It’s been two days and the parenting corner of the blogosphere is still reeling over David Brooks’ Sunday column* about “hipster parents” and their penchant for dressing their babies up in cooler-than-thou outfits. I admit to having seen a Ramones onesie or two wandering about the playground, but even here in San Francisco’s Haight district it’s pretty rare. What, honestly, is the big fuss all about?
We are going to dress our babies somehow, right? I’m a stay-at-home dad with a little girl. If I dress her in pink, I’m trying to doll her up. If I put her in overalls, I’m making a tomboy out of her. If I put her in a dress, I’m denying (or affirming?) her femininity. Right?
Right. It’s ridiculous. Babies get dressed and named as a projection of their parents’ values. Sometimes we even put them in silly clothes just because we can. It’s up to them to grow into these artifices, make them their own, and then embrace or disown them as they choose. But we’ve got twelve or twenty years before that happens. In the meantime, I might just get Boobaby one of the ficticious shirts that Brooks imagines:
My mom’s blog is better than your mom’s blog!
Might have to get a fabric pen to replace that “mom” with “dad,” though.
*You may have noticed that I didn’t link to the article but to a bloggy reprint. The original is on the nytimes.com Web site but only through their paid Times Select service.