May 28, 2023

A number of the hottest content material on social media today is targeted on homesteading, homemaking, and conventional life that many individuals in coastal cities would solely dream of. In a contemporary world that’s accustomed to seeing two dad and mom working 9-5 jobs, dwelling in a cramped neighborhood, and sending kids to a congested faculty daily, it may be considerably mesmerizing to come across the likes of Ballerina Farm, a Utah-based household that lives on a sprawling piece of farmland and raises cattle. Hannah is the spouse and mom of seven kids and her Instagram web page (@ballerinafarm) has greater than 3 million followers. She additionally has nearly 3 million followers on TikTok. She’s identified for posting among the most participating, extremely watched reels that generate multimillion views. There’s one thing about this household that individuals simply can not look away from, maybe as a result of they symbolize a less complicated time—an idyllic model of American life that’s seemingly separated from the technological buzz of the city world.

Who Is Ballerina Farm?

Upon first look on the Ballerina Farm Instagram web page, we’re introduced with an impossibly stunning, blonde-haired mom who devotes her entire life to her seven youngsters and her farm. Hannah is all the time bare-faced, milking cows, making do-it-yourself mozzarella and sourdough, and dancing in the midst of open fields along with her stunning kids at her heels. Their life seems sort of like a dream. Hannah’s husband is a rancher, she has magical dwelling births, and so they promote and ship beef throughout the nation. Hannah is picturesque—you infrequently see her with make-up on and her pores and skin is glowing and ideal, she’s both sporting a snug but cute pair of overalls or a easy sundress or lengthy skirt. To not point out all of their kids appear to be they might be Gerber infants.

Once you study just a little extra about their story, you possibly can see why this household is so enticing to social media customers. They name themselves “metropolis people turned ranchers” and Hannah was knowledgeable ballerina who studied at Juilliard Faculty (therefore the title Ballerina Farm). She was previously Miss New York Metropolis and he or she even gained Mrs. Utah in 2021—whereas pregnant! On their web site, they share some particulars about their journey to Utah.

“Daniel and I grew up metropolis youngsters. We turned fascinated with farm life whereas dwelling overseas in Brazil for Daniel’s work. Whereas most of his co-workers in Brazil would head to the seashore on the weekends, we discovered ourselves venturing inland, marveling at nation’s productive farming group.”

After seeing the pigs in central Brazil being raised out on open pastures, they could not cease serious about what life could be like if in addition they gave up their life within the metropolis to lift pigs and cattle. “So after 4 years in Brazil, we got here again to the states, purchased land and Ballerina Farm was born,” the web site reads.

You should purchase a meat field of beef or pork, baked items similar to a croissant field, cute merchandise, and even flowers on their web site. There are numerous movies on Hannah’s Instagram exhibiting the entire household getting concerned with the packing and transport course of. It actually looks as if the proper American household enterprise. They’ve even completed sponsored advertisements with FedEx.

Once you peruse by means of the feedback on her reels, you see 1000’s of individuals expressing their love for his or her way of life, calling their life “the dreamiest.” One particular person commented, “Watching this critically makes me emotional. 🤍 Past grateful for the life type you have got proven on IG. It truly is such a inspiration to me and others! Seeing your candy household contribute to the enterprise jogs my memory of my childhood.” Their way of life is a nostalgic one which makes nearly anybody fantasize about what it could be like to present all the pieces up within the metropolis and transfer out into the open nation. Nonetheless, followers have not too long ago found just a few issues concerning the Ballerina Farm household that has been considerably unsettling for them.

What Is the Ballerina Farm Controversy?

The phrases momfluencing, homefluencing, and even farmfluencing have picked up pace during the last yr or two. Particularly through the coronavirus pandemic, individuals who have been caught of their small residences would binge on content material from creators like Ballerina Farm, dreaming about days once they may probably go away behind the city life for some contemporary air. However final yr, individuals got here face-to-face with the background of Ballerina Farm.

The matriarch of this picture-perfect household is Hannah Neeleman, a Mormon lady who’s married to Daniel Neeleman. When you’re used to seeing Daniel in a cowboy hat, herding cattle and using horses, it seems he comes from huge cash. His father is David Neeleman, Brazilian Mormon founder and former CEO of well-liked JetBlue. He additionally based 4 different airways: Morris Air, WestJet, Azul Brazilian Airways, and Breeze Airways. His web price is a whopping $400 million. You may think about the response that many individuals had once they found that Hannah and Daniel have a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars} backing them.

In November 2021, Hannah posted an Instagram picture and caption concerning the troublesome transfer they made to Utah. “Daniel and I left town for farm life 4.5 years in the past,” she wrote. “With the ink nonetheless moist on the true property contract for our new little farm, we drove to the closest farm items retailer to purchase muck boots, overalls, gloves, and straw hats. We had zero expertise. Zero background in farming.”

Followers have began to accuse Ballerina Farm of utilizing the “pull your self up by your bootstraps” narrative to advertise their way of life and social media accounts. Individuals weren’t comfortable about the truth that the inheritor to JetBlue refuses to guide along with his generational wealth on Instagram and that his pretty spouse will not ever tackle the truth that that they had thousands and thousands of {dollars} in assets behind them once they bought an enormous farm.

