I think it’s pretty well known that I’m a cloth diapering mom. You just need to look anywhere on my website. So I don’t pay much attention to commercials and advertisements for disposable diapers. But tonight I was catching up on some youtube stuff and a commercial for Luvs was on and I heard/saw half of it. The part that I saw was enough to make me google to find it because all I could think was “Wow! That’s super judgemental to first time Mom’s!” Turns out the one I saw is one of many… and I can’t decide which one is the most offensive. As a mom of several kids, I know they are true. But thinking back to my time as a first time mom, already insecure and unsure about EVERY parenting decision I was making, and pretty certain I was going to majorly screw up this whole parenting gig, I just can’t even imagine how these commercials would have made me feel. The fact is, I think they are going to make first-time moms feel even more insecure!. There is a hint (or more) of truth to them, but it seems like an absolutely horrifying marketing strategy. A great way to alienate a whole bunch of moms (which now that I think of it, that’s totally cool with me – maybe those Mom’s will be alienated enough to switch over to cloth!!)
I try to think about things like this from every angle. Maybe these commercials are meant to get mom’s talking? It Is sad though how much of mainstream advertising plays on the insecurities of girls & women, not just mothers.
As I said, I have no clue how long these commercials have been out, this could be super old news… but if you haven’t seen them, here are a few.
This is the one I saw. All I saw was her grabbing the cereal off the table and the whole “second-time mom” bit. Ok. It’s true. I used to pack SO MUCH JUNK in my diaper bag. Now? we need 1 or 2 diapers, a wet bag, and some wipes. That’s it. I don’t even use a diaper bag anymore. I just shove her stuff into the bottom of my purse. But implying a first time Mom is too busy worrying about all that crap and will forget her baby? NOPE.
This one was almost funny. Until I thought of all those moms of preemies who made/make people sanitize for a reason. A very valid, important, and necessary reason. And here’s Luv’s poking fun.
Last, but most certainly not least on the scale of offensiveness, we have the Luvs Breastfeeding Commercial. I’m going to pause for a second and say I do applaud them for involving breastfeeding. It’s awesome to see anyone support (sorta?) and normalize breastfeeding. But this? Not the way to go about it.
I just recently wrote about my journey with breastfeeding. Again, the commercial holds some truth. With my first, I covered up both of us whenever we were outside the house, and often even when we were in the house if we had company. With my second? Well… in the first 24 hours of her life, I continued carrying on a conversation with people neglecting to notice she had stopped nursing and left my boob completely exposed… twice. So yeah, it’s true, I was much more conservative and modest with my first than I am now. But if you look at the reasons for my modesty you’ll see why I take serious issue with this commercial. For me, it was never an issue of modesty. I don’t have any problem with showing off the portion of my boob that shows when I feed my children. It isn’t much of anything exciting since (most of the time) I cover up the second they are done eating. It’s a tiny bit of skin and to be completely honest, I probably showed more when wearing bikinis during my pre-children life. The reason I covered up with my first is that I was completely and totally insecure about the decisions I was making as a Mom, breastfeeding being one of the huge ones. I wanted (and still do!) to be the perfect mother. I wanted to be the one that EVERYONE said “she is such an amazing mom” about. Supermom ain’t got nothing on the mom I was going to be. It is sad (and a totally different debate) that no matter how you decide to feed your child you will be judged. No matter which side of the formula vs. breastfeeding fence you stand on you’re going to be judged for doing it. So I think it SUCKS that Luvs thinks it’s ok to take a sensitive situation like breastfeeding (or your child’s health, or your child’s sleep, or your child’s needs) and poke fun at it.
Each and every one of these Luvs campaigns would make me feel like garbage if I was still a first-time mom. Each one would make me question (again) the decisions I was making for my child and what is “right” and “normal” to do. It’s hard enough being a parent. It’s even harder being a first-time mom. There’s no need to ridicule them for the things they do even if it seems silly to those of us more “experienced.” The fact of the matter is the commercials are true. By the time your second (or third or fifth) baby arrives you’ve realized that parenting isn’t as complex and intricate as you thought. That first baby has most likely grown up and survived whatever parenting methods you chose and you start to feel a little more confident in your ability to keep these small humans alive. The differences between a first time Mom and a mom of more than 1 is HUGE, I won’t deny that. But I don’t think it’s a good marketing strategy… or just very kind in general to make a series of commercials poking fun at these already insecure Moms.
Bad form Luvs.