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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Valdosta chapter.

If you were alive in the year 2009, you’d know the disgrace that was Toddlers & Tiaras. The reality TV show that glorified the world of child pageants. People tuned in for four seasons to watch children with fake tans and caked-on makeup prance in frilly dresses. If their teeth were falling out and growing in, they just covered them up with fake ones and put them on a stage to be judged for their looks for the publics’ enjoyment. 

But that wasn’t the worst part of the show. It was their mothers who pushed them into it. Each episode they’d convince the audience that their daughters were the ones who chose to participate in pageants which was hard to believe when they cried and had their self-esteem crushed with every loss. Needless to say, the show was hard to watch, but something similar continues to happen on YouTube.

Danielle Cohn is a YouTuber. She got her start on Musical.ly and made her home on YouTube, boasting a subscriber count of 1.62 million currently. She’s posted content such as “Our first time” and several videos of her friends rating risqué outfits from Fashion Nova, as well as her posing as a Playboy Bunny. This all seems pretty normal for an adult’s YouTube channel, but Danielle’s account says she’s fifteen. According to some videos, she would have been fourteen when uploaded. With some pretty damning evidence, Danielle is allegedly turning fourteen years old. That would have made her thirteen and twelve in some of her videos.

No, this isn’t criticism on a teenager, but her mother. Like the girls in Toddlers in Tiara’s, Jennifer Archambault is parading her daughter around on the YouTube platform. One may say this is Danielle’s choice, but there has been a multitude of times Jennifer has been caught telling her daughter what to do or say. In a leaked video she tells her daughter “Show them your body so they can be quiet.” in response to her photo-shopping. During the conversation, Danielle is visibly uncomfortable while mumbling her response. Within the same clip, she admits to taking Danielle’s pictures herself and how her daughter had a problem with photo-shopping. In a more recent post, she’s heard saying, “The more edits you guys get, the more edits going out, the more followers you get.” In context, Danielle is catching this conversation while in the middle of recording a post. According to Danielle, she’s talking to a client. As far as everyone knows, Jennifer is only her daughter’s manager and otherwise unemployed. 

So, no Danielle clearly lacks control in this situation. No matter how many times Jennifer says she’s powerless to stop her and how she’s tried to stop her. She’s caught in a lie. What is it? Is she powerless or is she the one taking her pictures? This brings into question the type of pictures Danielle has taken and continues to take. What she posts is more at home on an 18+ Instagram page, not a thirteen-year-old’s. The sexualized manner of her feed is worrying, and her mom has purposely curated this image of her. The thing is, she rarely takes the fall for this. Danielle herself has been labeled as this problematic liar. When in reality, it’s her mom pulling the strings, and while her daughter is blamed, she plays the “it’s her choice” card. There’s no way Danielle can sign off on the deals she’s receiving with these companies. Companies geared towards adults might I add. How much choice does a thirteen-year-old have? She’s the one bringing in the money. At this point, she has no choice.

Her Campus at Valdosta State.