This Week in Family
(Courtesy of Mia Foos)
Vada is 5 years old—and she’s already got 40,000 Instagram followers who love her unique style and dramatic poses, shot all over Austin, Texas. Most of those posts are sponsored by brands, and it’s all thanks to the hard work of Vada’s mom and manager, Mia. Instagram has given rise to the mommy blog 2.0. It’s now easier than ever to build a parenting narrative, post cute photos of toddlers and pre-teens, and sell products, but child-labor laws weren’t built for the age of Instagram. Where is the line between work and play for these mini-influencers?
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In this week’s installment of The Friendship Files: These 14 Vietnam veterans from the same platoon drifted apart after their deployment, but reconnected with one another years later. They call themselves “the Cavily”—a portmanteau of cavalry and family—and their regular reunions, ongoing since the 1980s, now bring together extended families of children and grandchildren. When one of the vets wrote a letter, after wondering how the group was doing, it took a few more tries before the men were comfortable enough to meet in person.
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The home-cooked family meal has reached something akin to mythical status in American culture, and in our expectations around gender, family relationships, and health. In a new book, Pressure Cooker: Why Home Cooking Won’t Solve Our Problems and What We Can Do About It, three sociologists study the cooking and grocery-shopping habits of poor and working-class mothers. These families aren’t typically the subjects of glossy recipe books, but their stories are much closer to the reality that many Americans experience when it comes to family meals.
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