by her mother in highly sexualized poses or even naked when she was a child. (Here is the German website of the movie. Sorry, I somehow couldn’t find an English trailer)

The motivation of Irina Ionesco, Eva’s mother, in photographing her daughter was seen in art. In the 70’s she was celebrated in the world of art for being a pioneer in this domain. But actually, she used the childish preference for dressing up of her daughter and made money out of this “fun”.  Even when the family is characterized as poor in that film and one could argue that she did it for the money; I don’t think that she did it for financial or artistic reasons, she did it for herself. In the movie you can see in some scenes that Hanna (the mother) is looking very carefully at her own mirror image, as she wishes her own beauty to come back again. But as her beauty won’t come back again, she needs another way to be successful. She realizes that her daughter has the same beauty that she once had and that she could use that. Here you can see a parallel to the “very ambitious” pageant-moms, who “do it for their kids” and whose daughters “have fun” with it, but who actually want to compensate something in their own lives. In the film, Violetta (the daughter) repeats saying that she doesn’t want to be photographed again, but her mother doesn’t want to hear that, because, in the meantime, she has become a successful artist by publishing her daughter’s photos.

Here are some of the photos, but they are also available on google (what shocked me). I hope that nobody calls the police to arrest me because of distribution of child pornography! I just wanted to show you how extreme these photos are and that they are still in circulation)


Making an adult out of Violetta by putting on makeup on her and dress her in sexy clothes, she steals her daughter’s childhood. Violetta is also instructed to wear sexy clothes at school to show her “glamorous side”. Because she wears these clothes and because her schoolmates know about the photos and tease her, Violetta is more and more separated from her own childhood. I think that here is another parallel to child pageants, because the little girls are dragged from pageant to pageant and spend their free time on being at the hairdressers or getting tanned, so that there isn’t very much time left for living an ordinary child-life and playing with other kids. By fulfilling their own dreams, parents like these steal their children’s childhood.

In my opinion, parents who take advantage of their children in such a way have often problems from their own childhood or in their self-esteem. The problem is that by exploiting their children to such an extent to feel better, they damage something in the identity of their child. It’s like in a vicious circle.



Another thing I was thinking of, when I watched the movie, was how people show pictures or videos of their children on websites like Facebook. Can you compare that to the movie?

I don’t know, if there are photos like these of Eva Ionesco on Facebook, but somehow parents who publish photos of their children do the same as Irina Ionesco to their children (even when it’s not to that extent), because they don’t protect their privacy. I think it’s a difficult question…(but perhaps some other person of the course wants to answer it;-)




2 Responses to Freaky Moms

  1. annavoigtlaender says:

    About the facebook question… I think it’s interesting you mention this. There was this new feature introduced by facebook called the ‘time line’ where people can basically see all the stuff you do on facebook in a chronological order. They have this videoclip where they show a facebook profile of a baby and how the entries change over the years – birthdays, girlfriend, graduation, marriage, birth of the own child – basically the whole life in an online chronology.
    I think it’s become common to post your entire life on facebook. The problem with parents posting pics of their children online isn’t really a problem of exploiting or exposing your child, but rather of social behaviour in general. The boundaries of what you share with other people in an open space like facebook seem to drop. Of course, if you post pics of yourself, your dog, your breakfast or whatever, you also post pics of your kids. And as long as those are standart baby photos, not enacting weird scenarios like the ones you posted above, in todays society it’s just as acceptable as showing a photo album full of baby pics to your friends… except you now have a ridiculously high amount of friends to share with – but that’s a different topic. When I first saw the time line clip I asked myself: what would I do if I realized while growing up that there are these baby photos of me on the internet? How does it feel to know your entire life has been followed by persons you maybe don’t even know? Will future generations even mind?

    • rela0815 says:

      Somehow it has become “normal” to post a lot of photos on such sites like Facebook, and to some extent I can understand that people want to show pictures of their new born baby or what crazy stuff their kids do. As I think about it, I remember that my sister send a very cute photo of my niece to the newspapder and they published it…actually it is the same, as all people were able to see it and it can’t be removed again.
      Perhaps it was the common way for our mothers to show embarrassing photos in an album to everybody who wanted (or didn’t want) to see it. Now it’s common to do this on Facebook. Actually it’s the same…but otherwise, when I think that everybody could follow the life of my children, that’s creepy!

      Fortunately I’m not on Facebook and I don’t have kids yet, so I don’t have these problems;)

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