‘WHEN YOU REALISE YOUR DAD IS CRISTIANO RONALDO’: CELEBRITY SHARENTING AND CHILDREN'S DIGITAL IDENTITY
Keywords:Children, visual content, Instagram, social media, memes
AbstractSharing of parenthood experiences can be performed by ordinary users, to influencers and celebrities. This paper seeks to understand the digital identity of a child of a global celebrity through their presentation on social media, and to analyse qualitatively the visual formats of children’s representation in a platformised digital environment. It focuses on the representation of Cristiano Ronaldo’s children, especially his oldest son (Junior), through his Instagram account, his wife’s and his mother’s, in a two-year period. After identifying the main forms of representation of the children, we searched for images of Cristiano Junior across image search engines, social media platforms, sites and repositories; then, we used reverse image search for the identified memes. Ronaldo’s children are represented at home and family moments, playing and amidst luxury; 10-year-old Junior is presented as the ‘natural successor’ to Ronaldo’s talent for football, and also takes part in social or business events in public places. Visual representations created by Ronaldo’s sharenting are specially appropriated into memes that mock the football celebrity’s narcissism; or the fact that the child doesn’t know how to pose for selfies. Cristiano’s children’s digital identity and Junior’s, in particular, is populated with images as shared by parents and wider family, as well as constructed through participatory culture. An archaeological approach to visual social media content is not without difficulties, but proved to be fruitful to unpack the tensions of this wide visibility and the meanings it creates for the (digital) identity of the child.
How to Cite
Jorge, A., Marôpo, L., & Neto, F. F. (2021). ‘WHEN YOU REALISE YOUR DAD IS CRISTIANO RONALDO’: CELEBRITY SHARENTING AND CHILDREN’S DIGITAL IDENTITY. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2021. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2021i0.12190