by Alexandra Owens
Courtesy of Baby BangsThere's plenty to be concerned about as a new parent--germs, learning curves, that weird little area called a soft spot. Now, I've yet to experience the joys of motherhood, but an infant's entirely natural lack of hair never really struck me as one of those things I may be "bothered by," as a recent New York Times headline suggests. Enter a terrifying product called Baby Bangs, which are essentially just headbands with hair attached. The company makes it sound a lot fancier, though: "Our patent pending HAIR+band accessory combination allows baby girls (with little or no hair at all) the opportunity to have a beautifully realistic HAIR style in a SNAP!! It's quick, easy and baby barely knows it's there."
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Well, I notice it's there, and the whole thing totally skeeves me out. Who cares if people think your 5-month-old girl is a boy, or vice versa? They're at an age where identifying themselves with lipstick, hair, and heels doesn't matter in any context, point blank. Implying that it should sends all sort of gross messages about sexuality that should only be mentioned on Dateline. And beyond that, it robs them of the chance to figure out that identity for themselves at a time when, oh, I don't know, they can speak instead of babble.
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Coming from the Orlando vicinity, I can't help but picture the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney World, where little girls are Toddlers and Tiaras-ized into looking like middle-aged princesses having a midlife crisis. Back in my day, you went to Disney, got sick on Thunder Mountain, ate some junk food, bought a stuffed Eeyore, and called it a day. Now you have to worry about wigs and floor-length dresses when you're at the happiest place on earth? AND when you're a baby? It all seems like way too much to me.
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by Alexandra Owens