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Blinging Up Baby Debate

Playing dress-up is fine for older children, but when mothers dress their babies in Dior and fake-tan, I think it may be going a bit too far

22/05/2015

 

A true 'shock-u-mentary'

I've just had the misfortune of watching a new Channel 5 programme that has just hit our screens.

'Blinging Up Baby' is exactly what its unfortunate title suggests - a documentary focussing on young mums who spend extraordinary amounts of money adorning their little cherubs (usually girls, I might add) in designer outfits, make-up, spray-tan and nail polish. After which they can spritz on some perfume, hop into their little toy Audi R8s and pedal off to their friends' massively over-the-top birthday party.

As with so many of these 'shock-u-mentaries' - as I like to call them - my initial reaction was 'ugh'. Obviously these selfish mums are living their own lives and ambitions through their innocent children, presenting them to the world dressed as Barbie dolls, just so they can attract attention themselves.

These infants are clearly unable to make their own decisions, so how is it right for their parents to foist their own fatuous preferences upon them?

Finding the positives

I decided to stop being such a judgmental old harridan and examine the facts. When I stopped to actually listen to what one of the mums had to say, my resolve softened slightly.

For example, one young mum reminded us that children pick up on the reaction of people around them just the way adults do. She'd never received a negative comment when out in public with her child, only kindness and positivity. As a result of being well presented to the world, her baby thoroughly enjoys the attention and compliments she receives. This makes her happy, so how is that a negative thing?

I think she's right on that score. Babies do mop up human emotions in their first formative years and if these little ones are getting smiley, positive feedback from those around them, that's a good thing, no question. But what about the attitude these kids might develop later on in life when their expectations are so high they become unrealistic?

Living beyond your means

Most of the mums on this show are not rich. They have ordinary jobs but just go without things to ensure their children have it all. How can that be right? Surely these children will just grow up expecting their parents to forever lavish unaffordable gifts upon them? Being spoilt is never a good thing, especially if your parents are struggling to keep up their pretence. What happens when they are inevitably told "no"?

Is image really everything?

There's a danger these children are being taught that image and appearance are everything. It's a vitally important life skill to know how to present and conduct yourself, but not to the extent where it becomes the only thing that's important, above other valuable skills such as frugality and respecting boundaries.

It's simply unnecessary to go to these extremes with your child. They can be beautifully presented to the world without all the ridiculous bling and possessions.

No, I'm afraid my conclusion went full circle and ended up back where it started. I don't see any value in blinging up babies and children at all. Leave it for the dressing up box.

As one mum put it "If you wanna present your baby to the world plainly dressed, each to their own". Hmm, profound, but I don't think it's as simple as that somehow.

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

 
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