Baby’s first skinny jeans

Behold Huggies' ridiculous new product. "Hey, everyone, does this denim diaper make my butt look fat?"

Topics: Fashion, Broadsheet, Children, Love and Sex,

Baby's first skinny jeans

This morning, Target sent me an e-mail with the subject line “Huggies Jeans Diapers: Here for a limited time.” When I scrolled down, there was a little baby in diaper-shaped blue jeans.

What a wonderful idea! After all, letting your kid walk around in just a diaper is totally trashy. But tiny blue jeans? That’s super classy. All that kid needs now is a fringe-bottomed Achy Breaky Heart T-shirt and a pack of Marlboro Reds and he’s ready for the Gatlinburg Smoky Mountain SpringFest. (OK, to be fair, he’ll also need a tiny pair of alligator-skin cowboy boots, a ½ gallon hat, and a belt buckle that says “Big Daddy.”)

I really appreciate how hard Huggies is trying to make babies a little less bedraggled and inappropriate. How many times have I stared at my own baby and thought, “Jesus, what is your deal anyway?” The unbroken stares. The drooling. The banging. When will she stop soiling herself and start demonstrating wisdom beyond her years like everyone says she will? Not even a booby-trapped water slide and a voice-over by Bob Saget could make my kid more plucky and delightful to the general public.

Still, I’m not sure that Huggies Jeans Diapers are the most flattering cut for a baby. Don’t you think that jeans diaper in the photo makes that kid’s butt look a little chubby? Can you imagine how difficult it must be for a baby, to wonder, “Do these jeans make my ass look fat?” over and over again, but to have no way to communicate that to anyone? Sometimes I find my own baby standing in front of the mirror, and she gives me this look that very clearly says, “This diaper makes my onion look enormous, doesn’t it? Just tell me the truth, goddamn it!” And all I can do is just pretend that I don’t understand her. “Don’t worry, sweetie, all your baby friends love you for who you are on the inside.” Yeah, right.

Maybe Huggies could investigate a Matchstick Jeans Diaper, for the pear-shaped baby rocker. Or maybe a Destroyed Jeans Diaper, with little faded spots and pre-torn rips in the front? As long as it gives baby a nice bubble butt, I’m all for it. Of course, Huggies Red Pleather Diapers can’t be far behind.

You know another big problem with most babies? They don’t have a lot of hair. My baby is 1 year old, but she’s still practically bald. Naturally, I purchased a Baby Toupee for her from the start, but “The Donald” didn’t quite fit her personality, and “The Lil’ Kim” was just a bit too pink. Can’t they make something a little more sophisticated and professional, like, say, “The Katie Couric”? Or how about “The Hillary”? Even “The Elena Kagan” would work fine for her, as long as she didn’t make that weird confused expression Kagan does. 

Speaking of which, it bothers me how babies can’t seem to make the same affected, fake-friendly facial expressions that we do. It’s unnerving how natural they are, that odd way they have of showing their boredom or their joy or their sleepiness without even trying to hide it a little bit.

I think some sort of a baby mask might help. Each morning, my daughter and I could pick an appropriate mask for that day. “Strained Enthusiasm” might be good for Gymboree percussion classes. “Polite Disgust” might be nice for play dates with the little buddy with the nose-picking problem. And “Irritated but Suspending My Disbelief” is perfect for Mommy’s Day Off. I only wish I could get her to gasp dramatically and press her open palm across her neck in mock surprise, the way I do when I’m bored to death but I need to appear really delighted and shocked and thrilled.

Come to think of it, those jeans diapers are a little Casual Friday, aren’t they? I want my baby to project a polished, professional image every day of the week. What about a Wool-Blend Pant diaper or a Linen Pencil Skirt diaper? And how about a little pair of 6-inch heels? Imagine, gaining a quarter of your total height, just by putting on a pair of shoes! My baby is sure to flash me a look that says, “Mommy, you finally understand my true needs!” Or maybe it’s a look of pain and anguish she’ll be flashing me. It’s so hard to tell when she’s wearing her “Katie Couric” wiglet, her pearl choker, and her “Thinly Disguised Resentment” mask.

Regardless of her silly little feelings, though, let’s hear it for Huggies! It’s about time someone recognized the need to turn innocent, joyful little babies into overstyled, self-conscious, world-weary old crones like the rest of us. One small Matchstick Jeans diaper for baby, one giant leap into high capitalist purgatory for babykind! 

Heather Havrilesky is a regular contributor to the New York Times Magazine, The Awl and Bookforum, and is the author of the memoir "Disaster Preparedness." You can also follow her on Twitter at @hhavrilesky.

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