Instagram 'Mumfluencer' unmasks herself as troll who attacked other bloggers

Mike Wright
Clemmie Hooper, who has garnered more almost 700,000 followers on her Mother of Daughters blog - Heathcliff O'Malley

To her nearly 700,000 followers on Instagram, Clemmie Hooper came across as a bubbly mother of four with an idyllic jetset life and a close-knit group of friends.

The 34-year-old midwife-turned-‘mumfluencer’ used her Mother of Daughters account to share envy-inducing images of sun-drenched holidays and scenes of wholesome family life in her perfect Ramsgate home, interspersed with intimate confessions about marriage and motherhood.

However, she has now revealed a darker side to the seeming perfection as she admitted she has been living a parallel life as an abusive troll, anonymously attacking other bloggers - and reportedly even her own husband.

Her confession came after rumours began circulating that she was behind a caustic account called Aliceinwanderlust on the gossip forum Tattle.life. 

In recent months, the account had launched a series of withering broadsides at prominent mummybloggers.

In one, it branded mumfluencer Bethie Hungerford, known as Hungermama on Instagram, as “desperate” to be part of another group of influencers, adding “[she] uses them for her podcast [and] documents every social event with them”.

Clemmie Hooper with husband Simon and one of her daughters Credit: Instagram/Clemmie Hooper

Soon other users started to suspect the poster was in fact Hooper herself, especially when the account made reference to being in the Caribbean at the same time as the blogger. 

At first, Aliceinwanderlust denied the accusations, saying in one post she was merely a disenchanted fan who was now enjoying the Mother of Daughters posts again. 

It added: “Her husband on the other hand is a class at t**t. I can’t believe she puts up with his nonsense.”

Earlier this week, as rumours intensified about the account’s true identity, some influencers who had been targets of Aliceinwanderlust’s invective began to speak out - although not naming Hooper directly.

One, Laura Rutherford, who has 22,000 followers on her That Mummy Smile account, posted a picture of the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and addressed the post to “Alice”, seemingly in reference to the Aliceinwanderlust pseudonym.

She called on the person behind the account to unmask themselves saying: “This is your time to come forward and start doing the right thing by everyone that is affected.”

Rutherford added: “You’ve goaded and encouraged trolls to tear my reputation apart for the last 8 months. Mine and a handful of other influencers - and for what gain? 

“No I won’t talk to you or discuss with you your justifications for online bullying. There is absolutely no justification for this behaviour.” 

Then, on Thursday, Hooper posted on Instagram that said wanted address “rumours circulating” and “take the opportunity to explain” the situation.

In a dramatic confession she wrote: “Earlier this year, I became aware of a website that had thousands of comments about my family and I.. 

“Reading them made me feel extremely paranoid and affected me much more than I knew at the time. I decided without telling anyone else that I would make an anonymous account so that this group of people would believe I was one of them, of that I could maybe change their opinions from the inside to defend my family and I.”

The blogger went on to say that commenting anonymously became “all consuming” and “grew bigger than I knew how to handle”, adding that she turned on other influencers to cover her tracks.

Hooper said: “When the users started to suspect it was me, I made the mistake of commenting about others. I regret it all and am deeply sorry - I know this has caused a lot of pain. 

“Undoubtedly I got lost in this online world and the more I became engrossed in the negative commentary, the more the situation escalated.

“Engaging in this was a huge mistake. I will take responsibility for what happened and I am just so sorry for the hurt I have caused everyone involved including my family and friends.”

The admission marks a stunning turn of fortunes for one of the UK’s most influential social media stars. 

Hooper’s rise from midwife to Instagram powerhouse started when began blogging after the birth of her second daughter in 2010. Her Gas and Air blog shared tips and expertise from her midwifery career as well as honest insights from her own pregnancies.

It was after joining Instagram in 2011 that her following mushroomed and her output expanded to cover fashion, lifestyle, travel - and later her new twin daughters. 

Her husband Simon, 35, is also an influencer of considerable status, having garnered more than 1 million followers with his Father of Daughters Instagram account.

Clemmie Hooper with her two youngest twin daughters Credit: Instagram/Clemmie Hooper

The trolling admission is not the first time Hooper had been drawn into online controvesy. Last year she temporarily quit Instagram after users on Mumsnet accused her of “ethically dubious” commercial posts involving her children.

The blogger joined the site to defend herself, saying: “I don't feel I 'sell' my children, I actually hardly ever feature the older girls."

Yet, Sara McCorquodale, the author of Influence: How Social Media Influencers are Shaping Our Digital Future, who has previously interviewed Hooper, said the trolling revelations could also impact her wider group of influencers.

She said: “The negative impact of this entire episode may actually land more squarely on the gang of parenting influencers who she frequently collaborated with. 

“This group was such a draw to brands with big budgets because they seemed to be friends supporting each other - a positive community and symbol of solidarity in the murky world of the internet. However, Hooper’s actions suggest the opposite.” 

Hooper’s representatives did not reply to request for further comment.