Are ‘cute baby contests’ cute anymore?
“Oh my God, your baby is so cute,” is a statement you often hear when you come across a baby. There’s something about babies that prompts us to go all ‘awwle cuchie koo’ when we see them. It’s in a baby’s nature to be lovable. They are the most charming when they are giggling. Less cute when they are crying and the least cute when they are pooping, but the one thing that is universal is that they are cute.
All babies are aww-dorable. It’s the one thing that unites them globally discrediting everything else – race, class, caste, gender or any other socially created distinctions. Then why on Earth (pun intended) do we need contests that measure babies’ cuteness against each other? We are living in an increasingly mobile world, yet, body shaming wasn’t a concept that was discussed widely say even two years ago. However, the kind of notable coverage it gets today is praiseworthy. In such a scenario when people across the globe are becoming more aware of the fact that it’s okay to be comfortable in your own skin, do we really need ‘who is the cutest baby of them all’ to decide if one baby is cuter than the other?
Toddlers don’t care whether you find them cute or not, they are going to continue going about their baby business nonetheless. So every millennial mommy out there trying to outdo other moms and prove that her baby is cuter has got a moot point. Maybe it’s time to stop and reflect on the dynamics of such contests. You enroll your baby in a competition all new mommies are participating in, you give your child grief and dress them in frilly dresses and hope they win the coveted title. For what? The child doesn’t even care. You get an ego boost out of it, sure. For having given birth to the cutest child. But is it worth it? Making 100s of other small children feel like they are not beautiful?
Today, when the body image movement is doing so much good throughout the world, do we really need to go back to something that’d hamper the healthy growth of our babies?
If you are someone who has grown up with body image issues then it’s not difficult for you to imagine the kind of trauma that they entail. Why would we want to pass on the same kind of pain to our children? Wait, hold on. What’s the connection between body dysmorphia and contests for babies, right? The ultimate connection!
Children who don’t win would often feel bad about not being attractive enough which would later inevitably give way to deeply-rooted insecurities that are extremely hard to shake off. A baby doesn’t need to think that they need expensive clothes or matching shoes to be considered cute or worthy of love, which is exactly something that these contests seem to be implying.
We have come so far in our journey to love ourselves; the question that however still remains is: is it really fair to have our children go through the same struggles?