So what happened to Parenting? (I’m talking about the magazine here, not the life-long occupation).  Until about 6 months ago (or so), it was a pretty good read with articles that didn’t insult my intelligence or attempt to pander to fads and commercialism.  Then something happened.  Maybe they turned to the Dark Side or had a collective brain fart.  Whatever the case is, they need to get back on track.  Allow me to pour my heart (well, rage) out with the following analysis.

What am I going on about?  Let’s take a look at March’s issue, specifically their headline articles.

1. Celebrity kid style for a lot less $ (Spring’s Best Dressed): there’s so much wrong with this that I barely know where to begin!

First, why would I style my child’s wardrobe after some entertainers’ kids? What exactly is the thought process there? I won’t be famous but maybe my kid can dress like one of their kids thereby allowing me to live vicariously through my child’s ephemeral clothes?  Their chosen celebrities: Jolie/Pitt, Kardashian (does it matter which one?), Garner/Affleck, Holmes/Cruise, Stefani/Rossdale.  Don’t even get me started on aping a Scientologist’s kid!  (Mollifying side note: “Kardashian” is not yet recognized by Microsoft Word as a word—apparently Bill Gates needs to catch up on his pop culture when he’s not busy trying to save kids in Africa and whatnot).

Second, what’s their idea of “a lot less $”? $180, $210, $193, $298 etc. PER OUTFIT.  What crack are these folks smoking that they think a couple hundred bucks for an outfit that will last a couple of months (and probably be ruined by, you know, the little kids wearing them) is a great buy?  And are we to believe that the celebrities pay more than this for their clothes?  Got news for ya Parenting, they probably get their crap for free being celebrities and all!

Third, why would you put your poor kid through the hell of mimicking someone else’s style? Are you that lost on how to dress them?  Here’s an idea if you’re struggling: let your child pick out some of their clothes—at least that way it’s their own style and not some hack actor’s (I’m looking at you Affleck).

2. Julie Bowen & Sofia Vergara teach us how to dress: whew! It all makes sense now; Parenting does indeed think we’re inept in the entire wardrobe department, not just our kids’.  We can ape the celebrities themselves (I’m sure they don’t have stylists for their public appearances after all).

The real kicker? Julie’s outfit ($140) costs less than her kid’s ($187)! Even Sofia’s outfit ($171) comes in under most of the kids’ ensembles above.  Oh, and in case you’re wondering, your fashion choices are: Sexy (Sofia) or Classic (Julie); apparently they’re mutually exclusive and the latter is subtly derided since no “hot mamma” finds can be found in her wardrobe.

3. [Advertisement Aside] “The playground is my runway!” by baby phat: trying…to…suppress…brain aneurism.

First, my child will never where anything that has to do with the word “phat.” 

Secondly, the playground has apparently been relegated to a stage promoting: “look at my superficial crap and get all jealous.”  I’ll give you 3 guesses on the skirt lengths and the first 2 don’t count.  What happened to letting kids play on the PLAYground?  And why would we want our girls (no boys were pictured or harmed during the production of this ad) to emulate and idolize twiggy supermodels?

4. 74 bright ideas for cool kids’ rooms: so now that we’ve established you can’t dress yourself or your kid with any sort of arbitrarily-accepted fashion sense, we’re pretty sure you can’t decorate their room, either.

“Dream on girls” features a “soothing” environment for sisters—complete with a $400 elephant cube to sit on.  Yes daughters of the world, dream, but don’t be too active because that’s reserved for…

“Boys, oh boys!” No “ho-hum neutrals” here (that boring crap is for girls); here you can have a “thrilling” hangout that matches their adventures! Get out there and explore the world, it’s yours for the taking!  But in case you need help seeing where you’re going, buy a $300 lamp.

To be fair, they do offer some non-gendered, stereotypical décor. Instead, you can go with “graphic content,” complete with massive seizure-inducing stripes and chevron patterns with a smattering of brightly-colored fixtures that can be seen from space.

[Hang in there, only a few more to go!]

I'm more of a "don't move if you ain't gotta" dad.

5. Now that they’ve covered the most important stuff (fashion and décor), let’s get to the peripherals—parenting styles.  “Stop being a Micromanaging Mom” (whew, I’m off the hook being a dad and all); the infamous “helicopter parent” debacle.  The author cites some “studies” saying how bad your kid will turn out if you don’t let them fail or struggle.

While there is some truth to over-doing it, I gotta admit, I can be a hovering parent, mostly outside the house.  But you know why? It’s not because I don’t trust my daughter or don’t want her to struggle, it’s because of all the other negligent parents out there who don’t give a crap what their kids do in public.  My daughter is 27 months and weighs about as many pounds.  If some 80 lb. toddler obliviously goes charging through her, you bet your sweet arse I’m stepping in!  Signs in public places that state “children must be supervised by an adult at all times” are there for a reason, and it ain’t to encourage “helicopter parenting” for poops and giggles.

6. For the sake of brevity and our sanity, a quicker run down of other gems in the issue:

“My kid dresses better than I do!”– Um, yeah, especially if you follow the advice of this magazine you dolt! (“Her favorite black hair bow would make Lady Gaga jealous.”  Somehow I don’t think jealously registers on whatever plane Gaga is operating on; and I certainly have no need to compare my child to her).

“Favorite Daily Essential-Coobie Seamless bra”– I guarantee the model pictured ain’t had a kid—ever.

“Text: SLIM”– we all know every woman wants to “banish that ‘baby’ weight for good,” right?  Well 3 easy methods are presented to help you get slim.  Of course, the exerciser pictured is probably about 5 years into her program and a yoga yogi, but that’s just good incentive, yeah?

I think you get the point, but just to beat a dead horse one final time, the tallies are:

Fashion: 12

Parenting tips: 9 (Useful tips: 2)

Most annoying words used: fab, adorbs, hot-mamma, Faaaaabulous (yes, I counted the a’s), and so-cool cradle.

So a quick overview of this changed magazine would yield the following message:

“Moms, it’s important to be hip, thin, and faaabulous.  Don’t forget to have your kids emulate superficial things like fame, celebrities, and clothes.”

You know what you’ll get if you follow this new Parenting mantra?  This:

I look faaaabulous, right?

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