Sisterhood Blog

It's Not Enough To Have a Cute Baby; Your Cute Baby Needs a Foxy Mom

By Elissa Strauss

  • Print
  • Share Share

Once upon a time, baby clothes printed with pithy phrases extolling cuteness referred to the cuteness of the baby. But on a new crop of cheeky onesies that I discovered while out shopping for my nephew, it is all about the mommy.

With phrases like “If you think I’m cute, you should see my mommy,” on Amazon and “My Mom’s a Fox,” at Target, these onesies direct your eyes to the attractive little number pushing the cart, not the one in it. There is even “She’s not a cougar, she’s my nana,” at the Los Angeles boutique Kitson.

I can’t help but find it all a bit gross. (Not that grandma can’t be sexy, but does she really need her new grandson to advertise it on his tiny chest? A time and a place, ladies, a time and a place.) At Walmart you can customize a onesie or fleece romper with a “cute” relative’s name. Their example is “If you think I am cute, you should see my Aunt Barbara.” Looks like the cult of female hotness has struck again, this time with a strange Freudian twist.

I get that these onesies are supposed to be funny, and intentionally provocative. But still, I doubt that they would ever be purchased ironically for or by a mother who was self-conscious about her post-baby body. No, these cheeky baby clothes are for moms who self-identify as cute or foxy, and want a little piece of the admiration bestowed on their newborn. To be fair, there is an “Is my dad a hunk or what?” onesie. But since dad’s hunkiness wasn’t just put through the ringer of pregnancy and childbirth, there is no symbolic victory lap going there — just a questionable sense of humor that will probably go over best with his brothers from the fraternity.

I think it is great that it isn’t a zero-sum game between sexiness and procreation. You gotta love the women who feel foxy during and after pregnancy, and the men who find them that way. But still, pregnancy and post-pregnancy has, for the most part, remained elevated above the foxy ambitions that have bled into an ever-increasing range of a woman’s life from the teenage years (think Miley Cyrus pole-dancing) to the mature years (aforementioned cougar phenomenon), during which women are now subjected to the same hot-or-not standards that used to apply only to women in their 20s.

Unfortunately, when it comes to new mothers, achieving said hotness comes with a few more risks. A study by the Royal College of Midwives that came out in the UK recently showed that two-thirds of new moms feel “a degree of coercion to slim to their original size as soon as possible.” And the UK’s Daily Mail reports that more women are starting crash diets immediately after pregnancy, which isn’t good for them or their babies. Stateside, there have been reports in the last few years about how celebrity moms’ rapid post-baby weight loss has been making non-celebrity new moms feel bad about the way they look.

The problem is that while the new mom might look cute, there is a chance that the road there has left her without enough energy to properly care for a newborn or to produce a healthy supply of milk, should she choose to breastfeed. Not to mention that there isn’t much room for the emotional stress of obsessing about one’s looks when caring for a newborn — the sleepless nights and lack of “me” time are plenty distressing on their own.

These onesies show that the pressures put on celebrities to return to their pre-baby bodies, no matter what “miracles,” healthy or unhealthy, get them there, now applies to all of us. This shift makes me realize that my post-pregnancy vision, which involves dressing like my high-school ceramics teacher in long, flowy, earth-tone layers is now perhaps, sadly, a bit nostalgic.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Pregnancy, Onesie, Post Pregnancy

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • The eggplant is beloved in Israel. So why do Americans keep giving it a bad rap? With this new recipe, Vered Guttman sets out to defend the honor of her favorite vegetable.
  • “KlezKamp has always been a crazy quilt of gay and straight, religious and nonreligious, Jewish and gentile.” Why is the klezmer festival shutting down now?
  • “You can plagiarize the Bible, can’t you?” Jill Sobule says when asked how she went about writing the lyrics for a new 'Yentl' adaptation. “A couple of the songs I completely stole." Share this with the theater-lovers in your life!
  • Will Americans who served in the Israeli army during the Gaza operation face war crimes charges when they get back home?
  • Talk about a fashion faux pas. What was Zara thinking with the concentration camp look?
  • “The Black community was resistant to the Jewish community coming into the neighborhood — at first.” Watch this video about how a group of gardeners is rebuilding trust between African-Americans and Jews in Detroit.
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.