Published on The Daily Femme – Friday, April 1, 2011
Contributed by Annamarya
You know, sometimes I feel really bad for babies.
If you’re wondering why, just take a look at Jezebel’s 15 Most Inappropriate Baby Outfits list. The bulk of the chosen outfits are in such incredibly poor taste, just electronically flipping through them made me cringe. Babies unfortunately have no say in what their parents force them to wear, so they’re stuck wearing garments they’d probably burn if they ran across them in their “When X Was Baby” bin parents love to keep. Poor children.
I may not be a parent, nor am I planning to pop a child out any time soon, but I have to wonder what would go through a parent’s head when picking any of these wonders out. Do they find them hilarious? Ironic? Do they just want to make a statement? With that, some of them clearly send a message of insensitivity and ignorance, so what does putting their children in any one of these outfits say about them?
You can say that I may be too uptight and easily offended (so not true) but when you look at my top five picks from Jezebel’s list, you’ll understand my reaction. Sure the “Motor Boatin’” one is hilarious (because of the picture of the motor boat. If you’re thinking something else, that’s your perversion), the pot leaf not well-thought out, and the “Sexy Baby” just ew. But the blatant “Not Gay” and “I’m living proof my mom’s easy” (two of my picks) are on another entire “not cool” level. If you’re a parent or not, what do you think? Would you purchase any of these fashions for your child? Am I blowing them out of proportion?
1. Not Gay : If I saw an infant wearing this bib, I’d automatically think their parent is homophobic. Why? It suggests they don’t want the rainbow associated with the gay rainbow flag. But is it really necessary to distinguish between a “gay” and “not gay” rainbow when a freakin’ baby is wearing the bib? Who’s going around looking at it saying “That must be one gay baby”? And if they are, so what? It’s a damn baby. They should not have to deal with the terrible and unwarranted stigmatization surrounding homosexuality. And as a parent, you shouldn’t care if they come out later in life. Why? Because you love them no matter what. They’re your child. And if you’re afraid others might think you’re gay because you put the baby in that bib, then why the hell did you buy it in the first place? Return it and stop sullying the good nature of the rainbow, gay or not.
2. I’m living proof mom is easy: No matter which parent bought this outfit, this is a horribly sexist piece. It promotes the barbaric idea that women who are sexually active and have multiple sex partners (negatively referred to as “easy”) lack judgment, and it casts shame on women for their sexual choices. And, just in case you’re wondering, I’d be as miffed if “mom” was replaced with “dad” because it would suggest all men are just looking for a quick lay no matter the “consequences.”
3. Beat it: This is so thoroughly insensitive and disrespectful that I’m at a loss for words. Whether or not you believe the allegations brought forth against the late Michael Jackson, the outfit makes light of the horrific experiences of sexual abuse those children claim to have experienced. And making a mockery of pedophilia is in no way OK.
4. Daddy drinks because I cry: This shirt suggests that fathers have the inability to care for a child and have to turn to alcohol in order to deal with responsibility. It’s a misinformed and stereotypical idea we’ve seen played out in TV sitcoms for decades. Nevermind that it also mocks an unfortunate and devastating disease (alcoholism) known to destroy families, and places blame on outside sources for said devastating choices.
5. Shit happens when you party naked: I’m not offended so much by the words as I am the image. Like the “Easy” shirt, using a naked woman suggests that women who like to party tend to have poor judgment. It’s an unfair assumption and one that shames women who choose to live free of inhibition. It also places the entirety of the responsibility on the woman. What about the father in this scenario? Does he not play a role? Or is it saying that if the woman was clothed, “shit” wouldn’t happen? Sounds like victim-blaming and slut-shaming to me.