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Clothes don’t make the kid

By
May 16, 2008

When I was about 10, I received for Christmas a robe and nightgown which I later spied Jan Brady wearing in an episode of “The Brady Bunch.” My brush with celebrity fashion sent me to 7th heaven.

Flash forward, and there are times that I look at my youngest children, ages 6 and 9, as they head out the door, typically to be barely on time for school, and I have to rationalize that somehow stripes and plaids really do go together. Or that chocolate stain? It will meld into the pattern.

With my 14-year-old son, of course, it’s more along the lines of informing him he really can’t wear the same exact clothes on two consecutive days. (Though I confess when he says, “why not? They are clean” I don’t have a good answer.) Meanwhile, my almost 12-year-old daughter is convinced that no one in Western civilization makes jeans that look good on her — which she’ll think again when she’s 40 — and everything that I like for her is SO STUPID looking, and you get the picture.

But here, it’s back to the little ones. “Adrianna Serio is into celebrity fashion. She recently got a $28 pair of pink Mary Jane shoes by Robeez after the daughter of actress and former Miss USA Ali Landry was photographed wearing them.”

Adrianna is 9 months old.

So wrote Rachel Dodes recently in the Wall Street Journal in a piece entitled, “Dress-Up: Moms Put Their Tykes in Star’s Clothes”

Adrianna’s mom is one of millions who now follows Hollywood baby fashion closely — and shops accordingly, whether they can afford to or not.

One young mom, an administrative assistant in Dayton, Ohio, bought a $25 pack of camouflage-print socks for her 5-month-old Jason after seeing pictures of a celebrity baby “knocking around London in his socks” Dodes writes. ” ‘Now he can be just as hot as any celebrity baby,'” his mom said.

This is no strange trend for a few over- (or under-) achieving parents. Celebrity-babies.com, which is all about celebrity baby fashion, “tips,” and links to the stores where the clothes adorning the tykes can be bought, gets 10 million page views a month, Dodes reports. It gets half a million dollars a year from major companies eager to reach these acquisitive moms.

It’s not just about clothes but about everything having to do with baby. Sometimes it takes Danielle Friedland, owner of the Web site, a little work to identify the products in the photos. Readers helped her to identify the make of Jennifer Garner’s breast pump, and she can make out a stroller from a photo with “just half a wheel” showing.

Now that’s a talent.

Never mind that the limited edition breast pump or the stroller might run in the many many hundreds of dollars. The people visiting her Web site have to get just the right one! And the right one means one a celebrity owns.

This Wall Street Journal piece is just one of many that have recently described the growing baby fashion obsession on behalf of moms from all income groups.

I have no file drawer for this, so I’ll be blunt: I think these parents are insane.

If they are focusing on dressing their kids in celebrity “baby fashions” so their 5-month-old can be “just as hot as any celebrity baby,” the parents already have problems, and they are pretty clearly passing them on to their kids.

Thanks, but I will continue to shop at Kohl’s and Target for my kids. I’m not saying I couldn’t do a better job at nixing the plaid/stripe combos before my kids head out the door following a crazy morning, but I hope I’ll continue to be most concerned about whether my kids walk around with a smile on their faces than the latest fashion on their backs.

(Betsy Hart hosts the “It Takes a Parent” radio show on WYLL-AM 1160 in Chicago. Reach her through betsysblog.com.)

2 Responses to Clothes don’t make the kid

  1. JerZGirl

    May 16, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Insane? How about stupid, thoughtless, covetous, self-absorbed, insecure wannabes? These people act like they’re Upper East Side when they’re often struggling to avoid the trailer park. They have obvious self-image problems that will ultimately affect how their children perceive the world and themselves.

    ————————————————–
    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” -Mark Twain

  2. Sandra Price

    May 16, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Anyone who looks to television for a role model, needs professional help. I was raised and worked with these actors most of my life and they smell bad and many of their checks bounced. I hung most of their costumes in my living room from the rafters and had to spray lysol and burn incense for the aroma of sweaty actors.