Cheers to everyone who is celebrating Mom, is being celebrated as a mom, or is enjoying the decision to break up with ‘toxic mom.’ Today we choose to honor all of you through the ingenious #MomsOfInstagram illustrations created by Vicko Alvarez. Check out her work and learn more about her decision to highlight the “very public love we show our mommas” on social media.
Vicko Alvarez is known for her work as the creator of ScholaR Comics, a web series sharing stories of hope and relentlessness. As a student, a teacher and an artist, she’s outspoken about the adversities, challenges and discrimination that POC, especially youth, continually face. Her work is empowering as it reflects the realities that are too often ignored and dismissed.
When it comes to #MomsofInstagram, Alvarez explains that “she created the series to highlight the moments in which we use instagram to show a little bit of vulnerability on a platform largely utilized to show our most vain moments. #MomsOfInstagram was created as a series of illustrations showcasing the very public love we show our mommas to all of our hundreds or even thousands of instagram followers.”
“As someone who was raised on tough love, it was always difficult to speak words of affection to my family. But social media, for whatever reason, became a way to type those emotions out and eventually helped me build towards speaking those affections into existence face to face. When I see people take a moment to show gratitude to their moms, I see it as a small way in which we break from the selfies and memes to offer our love to one of the most important pillars of our lives.”
You mention that you were raised on tough love so it’s been difficult to speak words of affection but that social media has made it easier. Has this, in turn, changed the way you express yourself outside of social media to family or loved ones?
It has changed the way I express myself in person and it’s even changed my parents. We don’t usually talk more than once a week but my mom recently started texting and I think it’s made it easier to say subtle things like “buenas noches” on a more regular basis.
What does it mean for you to share and expose vulnerability on a social media platform?
Exposing vulnerability on social media to me means changing the culture of how we show compassion. I understand how we can get sucked into a lonely bubble of social media but I also think young people are using it heavily as an outlet to express themselves in many different ways. A man saying he loves another woman in person is one thing, for example, but that same man proclaiming his love on a public platform could then make it more acceptable for others to do the same.
Random but related… what do you think of the recent Lil Bow Wow story (and consequent #BowWowChallenge) and the overall sense of displaying a reality that doesn’t exist?
LMFAO! People lie a lot on social media no doubt. I just hope they ain’t lying about how much they love their moms.
You can find #MomsOfInstagram at Rockstar Barber Shop & Ink (1834 S. Ashland) as well as on Alvarez’ Instagram @LaVicko