What would you think of a mother who purposefully set out to make her 10-month-old baby girl cry — just so she could record the breakdown and publish it on YouTube for the entire world to see?
Would you champion that mother as the prime protector of her offspring?
Or would you instead be bothered by the unnecessary spectacle of a mother exploiting the emotional well-being of her vulnerable baby for entertainment purposes?
This horrible video is getting a lot of play on the internet — and I can’t quite figure out why people seem to enjoy watching the child’s deliberately delivered Schadenfreude so much, but then again, I also don’t understand the enjoyment behind pranking people, either:
We’ll leave the mother’s horrible singing for another article — it’s too easy to argue the real reason the baby is crying because her ears hurt from her mother’s caterwauling — so we are awkwardly left to rewind the life between the lens to reveal the cruel intention of the adult hiding behind the video.
That mother knows her baby will cry when she sings, and she wanted to recreate that first, private, intimate moment when she first experienced that important bonding between parent and child — and, for some reason, re-live it by re-creating it in a manufactured moment for a YouTube audience forever.
Why would a mother actively choose to make her baby daughter cry on YouTube? Is she showing off the unwitting humanity of her child, or is she trying to pretend this is all a surprise to her when her baby begins to tear up on camera?
One would think, if this were genuine in real-time, and not a regurgitated performance, that the moment the baby becomes overly emotional, the mother would stop the video and comfort the baby — but that doesn’t happen, because the mother doesn’t want the baby to stop crying — the mother wants her baby to continue to cry and to get upset so you can see it. Finishing the song is more important to the mother than putting down the camera to hold her daughter.
The baby clearly has no idea what’s going on — but there is anticipation in her eyes when the mother begins to sing — the baby has been through this before and senses what’s coming. The tones the mother makes while singing creates an emotional response cry in the child that immediately becomes too vulnerable and too uncomfortable and too private to be broadcast on YouTube. It appears like the baby thinks the mother is making the universal sounds of distress, and that makes the baby cry.
I know a lot of people find the video charming and cute — but if we think about the terms of the publication in the frame of what’s best for the child — then we cannot help but feel for a baby who is stuck with an emotional manipulator of a mother for the next 18 years.