How much ‘insta-famous’ families pay for parties
INSTA-FAMOUS families are forking out thousands for elaborate birthday parties for their kids, to keep up their social media appearances.
Spending thousands on catering, games and outfits is a growing trend among social media influencers, who are also using their kids parties to spruik their brand, as well as company's whose outfits their kids wear, or the bakery who made their cake.
Gold Coast's biggest social media influencer Tammy Hembrow threw her daughter a second birthday, which would have cost nearly $1500 for what was supposed to be an intimate family day in the park.
For the money, Mrs Hembrow got a stylish picnic setting, a floral number '2' platter table, personalised cookies and a marble cake.
Tammy Hembrow's managing director Sam Managan did not return calls.
It's a case of Keeping up with Kardashians according to Professor Paul Herman from the University of Queensland who said their appears to be a competitive nature between families when it comes to birthday parties.
"Extravagant birthday parties have always existed, but now it's being able to say who did what, who wore what and who was there all on one platform heightens the whole 'keeping up with the Jones's' status," he said.
"My own estimate is part of our consumer society where we have to be attached and our status to where we fit on the spectrum and always having to look good.
"Parents want to make their kids happy, but it very much is because we want to project the view that we can afford these things as well.
"Social media influencers have the ability to accelerate their narrative around 'my life is great and I am doing well'."
He says it can be tough for parents to know where the line is.
"As a parent myself, even my youngest daughter roped into it wanting things like ponies and magicians at her birthday party and that stems from the fact everyone else is doing it.
"Although there is nothing inherently wrong in providing lavish presents or parties (if you can afford it) it is also important to teach children the value of money.
"If the child would be just as happy with a BBQ at the beach why not put the money in a child's saving account to contribute towards their education or first property for when they are older."
Dr Divna Haslam, clinical psychologist at the Parenting and Family Support Centre, said: "I have heard of kids (parties) involving party planners, multiple entertainers and generous gift bags for attendees," Dr Haslam said.
"It seems the days of party pies, fairy bread and basic lolly bags and a homemade Australian Woman's Weekly cake are over.
"There is also pressure from children on parents for more material possessions as advertisers directly target children in advertising."
Vanessa Killian, a cake maker from Cakeable, said she once did two cakes with the works for twins turning one, costing the father over $1250.
"When I get these orders, it really surprises me to the point I struggle with my pricing. I don't want to overcharge but so much time goes into making them," she said.
"I grew up in a family where mum made Women's Weekly birthday cake, but times have changed and I think if you can afford to do it then why not?"
Alisha Marshall and Monique Bathie, from Deluxe Grazing, only recently provided a large spread for Gold Coast Instagram influencer Emilee Hembrow's gender reveal party.
The pair said kids birthdays are easily their most favourite grazing tables to create.
"We find our kids grazing tables are an affordable, easy, hassle free option for parents," they said.
"We wouldn't think twice about spending money and creating amazing extravagant events for our own children, so parents would be the same."