I have a blog. Which means I am suddenly empowered to comment on all manner of things that I have no experience with in a condescending and know-it-all sort of way.
Before we begin, know that I don’t have any children with the exception of the ones I borrow from time to time from family and acquaintances. The sheer thrill of which is that I get to give the adorable little blighters back.
I don’t have kids and therefore should not be considered any sort of child expert.
I read this article the other day. According to the website it was written about 3 months ago, which is the only thing that kept me from commenting on it in all of my inexperienced wisdom. For those of you too lazy or disinterested in clicking the link and reading the article I’ll sum up some of the points for you.
1. The article is written by a mother of two teenagers about a tumblr called Reasons My Son is Crying.
2. She thinks that, “It’s also horrible and disgusting and I fucking HATE it.”
3. Her main gripes are: that the photos capture the child/children in the worst light imaginable; violates his/their privacy; and disregards the feelings of the child/children in question.
Are you kidding me?
If ever comes a day that I do become a parent, I think I could consider myself derelict in duty if I didn’t make sure that my kid knows that, total irrationality? Not okay! Here is an example of one of the captioned photos.
“There was a commercial on his custom made Pandora Station.”
I’m as hippy liberal happy as the next chick, but as an adult, you know, which means that your children need to know, every feeling is not valid. Crying because of a commercial? Are we for real discussing the harmful effects of thinking this is hilarious? Not to mention this, or this, and especially this. I don’t know about you, but I would want my kid to grow up with a complex about EATING STYROFOAM.
And I know they’re children and they have to grow into logic and reason. With your help. How you go about distributing that help is totally up to you. Me personally I don’t think I’m going to get on the hug train for every tear shed. I’m just not that guy (literally). If there is one thing I cannot, have not, and will not, tolerate is a temper tantrum. A bona fide one, not just an expression of upsetedness over a boo boo or consequence meted out for pouring pudding all over the cat, a real temper tantrum is the quickest way to put me in full strict surrogate mom mode when I’m watching a youngster.
Maybe it’s because in my youth I attempted, half-assedly I might say, to introduce this dynamic into my relationship with my mother. My father already spoiled me and I thought I could seal the circle if I could just pull off this one amazing coup.
It failed miserably.
My mother, being the gem that she is, just watched me have the tantrums; and when I was at the conclusion she’d very politely clap and cheer, the proper response to a dramatic performance. We live in an age where everything is up for show. Our lives laid out in bits and bytes across scores of servers via social media. Unless your goal as a parent is to shield your children from that interaction, which is a highly noble pursuit for anyone attempting it in my opinion, then your kids are going to grow up with their lives hardwired. They’ll make their own videos and post their own pictures and release their own private information to the world and they’ll do it at 60x’s the efficiency that you’re doing it now or will ever be able to do it.
Even if the photos were of the happy moments like the author, Jenni Marinucci, would prefer; there is still an element of exploitation involved. At its most innocent level it is “I want the world to see how adorable my kid is” and at the other extreme is
Toddlers and Tiaras…..Scratch that, Toddlers and Tiaras is Emmy worthy compared to the horribleness that is Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
Children are videoed and photographed with huge smiles on their faces doing completely outlandish shit all the time. Example, about 40% of the submissions to America’s Funniest Home Videos. Why is this okay? Question answered: Because it would be completely asinine to ascribe the inflammatory phrase “child shaming” to it, and therefore wouldn’t be as read worthy.
Ironically Marinucci has, in her outrage, invoked the uniquely feminine act of Mom Shaming. Whereby one mom makes another mom feel as if she doesn’t love her child enough because she is or isn’t doing this one particular thing over another. You know the arguments The Breast Feeders vs. the Formula Pushers, the Organic Whole Foodies vs. Processed Junkers, The Timeouters vs. the Corporal Punishers, and so on forever and ever into eternity until the stars fade.
Or at least until Ellen Degeneres has a kid and tells everyone how to do it correctly.