TikTok momfluencer Jacquelyn faces new safety concern allegations for toddler Wren Eleanor

By Abby Amoakuh

Updated Apr 26, 2024 at 09:09 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

It is not unusual for influencers to cause outrage on social media. However, it is rare for them to incite controversy on a global scale under the age of five. Yet, the hashtags #savewren and #protectchildren have been circulating on TikTok for quite some time now. The subject of this sensitive discussion is toddler Wren Eleanor, a 4-year-old whose page boasts an incredible 17 million followers. While a seemingly innocent side project on the surface, users have begun to question whether or not Wren’s mother Jacquelyn might be using her daughter’s online popularity, specifically among unsavoury and unwanted men, to obtain a financially-beneficial social media career.

On the surface, everything seems normal when you look at @wren.eleanor, who is a bubbly, blonde little girl who playfully dances, cooks, dresses up, and does gymnastics with her mother Jacquelyn.

@wren.eleanor

Team mom or team grandma? 👻 #halloween #outfit

♬ barb heaven - kevzilla
@wren.eleanor

no way this trend was a year ago #onthisday

♬ original sound - Wren & Jacquelyn

However, many netizens have grown increasingly worried about the type of content the young girl’s mother is sharing with her daughter’s incredibly large number of followers—and the people it’s receiving attention from.

@wren.eleanor

Hoping she never wants to dye her hair

♬ original sound - user69476203524

Under one video, in which Wren has a hand on her hip while pouting her lips and donning a filter that bleaches her hair and applies lipstick and eyeliner, users started to question the choice to include a child in a trend that was spearheaded by grown women and had an inherently sexual undertone.

@breckiehill

♬ original sound - user69476203524
@delaneychilds

my hair appointment is coming up 🤓 #hair #hairstyle #blonde #blondefilter #blondy #blondeinspo #haircolor #haircolorfilter

♬ original sound - user69476203524
@natalie_kocendova

😂😂😂

♬ original sound - user69476203524

Aside from the concern users have regarding the content on Wren’s account, netizens also expressed their unease over weird search suggestions that appear when one looks for the toddler’s profile. These include “Wren Eleanor hotdog” and “Wren Eleanor pickle,” both of which don’t seem appropriate, according to user @justlivingmyjesslife.

@justlivingmyjesslife

#fyp #wren #protectourkids #protectthekids #itsnotokay #nottoday #nottodaysatan

♬ original sound - j e s s i c a

Viral news commentator @Noahglenncarter also picked up the story, highlighting the disturbing comments Wren’s videos were attracting:

@noahglenncarter

IB @hashtagfacts what do yall think #wreneleanor #foryou #tiktoker

♬ Creepy Sounds - Creepy Razy

“Every normal person on here should report this, this mother knows exactly what audience she will attract by p*do baiting her own child,” one user wrote underneath Carter’s video.

“The mom knows. It’s paying her bills and has made them lots of money,” another comment stated. Someone else added: “The parents are very much aware but not doing anything about it.”

“I think her mom is doing this on purpose for money. I would never do this to my kid period,” one final  TikToker noted.

Wren’s story does not appear in a vacuum. The internet has been booming with coverage there has been about the dangers of online spaces for young girls for years now. In February, The New York Times published an investigation about mothers who exploit their daughters in a bid for social media stardom. Notably, some of these parent-managed accounts have started to attract the attention of men attracted to children.

Thousands of online profiles analysed by the publication offer disturbing insights into how some parents are becoming the driving force behind the sale of photos, exclusive chat sessions and even the pedalling of girls’ worn leotards and cheer outfits to unknown followers. Some customers spend thousands of dollars nurturing their relationships with these mothers and their young children.

Cases like these touch on the longstanding question of whether young children’s pictures and videos should even be posted on social media, considering that they aren’t in a position to give informed consent or indeed to challenge their parents’ wishes.

As Wren’s case continues to raise concerns around the privacy, autonomy, and exploitation of young children online, we’ve seen a countermovement of parents online who are calling out potentially creepy people following the toddler’s account.

In 2022, netizens also created a subreddit to debate whether the profile should continue to remain on TikTok. As of April 2024, Wren’s mother, Jacquelyn, has not responded to the criticism or backlash.

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