If social media usage ever becomes an Olympic sport — which is truly not that unthinkable at the rate we’re moving — there will be but one participant worthy of a gold medal: Boomer Phelps.
The one-year-old son of Olympic legend Michael Phelps and his wife, Nicole, first captured the hearts of America while cheering on his dad from the stands of the 2016 Rio Olympics in a massive pair of patriotic protective earmuffs.
Since then he’s learned to walk, mastered the art of eating solid foods, and amassed an impressive 785K followers on Instagram, bringing pure, undeniable joy to timelines across the world.
In a troubling time where social platforms should come with “open at your own risk” warnings, Mashable needed to know more about Boomer Phelps — the sole beacon of light shining through the darkness of 2017 social media — so we did the only logical thing: called his mom.
Nicole Phelps, 2010’s Miss California USA and mother of the best baby on Instagram, gave us an inside look at all things Boomer, sharing the story behind his account and revealing who runs it, along with her son’s 2032 Olympic plans.
But most importantly, she confirmed what we already knew to be true: the kid is freaking adorable.
Here are a few of the many things we love about Boomer.
He’s a mini Michael Phelps
You know that saying, “Like 23-time Olympic gold medalist father, like son?” Welp, it’s true. Boomer is just as obsessed with water as his dad.
Nicole says that for Boomer, it was love at first bath. “We learned at a very early age that was the best way to make Boomer relax, just to get him in the water,” she said. “It must run in the family. He loves the pool, he loves the bath, he loves taking showers — any way he can get into the water he’s happy.”
Sure, Michael’s retired but lucky for us Boomer is just beginning.
He’s a star in the making
Think about it — how often do we get to see a potential future Olympian grow up right before our eyes? And though we don’t know whether Boomer will follow in his father’s footsteps yet, his mom isn’t ruling out anything.
“Honestly, you never know. Boomer definitely seems to have a passion for the water,” she said.
The couple claim they aren’t pushing Olympic fame (really?), but Boomer seems pretty content splashing around.
Are they really just going to let this talent go to waste? “The most important thing that I think Debbie [Michael’s mom] did for Michael was just allow him to do what he wanted to do, so if Boomer does decide that 2032 is his year and he’s gonna go for it then we’ll back him 100 percent,” she said.
Still, Michael’s coach Bob Bowman —who posts some precious pics of baby Phelps himself — says Boomer definitely “has the kick.” And much like the rest of America, in Nicole’s eyes, the only thing cooler than Boomer in the Olympics would be if Ryan Lochte’s new baby boy, Caiden Zane, made the team, too.
“Oh my gosh, that would be so cute,” she said, laughing about the dream 2032 teammates. “It would be awesome.”
But if Boomer decides the athlete life isn’t for him, that’s fine. He already has another cool fallback … drumming. “We actually have a drum for him and he’ll sit there just drumming away with the wrist movements and everything,” Nicole said.
A drummer? Named Boomer? Does this get any better?
His appreciation of food could not be more relatable
Like all great Instagram personalities, Boomer isn’t shy about sharing food pics. He adores cheese (same) and gets extremely psyched for meal time, according to mom. “He’ll sit in his high chair and he gets really excited and throws an arm up like he’s riding a bull,” she said. “He rocks back and forth and just makes his entire high chair scoot across the floor.”
He cherishes the weekend as much as the rest of us
Sure, Boomer’s account is a hub of positivity, but this baby is not immune to longing for the weekend. Being the very relatable baby he is, Boomer loves to lounge around and get down on Friday. You can tell by this very attractive photo of him waiting for the week to be over.
Boomer Phelps is all of us.
He even makes sponsored #content ok … ish
Boomer is already using his platform to endorse products, and surprisingly, we don’t totally hate it. He’s partnering with Huggies Little Swimmers to teach water safety to everyone who doesn’t have the luxury of having a professional swimmer for a parent. So that basically means we’re in for a whole bunch of adorable Instagram videos of him and his dad in the pool.
He keeps things light and breezy
Boomer clearly loves life and that’s what makes his account so perfect. It’s literally just a happy, innocent little baby having a blast — and with today’s online political brawls and insult-slinging troll armies, that’s pretty darn refreshing.
Nicole explained that we see a lot of negativity on social media these days, so she and Michael are doing their best to teach Boomer to find beauty in everyday life. “I think that our biggest thing is that we want people to smile when they see Boomer, and if that is where they find their light on a daily basis then so be it,” she said.
So who’s the voice of Boomer’s Instagram?
It turns out Michael Phelps is running Instagram’s best account.
“I’ll take all the pictures, send them to Michael, and then he talks for Boomer and posts,” Nicole explained. “He asked me if I wanted the password once and I’m like, ‘Nope. I want nothing to do with it, this is all you.”
Started from the bottom now Boomer’s here
“It took on a life of its own that I don’t think either of us really expected,” Nicole said about the account.
When Michael decided to do the first post as a way for family, friends, and fans to follow Boomer, he had nearly 2,000 followers. After the 2016 Olympic trials he surpassed 100,000 followers and kept going, leaving his own mother and Olympic athletes in his wake. “We always joke that we’re going to take this account away from him when he’s older and make him get his own followers.”
But doesn’t Nicole worry about thrusting her child into the spotlight? Apparently not.
Nicole said she and Michael knew they wanted to secure a handle for Boomer before he was born, simply because they didn’t want somebody else to have the power to post under his name.
“We’ve gone back and forth whether or not it’s good or bad.”
“We’ve gone back and forth whether or not it’s good or bad,” she explained, but ultimately the couple likes knowing they’re the ones posting shots of their son and can show fans that they’re a normal family living a normal life.
So how does Boomer’s following compare to his Instababy competition? Well, he’s sadly not in the lead, but we know the kid’s got potential. While other famous Instababies like Dream Kardashian (son of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna) have already hit one million followers before age one, everyone knows deep down that quality of posts is more important than follower quantity.
So there you have it folks, definitive proof that Boomer is everything you need in an Instagram idol.