There was an article in the New York Times about ‘Mom Hair’ and how to avoid it. The New York Times!! Really???
I just have to do this. I’m a Mom, I have been for a while now. And frankly, when I watched comedy skits about ‘Mom jeans’ or even ‘Mom hair’ aka ‘The Cut’…I’ve giggled a bit. I do find Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to be very very funny women.
But alongside my giggles at the ‘Mom Jeans’ skit, alongside the little glimmer of hope that at least these lady comedians are acknowledging the ridiculousness of such things, I also sunk a little inside.
Because I thought that ‘wait a minute…I’m a Mom. I have been for a few years. And now I’ve got to be careful that I don’t have any personal style reflecting this?’
Don’t get me wrong. I love SNL.
It didn’t escape me that there were lines like ‘I’m not a woman anymore, I’m a Mom.’ It’s funny.
It made a point.
But sadly not everyone will grasp the undertone of the joke that says ‘isn’t this ridiculous?’
Yes, SNL, and all you gifted comedians it is ridiculous. And no it shouldn’t even matter. Surely you must realize that you are solidifying a term, a phrase that not everyone recognizes as absurd or insulting. Some people, even yes writers for the New York Times think that ‘Mom Hair’ is a shameful thing and it’s to be avoided.
It’s heartbreaking that the line ‘I’m not a woman anymore, I’m a Mom’ is part of the joke. It was slipped in there between the laughs and the funny ladies posing and pretending that they don’t realize their ‘Mom look’ isn’t flattering.
The fact that it’s been given a name says something.
Wanna know what it says? ‘Oh please please don’t look like this. It means you are a Mom. It means your body has done things that deplete it. It means you have to care about other people very often…much more than yourself. You don’t have time to be ‘hot’. It takes great care and time to be a ‘Yummy Mummy’ or a…well you know the other stupid crude term coined in the film American Pie. But even then…you are a Mom. You are completely and utterly defined by the fact that you care for smaller, younger people.’
Wanna know what I say?
‘*EXPLETIVE SAVAGELY THOUGHT BUT UNTYPED* YOU!!!!’
Yes thank you I know I’m a mother. I remember sitting on a rainy day in a hospital, feeling like a ton of bricks just crashed down on me. I remember realizing that things would never QUITE be the same for me after this. And no I wasn’t entirely positive. What I didn’t think about was that I should now be mindful of my hairstyle and the cut of my jeans.
It doesn’t mean I don’t love my children. But it does mean that yes, I got it. I got that a demanding role was now to be expected of me. I could screw it up if I chose, and contribute two horrid people to the world by neglecting or abusing them. Or I could be an okay human being and encourage them to be good people.
It’s called being a parent.
It isn’t easy for mothers OR fathers. I’m not going to rant about the disgusting double standards of appearance expectations for women and men because do you know what I think the standard is?
I’ll tell you…
FEMALE expectation: ‘Don’t get wrinkled. Don’t be fat. Be pretty. Keep your tummy flat. Small or big chests are okay depending on the taste of the person looking at you. And they are looking at you. Assessing your standard of beauty. Rating you. Constantly. For GOODNESS SAKE don’t look like a Mom because that’s just gross. But hey, there are multiple articles, beauty treatments and salons that are there to help you. Go spend some money. If you are poor and not necessarily that attractive, it’s recommended you lower your standards. A LOT. Because of course you want some sort of approval. All women need approval.’
MALE expectation: ‘Be exceptionally manly. Have impressive abs and biceps. Because that way, even if you are starting to get a bit older that’s okay. It’s nice when men look distinguished. But don’t look so old you can’t hook up with a hot younger person. But if you are a wealthy man, there are websites that would help you with that sort of thing. If you are willing to be a bastard with no soul.’
That’s a thing, btw. That’s a successful business that exists. Because apparently, ‘love is a concept invented by poor people.’ Someone said that. That’s a thing. That’s a business.
I recognize that it isn’t easy for men when they realize they have gained weight. When the hairline is receding. It hurts to be told that the older we get, the less likely it is we will be considered ‘hot’ or ‘attractive’. It shouldn’t hurt. But it does. Because they want it to.
I can think of one skit where a very buff, topless Patrick Swayze dances next to a very overweight Chris Farley on SNL. It had nothing to do with Dads and it was classed as controversial and mean spirited by some. It was. No offense meant to the dearly departed actors who performed in it.
People who live with a weight and general looks struggle do not deserve ridicule. Looking after your health is a good thing. We should all do it. We should all make the effort.
Not because it’s important to be a ‘Hot Dad’ or a ‘Yummy Mummy’ or *cringe*…whatever. But because of this:
We WANT to get older. We are blessed to get older. Not everyone gets the privilege. But when you get there you want to be happy. Not struggling with health issues that contribute to a miserable existence of endless doctor appointments, inability to travel, inability to be active, constantly dealing with all manner of pain and discomfort.
You don’t want to be struggling with a media filled with messages saying how inadequate you are. Now, yes we can turn off the television and cell phones, computers, ipads, stop getting the paper, etc. Yes. We can.
BUT why should their insulting content be allowed to continue without a bit of hitting back? Yes okay, they were technically referring to the cut of a pair of jeans and a hair style. But there was another message there.
‘I’m not a woman anymore…I’m a Mom.’
I laughed. But my heart sank…because they wouldn’t have said it if there wasn’t some little grain of truth in it. They wouldn’t have said it if it wasn’t funny.
But let’s be even more fair. Perhaps the articles suggesting remedies to ‘Mom Hair’ are ‘kind’ reminders to women not to ‘let themselves go’. Okay, let’s look at it that way. Sure, because that’s fine, right? It’s basically wealthy, attractive, successful people reminding poorer, insecure people to take more care of how they look.
*EXPLETIVE VIOLENTLY THOUGHT BUT UNTYPED* YOU!!!
If by using the concept of one’s sex appeal is the best and most effective way to encourage parents to generally care for themselves better….well….
….then what the ‘I’m not a woman anymore, I’m a Mom’ is wrong with us?
‘Mom Hair’…’Mom Jeans’…’Dad Bods’…gimme a break.
Go drink a smoothie and see your highly qualified, extremely expensive personal trainer, wealthy entertainment industry, relatively well known media news type people.
And God bless you and keep you.
But if you try and get my interest or make me laugh by using the above terms again?
I am going to actually type my anger words.
Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go for a run. Because I like it. It makes me feel good. It gives me a sense of escapist joy that has positive side effects. But I also want the continued use of my knees so I do very basic yoga (via free online videos). It calms me down when I feel enraged. I am going to try not to drink excessively or eat too much cheese.
Because I WANT to get older. Because I want the privilege of smiling, crying, breathing for many years to come. I want to enjoy my old age. I want to enjoy being a woman. BECAUSE I AM ONE!!
I want to enjoy being a mother.
DON’T YOU DARE *EXPLETIVE VIOLENTLY THOUGHT BUT UNTYPED* TELL ME NOT TO LOOK LIKE ONE EVER EVER AGAIN!!!