This Week in Old-timey Patriarchal Bullshit: Kroger Thinks Your Baby is Sexy
Listen, a lot of cliches about being seasoned, worldly, and hard to ruffle apply to me. This ain't my first rodeo, people. I've got a thick skin. Having not just been born yesterday, I've been around a bit. The last thing I am is green. But this festering piece of OTPBS, shared by a longtime Smarty Mommy, is truly shocking.
Gird your loins.
Our Smarty friend caught this specimen in the wild as she made a late-night trip to her local Mansfield, Ohio Kroger for essentials. What it is, as you can see, is a pink baby onesie that reads "Hot Like My Mommy." For reference, it is by the charmingly named "Babies With Attitude," in case you were looking for another company to boycott. Wondering why you should boycott BWA? Let me break it down for you.
Now, you might be thinking "What's the big deal? Most children's clothing has twee phrases about being handsome like Daddy or Mommy's little monster, etc. What's the problem here?" And I might be thinking "Christ, what a dumbass. I really want a taco. Is today Thursday? Do I have a new Code Black on my DVR at home?," but what I'd say to you is this:
"Hot" has a specific meaning in this context, and what it means is sexy. While this onesie might have been conceived in an attempt to draw sexual compliments to the child's mother, which is problematic and gag-inducing enough, what it also does is draw sexual compliments to the BABY. It requires that all readers of the onesie consider both the mother AND THE CHILD to be sexual objects, and it assumes that its target audience of readers will agree with this sexualization.
Are you picking up what I'm laying down? Because what you're supposed to think when you read this is "Damn, that mom's sure fuckable. And, by the comparison drawn on the baby's onesie, so is that baby. That is one fuckable baby."
Did you just puke your pants? Because I just did.
Photo credit: www.glitter-graphics.com
The sexualization of children in our society is common enough for more subtle forms of it to go unnoticed or uncontested. It is prevalent enough to have become invisible to those used to seeing it - visual white noise, if you will. But this example is so shockingly egregious that I can't imagine what the development and design process was for this piece of clothing and why, WHY?, did no one think twice about producing this? Was this put together by the same marketing geniuses behind West Elm's D&C-themed Christmas?
I couldn't find reliable information online about contacting Babies With Attitude, but feel free to tell Kroger that you would really, really rather they not sell onesies that turn infants into sexual objects. They can be reached here and here. Feel free to copy and use the image of the onesie above for reference, or to link to this post. Seeing and identifying the OTPBS is good. But speaking back to those who profit from it is better.
Tell 'em Smarty Mommies sent you.