Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Madison Avenue Frump

I was paging through Parenting Magazine the other day (to which I have never subscribed but started getting immediately the moment my daughter crowned and keep on getting despite not really wanting, kind of like a period. Hmmm.... no wonder it's called a periodical) and I saw this:

Ok, so despite wondering why the heck Ty from Extreme Home Makeover is peddling Similac, I take extreme umbrage at the way the "moms" in this ad are portrayed. Now, I'm not saying they're not cute. Or somewhat nicely dressed and shod. In fact, my husband thinks my issue with this ad is overly harsh criticism on my part. BUT HERE'S THE THING.

I am in advertising. I come up with and then produce ads of this nature. I know for a stone cold fact that there were no less than 3 meetings specifically on the wardrobe and styling of these "moms". Probably more like 8. There were countless emails between the creative team, the wardrobe stylist and the client. Then there were wardrobe sessions, where the creative team went through racks of clothes with the wardrobe stylist to select EXACTLY what these "moms" should wear, down to their shoes, earrings and hairstyle. AND THIS IS WHAT THEY CAME UP WITH.

If this isn't proof that the world at large sees moms as frumpy, I don't know what is. Because even if these particular "moms" aren't all that bad, this is supposed to be what we in the advertising world call "aspirational". Meaning, this is what moms should ASPIRE TO BE. There's not an interesting item of clothing among the bunch -- not a print, not a trend, not a shred of personality. We've got two pairs of jeans and two pairs of khakis -- are there no other options for us moms to cover our asses? No skirts, no gauchos, no actual color palettes? Yes, yes, I see that the "mom" on the far right (who, by the way, is 21 if she's a day) is wearing a somewhat bohemian top. I think she's supposed to be the "sexy" one. But seriously, the rest of them look like they just finished shopping on the clearance rack at Old Navy. Except for the fact that I actually DO that, and my clothes are more interesting than this nonsense. I won't even go into the shoes. Bah.

Look again. Now imagine them with leaky breasts, disheveled hair and baggier clothes. This is just lightly airbrushed frump, if you ask me. Not that you did. 

Friday, October 24, 2008

My Unfrumpiest Apologies

First of all, I want to thank everyone who reads this... I am alternatively amazed, humbled and thrilled that anyone would want to read my random rants and observations. That said, I realize that I am a huge slacker. And it's certainly not for lack of material... I can't tell you how often I think to myself "I have to write about that on my blog". It probably has to do with the fact that I write for a living, so even though this is the most fun topic for me to write about, at the end of the day it's sometimes hard to motivate. Or maybe it's because the baby in my belly is sucking up all my motivation to do anything but eat and sleep. Whatever my excuse for being a crap-ass blogger, it's all about to change. I am making a resolution! My goal is to write at least once a week, and step it up from there. Hold me to this please! Demand your frump vigilance! (That reminds me, THANK YOU to Nina for being a swift kick in my frump-a-rump right when I needed it to get my last post up.) Ok. Until we meet again...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Frumpiest Place on Earth

A few weeks ago we took our daughter to Disneyland for a whirlwind weekend. We had a wonderful time, but I quite nearly poked out my eyeballs for all the frump I was forced to look at over the three day period. The constant visual attack led me to wonder if perhaps there's room in Snow White's dwarf lineup for a female one named Frumpy. At any given time, at least one (and usually many, many more) of the following was in my direct line of vision: jean shorts, fanny packs, crotch packs, saggy boobs sans-a-bra, black sneakers (paired with both white and black socks...honestly can't say which is worse), grown-ups in head to toe cartoon clothing, tight clothes on people who had no business wearing them and momullets (that's a mullet on a mom). Oh, and I have come to believe that there is a severe fup epidemic sweeping our nation. 

To be fair, this is a little bit of the pot and the kettle because yes, that was me at dinner in Downtown Disney, with wet hair, bags under my eyes and an ear-hat with "Mommy" embroidered on the back, but at the very least I was trying. I mean, nobody says you have to look glam at Disneyland, but let's just address some basics. I maintain that a good pair of Haviana flip flops are at least as comfy as Tevas or Crocs, and a whole lot easier on the eyes. And while I completely get the desire to go hands-free, is there any reason a fanny pack is better than a backpack? 

If I had tried to capture all the frump I encountered I would have burned through my memory card in a red hot minute. But I got a few choice snaps. Enjoy! 

Minnie's long lost sister, Frumpie.

This was something interesting I saw quite a lot...a mesh, waterproof bag being used as a purse. Perfect for snorkeling... but cruising around Disneyland? Maybe she was going to spend a lot of time on the submarine ride.

This is an example of too much effort being spent on entirely the wrong thing. I mean, this outfit is matching down to the trim on the pediped socks.

Oh yeah. If there's a uniform for moms at Disneyland, this is it. Jean shorts, bad perm, black sneakers and black socks. America, this is who's choosing your next president.