I’m easily irritated lately. And I’m learning that I, ah, just don’t understand some baby trends.
I had no idea most of these were even things until I became pregnant and started getting bombarded by the cutting-edge baby-ness that is the motherhood culture of 2014. And I must say, a lot of what I found made me want to move to a less-civilized country where stuff like this is still considered weird, wacky, and inappropriate.
Disclaimer: My six-month-pregnant brain’s filter is not containing its opinions very well right now. Don’t expect me to be unbiased.
Irritating Baby Thing #1: Stupid/Inappropriate Onesies.
A simple Etsy search for “newborn onesies” results in various screen-printed onesies featuring inaccurate, painfully tacky, and wildly inappropriate wording–and bad clip art. Some of my favorites:
1. Started from the belly. Now I’m here.
Stating the obvious much?
2. I had boobies for breakfast.
Because breastfeeding isn’t cool unless you (and your baby) flaunt it, apparently.
3. Lock up your daughters.
Yes, let’s make Little Tim into a cutesy-fied sex object before he’s even six months old. In the same vein:
4. I drink until I pass out.
Aaand my personal favorite that makes me want to buy every single one and donate them to the dog as chew toys:
5. I totally wrecked a vagina.
Again, because advertising the “adorable” sexual prowess of an infant has become trendy. (And we wonder what’s wrong with middle-schoolers.)
Irritating Baby Thing #2: Social Media Oversharing.
I don’t understand some people’s need to document every week of pregnancy for the world. Not saying it’s wrong. Just that I don’t get it. The whole “Look! I’m 7.8 weeks along and here’s a picture of my baby bump! …and here’s another at 8.2 weeks! …and another at 9! OMG I feel like a whale already!” thing takes social media over-sharing to a whole new level.
Not to mention those who feel compelled to share every ache and pain with the world. Yeah, I have them, too. I just limit myself to complaining to people I think might actually care (I’m not delusional enough to believe that everyone I’m friends with on Facebook wants this information).
Not that I don’t want to rejoice with the other pregnant mamas out there. Because I do. Really. Maybe the fact that I tend to keep most of my life on the fairly personal, un-documented side of things is just negatively influencing me here when I see others going to different extremes.
Irritating Baby Thing #3: Risqué Maternity Photos.
So I don’t understand the weekly bump photo updates coupled with sharing everything on social media. But what I *despise* are the professional maternity photos in which pregnant mamas seem to think they must take off (almost) all their clothes in order to fully capture the, er, sensual, primal, whatever nature of pregnancy.
Again, a quick Etsy search for “maternity” yields a plethora of results–from risqué maternity photography services to maternity “gowns” that look more like wedding night lingerie (or just an artful arrangement arms and legs and lace covering up key parts) than anything I’d want to have my picture taken in. I mean, seriously, what do you do with the resulting photos? Is this a picture you’re going to want on your mantle for generations? So one day your kid can ooh and ahh over how good you looked in clingy lace while you were 8 months pregnant?
I have a sneaking suspicion that many of these photo shoots are spawned by women who want to make themselves feel attractive and desirable despite their pregnant state, and that the only way they can come to terms with the way they look is to paint on the makeup, swath key spots with gauzy lace, and trust the editing skills of the photog to airbrush over the all the cellulite, stretch marks, and varicose veins.
I’d argue that finding the beauty in pregnancy has little (nothing?) to do with lace or lipstick, and that there’s nothing empowering about Photoshop’s airbrush feature.
Irritating Baby Thing #4: Dressing infants like adults.
How old is this kid? 18? Or 4?
If Baby Jacoby ends up being a girl, I won’t be getting her ears pierced before she can walk any more than I’ll be getting a butterfly tattooed on her shoulder blade. Since when does a baby need earrings to make her cuter? Moreover, what if she’s a nonconformist and doesn’t WANT extra holes in her body later on? If she does, getting her ears pierced as a teenager or adult is her choice–if she can’t handle needles at that point, perhaps she should rethink piercings.
I also don’t understand ultra-frilly, gauzy, tulle-y, flowered headbands for girls. Or dressing boys like Tommy Hilfiger models when they’re just a few weeks old. What newborn needs a tuxedo? Or a prom dress? Or lacy fishnet tights? Let them be kids for awhile. They’ll have to grow up fast enough anyway.
Irritating Baby Thing #5: Brand-consciousness.
From the Calvin Klein graphic tees made for toddlers to the baby slings available in every color and luxury fabric under the sun for a couple hundred dollars each, the market loves catering to new parents who want the very best for their child. Don’t get me wrong–I want a baby sling that works well, and I don’t mind paying for it. But I don’t need one in a color to match each outfit. And I don’t want my kid to be a walking billboard for various clothing companies. And if I choose a Graco bassinet over a BabyBjorn one, so be it.
Irritating Baby Thing #6: Maternity clothes.
I’m sick of uber-tight baby-bump-hugging maternity clothes. Not that I’m ashamed of my bump. I’m not so Victorian-esque that I’m trying to hide the fact that I’m pregnant for as long as possible. And I acknowledge the cuteness of some form-fitting maternity clothes.
Besides, it’s not like I hate tailored tops across the board.
BUT I don’t always want to
walk waddle around in uber-form-fitting tops that cradle my blob-like abdomen. Could I get some positive ease, please? Just a little? For the days when I feel like a panda or when I don’t feel like wearing any clothes at all, let alone the most tailored ones in the closet?
Also, horizontal stripes. Just because I’m preggo doesn’t mean I want all parts of me emphasized in the horizontal. Just saying.