Children or Fashion Accessories?

By | August 5, 2013 | 1 Comments

 

 

Local TV news usually includes at least one report of a Hollywood “personality” who is pregnant or has recently given birth. Supermarket magazines are filled with photos of starlets showing off a “baby bump.” It is unusual to pick up a newspaper and not see pregnancy reports in the entertainment section. And it is unusual to watch a TV health report without seeing the latest techniques to get 40- or 50-year old career women pregnant.

The only sections of the paper that are roughly comparable to the “baby bump” reports are the automotive and fashion sections. In the fashion section, we see photos of dresses, shoes, and bags that are expensive and ostentatious. The automotive section is similar − it shows cars that are expensive and ostentatious.
Would women really prefer to wear comfortable, inexpensive shoes that still looked good? Would people really prefer to drive an economical car that still performed well? No matter. People who have money, and many who don’t, feel that they must be seen in showy clothes and a flashy car. Otherwise, they fear that they might be seen as unsuccessful, unfashionable, or (gasp!) uncool.
The next time you are waiting in the checkout line at the market, look at the covers of the magazines. You will see photos of women with pregnant bellies and women holding babies. But how is this any different from the auto magazines, with covers showing the most expensive, most flashy cars? Both types of magazines appeal to narcissists. Both types of magazines extol the advantages of having things to show off.
If we see our bag, our shoes, or our car as extensions of ourselves, we are materialists and egotists. But if we see our children − or more likely our one child − as extensions of ourselves, we’re even worse.
Many people would rather drive a reliable, economical Honda, but they feel constrained to drive a BMW they can barely afford. The car is cared for by others. Its purpose is to impress the world with their affluence and style.
But for many, a child is much the same − an extension of themselves, a thing to be shown off, boasted about, but cared for by others, from nannies, to day care, to pre-schools, to kindergarten, to primary school, to middle school, to high school, to soccer coaches, to math coaches, to music teachers, to SAT coaches – and, of course, to the inevitable therapists.
And there will be therapists, a result of the lack of parental warmth, plus unending pressure to excel. Kids are pushed to get into the “best” pre-school, the “best” primary school, the “best” middle school, the “best” high school − all to get into the “best” university and often the “best” graduate school, so that the poor kids can make more money to pay off all the crushing student loans, and be a further source of boasting for the parents. Of course, the kids also will have to pay for further therapy, during which they can complain about their narcissistic, micromanaging parents.
This is the case in the affluent parts of town. In the less affluent parts, the details are different. The child is more likely to be cared for by grandma or auntie than by a nanny. And the mom is more likely to be a teenager than in her 40s or 50s. But the principle is the same – have a child to be shown off, but be cared for by others.
As if this weren’t enough, mothers often sexualize their young daughters prematurely. They buy them revealing clothing. They teach them to go around with bare midriffs and to pull their jeans down low. But then the mothers wear juvenile, revealing clothing themselves. Clearly, this has nothing to do with the needs of the daughter, but everything to do with the needs of the mother, who wants to look and act like her daughter’s older sister. The child’s need for a mother is forgotten in the rush to fulfill the parent’s need to feel “young.”
Perhaps, the more so-called feminists  tell women to be full-time careerists, the more women feel compelled to go around half-naked just to prove they are women. Perhaps, the more leftist professors tell women they are just the same as men, the more women feel compelled to say, “Oh no I’m not – take a look at this!” Perhaps, the more politically correct generals tell women to take part in ground combat, the more women feel compelled to show off a “baby bump” just to prove they are not men in drag. As Newton taught us, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
If you visit an affluent area, you will see babies in carriages, toddlers in strollers, and small children – all being walked by nannies. The parents miss many of the joys of parenthood. They come home from work in time to put the child to bed − and tell themselves that half an hour of “quality time” can substitute for many hours of actual time.
Both parents are likely to work, to keep up the expensive house and the two luxury cars, and to pay for the nanny, the day care, the pre-school, the gardener, the pool man, and all the others needed to maintain their lifestyle. And they must pay high taxes, which require them to spend even more time away from their children. So in the limited time the family has together, the parents are likely to show off the child to colleagues, friends, and family as prized possessions − things.
Many women are now immersed in the business or professional world, but − for appearances − need a husband and a child. The husband and child are mere checkmarks on an imaginary report card. In effect, the woman is saying, “See? I’m not only a successful career woman. I also have a husband and a child. Now don’t bother me. Can’t you see I’m working?” The child is like the Louis Vuitton bag or the Mercedes − a badge of success, not valued for himself or herself.
So we should not be surprised when 17 high-school girls in a small town become pregnant. They returned repeatedly to the school clinic for pregnancy tests, then were upset if they were not pregnant. Apparently they viewed pregnancy as a way to gain prestige. Perhaps they had seen too many magazines at the market and watched too many “entertainment reports” on TV.
But that’s the bad news. The worse news is that if babies are merely objects that give us status, what happens when they become inconvenient? Then a high-school girl smothers her newborn in a restroom trash can, and returns to the prom to eat a salad (how healthful) and dance with her boyfriend (how romantic). She was taught that keeping slim is important. She was taught that indulging sexual urges is important. But human life? Not so much. She learned that a child is a fashion accessory, to be shown off if it is in style, or discarded if it is not.
In accord with this twisted value system, we twice elected a man to be our president who, when a state senator, voted three times against bills that would require medical treatment for babies who were born alive after “botched” abortions. No, not embryos, not fetuses, but newborn babies – left to cry weakly on the cold stainless-steel sink in the soiled utility room until they died alone, or were actively killed by the “medical” staff.
But why are we surprised? The ultimate proof that something is an extension of ourselves is our right to do whatever we please with it. The ultimate proof that something is our property is our right to dispose of it. The ultimate proof that something is a fashion accessory is our right to throw it into the trash if we feel it is unfashionable.
If we have the insight to see it, there is a connection between the supermarket magazines with the starlets showing off the “baby bump,” the careerist women with the “report-card” child, the pregnant high-school girls, and the girl who dumped her baby into the trash at the prom. Children are not seen as entrusted to us to bring up to be independent adults with strong moral values. Children are not seen as unique individuals, each created in God’s image. Instead, they are viewed as mere extensions of ourselves, as mirrors to reflect our own image.
And that is a massive demotion.
Contact: dstol@prodigy.net. You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.
www.stolinsky.com

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