First of all, there’s something about a grown man & father of four who wears pookah shell necklaces & dresses like a wanna-be high school sk8er boi that makes me think, uh… Yes! This does look like the face of ‘that guy’. Hey there fellow kewl teenz, I’m rad-dad Chris.
So yeah, a lot to unpack here ranging from ‘YouTube family’ culture, to a predator scandal, to a life-like replica baby YOU can own today! Let’s start with that baby (before its sold out).
A YouTuber family from the UK is selling a doll version of their newborn son for $340 so fans can feel like they are cuddling him in their very own homes.
The Ingham Family, led by parents Chris and Sarah, have 1.2 million subscribers who watch their vlogs chronicling the lives of their four children.
Little Jace was born on March 27 and at 10 days old got his own Instagram account.
At only 4 months old Jace already has several thousand more followers than I do, which is crazy considering he’s only a baby & I’m a woman in her 30s with constantly bruised legs and a slight mustache. In comparison, not sure what his appeal is.
He joined older sisters Isabelle, 13; Esmé, 9; and Isla, 7.
His entire labor and delivery were of course recorded and posted to the family’s YouTube channel, with the eye-grabbing title: “EMOTIONAL LIVE BIRTH.”
I’ll spare you the link to the video. All you need to know is that the LIVE BIRTH was EMOTIONAL.
Anyways, two weeks after that enthusiastic delivery they took Jace to a doll maker and turned him into a doll, as proud parents are, ah, known to do.
For superfans who buy the doll, the company is also offering “the opportunity to bring your Baby Jace reborn to one of the specially organized baby Jace Tea parties to be announced, where you will meet the Ingham family.”
This special privilege will be “strictly for the new owner of baby Jace reborn” and will consist of meeting the family and having dessert and drinks with them.
I feel like I need to be a fly on the wall at these meetups. At first you’d think maybe it’s a bunch of little girls bringing baby dolls to a tea party, and what’s so wrong with that? But deep down you know it’s going to be grownups… A room full of grownups holding matching baby Jace dolls while baby Jace is in the room completely unaware. It sounds like the start to a weird Black Mirror episode.
Hopefully they don’t lose him in the fray, ’cause the kid really blends. Parents Chris and Sarah have already demonstrated this by putting him in a baby pile with the caption,
“My mummy @sarahinghamofficial loves playing games (‘laughing so hard I’m crying’ face emoji) Spot the baby (baby emoji) he really is just like a little doll.”
(Naturally included were tags for where you could buy the dolls.)
Normally I’m the “let your freak flag fly!” type who believes “to each their own”, but this has seriously weirded me out. I get putting out fun videos of your kids & sharing their lives a bit if you live in the spotlight, but relying on them completely to make your content & thus, your livelihood, gives me an incredibly uneasy feeling. And if you’re like me and you’re giving this some side eye, it’s about to get worse. Only last year…
From The Sun:
After meeting 16-year-old Jess Simpson on holiday in Florida, he began messaging her privately on Twitter.
He told her: “Bet I can make you feel a lot better about things. And I DEFINITELY want to stay in touch when we’re all back home too.”
The star added: “Trust me, I bet we have a lot in common! If you can sneak out without waking anyone then deffo come meet me! I’m always up every night, I would say tonight but I need to crack on with editing first. If you’re awake in an hour or two. Ha.”
Two days later the messages became more suggestive. Jess received a message which read: “Haha you home alone? X” When she said she was, Chris replied: “I’m coming over for a party!!” and said: “Contemplating skinny dipping in the pool.”
Mind you, all this happened while he was on vacation in Florida with that family of his who makes him a living. Lovely.
But people seem really willing to overlook that sort of thing when it comes to YouTube fame.
A blog on Feedspot chronicled the top 100 ‘Family Vlogger’ shows on YouTube & the top families have MILLIONS of fans & subscribers. Some of the ‘top families’ have over 7M, and the sponsorships they reap from that are extremely lucrative. If you’re looking to start a YouTube family of your own, there’s a basic formula:
Hey there! We’re the ______ (generic last name). We are a fun, craaaazy (lol!!!!), loving family of X kids (X = generally 3 to 10) who love documenting our every day lives! Join us on our adventures, challenges, goOoOOoofy pranks, & wAcKy experiences! And try to keep up as we stay active with the kids, explore through travel, & worship the glory of God’s plan!
In closing, just when I thought the whole thing could get any more unsettling, I dove a little deeper on that Jace doll website & all I can say is “sweet dreams”…