I always chuckle when I thumb through most parenting magazines because the kids all look so well groomed and even when they are supposed to look as though they have gotten into a mess, they still have perfect hair and rosy cheeks. I don’t know about your kids, but when my kids get into a mess they usually wind up looking much less presentable.
I never thought about comparing my kids to the kids in parenting magazines because I realize that these kids are usually models. I do like how these magazines usually try to present a broad range of kids of different ethnicities. I have also noticed that whenever parenting magazines use pictures of kids with special needs the next month there is almost always at least one letter from a reader praising the appearance of these kids.
Parenting Magazine Moms
Then again, my kids aren’t reading these magazines. I am. So when I flip through the magazine and see one photo after another of slim, attractive moms wearing makeup and with nary a hair out of place, I start to wonder what impossible standard is being conveyed to moms everywhere, albeit somewhat subliminally. If you don’t believe me, have a look at any parenting magazine. You’ll probably see a model posing with a dot of baking flour on her nose and a cute-yet-exasperated facial expression under the headline “Quick Meals for Moms” or a gorgeous female model nuzzled up to a gorgeous male model under the headline of “Find Time for Romance”.
For the record, when I’m whipping up a quick meal I look more frazzled than cute, and if you snapped a picture of a moment when I’m trying to find time for romance with my husband you would probably get a shot of me glaring at the baby monitor in fear of one of the kids calling out “Mommy!” Don’t even get me started about the models the magazines use for the “Get Back in Shape” specials, because the models they use really don’t need to get “back” into shape if they are already a size zero.
I just wish that once in a while these magazines would feature women who are larger than itty bitty, or feature women with glasses who are not reading, or feature “dads” who did not just step out of a Calvin Klein ad. Really, as parents we have enough to worry about without also being subliminally told that we’re not living up to a nearly impossible standard.
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