JP Sears, dubbed “The Clown Prince of Wellness” for his COVID-minimizing New Age “satire”, has just become a father. Unsurprisingly, parenthood has already become a product in his lucrative wellness grift.
Yesterday Sears posted a lovely photo of himself with his baby son Wilder, posed as a mascot for his latest merchandising enterprise: conspiracy-branded t-shirts saying “I don’t trust fact-checkers”, and “Brave enough to get my worldview from myself.” The slogans refer to Sears’s conspiratorial contention that consensus news reporting on COVID is false and manipulative.
The commodification of children is nothing new in influencer culture. It’s particularly potent in the heteronormative wellness world, where children embody the supposed outcomes of organic living, and the union of divine masculine and feminine energies.
But there’s a clear hypocrisy in using children this way when the brand is selling moral and medical independence. For instance, free-birth advocate and COVID-denialist Yolande Norris-Clarke monetizes her genetic privilege (I’ve had 8 children, so you should take birthing advice from me) and her children themselves, who show up in every other post. “Holistic psychiatrist” Dr. Kelly Brogan does something similar with her daughter’s menstruation. Influencers who do this can present themselves as living above the battlefield mainstream capitalism, but only because they’ve learned how to exploit their own bodily functions and family relationships. They don’t need corporations to do it for them.
The commodification of children can also edge towards the incitement of violence. Plandemic director Mikki Willis uses his son to build his empathetic persona. After he stormed the Capitol on January 6th, Willis jumped onto a side-show stage to give a rousing speech, saying:
We're here because we care. We're here because we have children. We're fathers, we're mothers, we're grandmothers, we're citizens of this damn planet, and we…