Individuals have even investigated as to what sort of range they’ve of their kitchen. It is an AGA range that was designed by a Swedish engineer that gained the Nobel prize in physics in 1912. “She is a homesteaders dream,” Hannah wrote within the caption when she shared the primary picture of it on her Instagram. “Her forged iron building works on the strategy of warmth storage. As a result of getting her heated to cooking temp takes almost 2 days, you do not flip her off. She is on 24 hours a day and helps warmth our dwelling.” Apparently, the range prices at the least $20,000 (if no more) and folks didn’t take kindly to this reality.

As increasingly more individuals uncover the monetary background of the Neeleman household, they’ve develop into extra disenchanted with their way of life, accusing them of being dishonest on social media and mendacity about the place they got here from. There are offended feedback on Instagram and TikTok about how Ballerina Farm hasn’t been upfront. There are numerous weblog posts written concerning the unfair privilege and benefit that the Neeleman household has and the way Hannah represents the problematic “trad spouse” determine in our tradition. If there’s one factor that the present local weather of social media calls for, it is authenticity. And many individuals really feel like they haven’t been truthful about the place they arrive from and the way they got here to personal such an idyllic piece of land.

Melanie, an herbalist on Instagram (@vitallymelanie) who usually posts about regenerative farming, wrote concerning the Ballerina Farm controversy on her Tales on Tuesday. “The primary concern being expressed by individuals on social media, is that Ballerina farm is a enterprise constructed on what gave the impression to be ‘humble beginnings’, and now individuals are discovering out they arrive from cash, and many individuals really feel as if that is all a facade. Some individuals are even going so far as saying that is all a present to earn a living,” she wrote. “Some individuals are even taking it a step additional, and expressing that this household should not be allowed to put up content material with out giving a disclaimer about their wealth. They assume that Hannah is making ladies dream and aspire to a objective that’s solely potential as a result of she has cash, and subsequently a ton of assist with the kids and the enterprise.”

She quotes some individuals’s disappointment with discovering out that they spend tens of 1000’s on a range, thousands and thousands of {dollars} shopping for land in one of the vital costly locations in Utah, and so forth. Ballerina farm as been accused of “glamorizing farm life that they don’t seem to be financially depending on.”

Is Ballerina Farm Responsible of Placing on a Facade?

It is arduous to imagine that so many individuals have been shocked by the truth that the Neeleman household got here from cash. Homesteading on an enormous piece of property out in Utah shouldn’t be precisely low-cost, and it is fairly apparent that it took some assets to start a life on the market, particularly once they needed to uproot an enormous household and relocate them. Moreover, Hannah has no obligation to her thousands and thousands of followers to be utterly open about her household’s monetary place. It is not anybody’s enterprise how a lot cash the Neelemans have or how a lot generational wealth they possess. Even when they do come from huge cash, what’s improper with that? Why achieve this many individuals on social media routinely put a destructive affiliation on that?

“If Hannah and her husband have entry to the wealth individuals are assuming they’ve, I discover it admirable that they determined to dwell the life they’re dwelling,” Melanie continued to write down on her Instagram tales. “Think about having the cash to do no matter you need and also you determine to lift a household with good values, present jobs for individuals, increase meals for customers, and supply healthful content material on social media the place as a rule healthful content material is changing into tougher and tougher to seek out.”

Melanie additionally disagrees with the notion that Ballerina Farm ought to disclose the place their wealth comes from. “I believe individuals on the web have develop into method too comfy with feeling entitled to figuring out private particulars of individuals’s lives,” she wrote. “Being a shopper of somebody’s content material would not grant the best to know individuals’s non-public particulars.”

Melanie additionally addressed the declare that Hannah is promoting a pipe dream to ladies and making different mothers really feel dangerous about themselves once they examine their life to hers. “Guys, this one is not on her,” Melanie wrote. “This isn’t he viewer. If her content material is making you are feeling dangerous or evokes a destructive response, simply unfollow. We must be extra emotionally disciplined on the web with regards to what kind of content material we devour and the way it makes us really feel.”

Even when the Neeleman household has some huge cash—and even when they’ve a whole lot of assist, though that is only a hypothesis made by viewers—that does not take away from the truth that Hannah is a hard-working mom who spends all her time elevating kids, farming cattle, and cooking scrumptious, do-it-yourself meals for her dwelling. Maybe there’s a stage of jealousy that some individuals really feel when watching her life, however as a substitute of chastising her for the success she and her household have had, maybe we ought to be impressed and motivated by the life they’ve created for themselves. In a tradition that does not put a excessive worth on lifelong marriage and elevating a number of kids, Hannah and her Ballerina Farm model have constructed one thing really healthful that could be a web optimistic for the web.

Our tradition has develop into far too comfy with criticizing individuals for being wealthy. There’s nothing improper with having cash or coming from cash. And there is definitely nothing improper with utilizing that cash to create a ravishing homesteading life that creates helpful meals, merchandise, and content material for individuals all throughout the nation.