I recently made the mistake of buying a trendy-looking parenting magazine. You know the type – gorgeous baby on the front, perfect typography, a promise of AMAZING discount vouchers inside and snap-shots of cute editorials with the most adorable baby accessories you just don’t seem to find on the high-street. Lovely, I thought, this will be a nice little read. WRONG.
On the inside cover was an advert for a new range of nursery furniture by Silver Cross. They were indeed beautiful cots, very sleek looking, high-end, well designed. And that’s great, if you like that sort of thing. I follow many interior designers on instagram who post pictures of stunning nurseries with this type of furniture. It is beautiful to look at and I am happy to accept some people can afford luxury brands for their babies – really I am. What I am angry about is the slogan accompanying these images: “The Best Start in Life.”
Are we really being told that our babies are going to have a better start in life if you purchase a particular cot? To me this is outrageous, offensive and absurd. As if there isn’t enough pressure surrounding being a parent, we are now having to worry if our baby is in the right cot?! Surely all you want from a cot is it to be safe and comfortable – that’s it… If you like designer products and can afford them, great, buy them! But what if you can’t? Are you any less of a parent? Is your child’s development going to be affected because you didn’t buy the trendiest looking cot on the market? Of course not. And we shouldn’t be made to feel like it. The whole magazine was about what you should be buying for your baby. Nothing about nurturing or learning or exploring or development – you know, the things that really DO give your child the best start in life. By the time I had finished flicking through the pages I felt like I must be a terrible mum because I would never buy half the stuff it was promoting.
Do you ever feel let down by advertising, or like it is predatory? That it is seeking out vulnerable new parents who only want the best for their children? Let me know in the comments below Xx