A pretty mom is a better mom? Darn SB16 & Unilever (any CCV folks w/Unilever?)

You know – has anyone realized that if strip clubs shutdown, Suave and Unilever (yes, that’s the right link – the Hot Moms Club is part of Suave’s appeal to the pretty mommy in all of us, GAWD; don’t get too excited though – the anthem, The Hot Mom’s Song – is sung by…a man) stand to make kaboodles of dough on the backs of mothers whom fathers will now expect to replace the unrealistic, stretch-markless, plasticized figures of exotic dancers? And I thought that men didn’t want their pretty mommies to be hot mommies too – that they had a real psycho problem with that?


Check out Suave’s Pretty Mommy Pledge:

What is that? Stuart Smalley for the mother whose husband has no strip club to go to anymore?

How about a pledge called, “I’ll be nice to the mother of my children no matter what she looks like because she gives her time and energy to trying to raise our kids in a way I never could and don’t want to”?


Hattip to Two Knives, a truly wonderfully written blog with just the right amount of reality and sarcasm and intelligence. I found it by accident because she tagged me for a meme, I think through the 2KBloggers thing – is that right? I forget now.

But in any case, this quote from a 9/06 NYT article on the Pretty Mommy campaign by Suave is the clinker, although I guess Suave/Ogilvy thinks it’s the cincher:

“There seems to be this feeling in the culture that moms must be martyrs, that their lives have to be all about their kids,’’ Ms. Charlton-Perrin said. “But the beautiful woman inside that mom is still dying to get out. So we’re saying, ‘A pretty mommy is a better mommy.’ ’’

Oh my effing goodness. So moms who who do decide to make their lives all about their kids – they aren’t pretty and have no chance of being pretty?

So much for that thing about making the media stop fostering the Mommy Wars.

Let me set a few things out here:

1. I’ve been called an MILF, while in my 40s, more than enough times to know that Suave products have ZERO to do with how hot I am. Okay – that might go to the desperation of the men telling me that, but you know – at nearly 45, it’s enough proof of hotness for me.

2. I use Dove but that’s because my cousin who is a dermatologist tells me to.

3. I’m not crusading against the closure OR the opening of strip clubs. I’ve been to strip clubs. I’ve gotten depressed at strip clubs. But I’m not crusading for or against them. I just want the UNDERLYING PROBLEMS THAT FEED THEIR EXISTENCE to be addressed.

4. Making men and women think that women should think that a pretty mommy is a better mommy is one way to reinforce the worst possible expectations (your children come first, no, wait, your husband comes first, no wait – what you look like comes first, no wait – all these things must be attained at the same time) that women could be told to carry around and men could be told to expect from women. Why? Because it’s based on appearances only. I much prefer The REAL Hot 100 idea of what’s hot.

5. Whatever happened to the “I love you just the way you are” and “you ain’t a beauty but girl you’re alright” and “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” mantras?

In a culture that has been able to recognize the health in storylines like those on Ugly Betty, we need to stand up and say that a better mommy is whatever the mom in question feels is an improvement in how she’s doing, and stop looking to corporate consumer neediness as a source for figuring out who we are or what we want to be.

4 thoughts on “A pretty mom is a better mom? Darn SB16 & Unilever (any CCV folks w/Unilever?)

  1. Thanks Two – you are most welcome. And now, you won’t believe this! But I got my regular mailing of the ezine, Literary Mama today and guess what!? They have a mothers telling stories essay contest/submission thing – connected to Suave!!! I am SO disappointed – and I wouldn’t have been able to put in context without your posts (I get your blog through my RSS!!).I’m saving it to post about later today or tonight – but if you go to literarymama.com you will probably find it. It’s called “In the Motherhood Scriptwriting Contest.”UGH.

  2. Why, thank you for the very nice compliment! I don’t remember how we got hooked up, but I know that I really liked your blog name.I hadn’t seen that pretty mommy pledge yet. Good god.

  3. Thanks, Terry. Great commentary – totally with you on the 1) would never say it about dads and 2) if you’re not pretty or keeping yourself pretty, you’re a lousy mom – the implied opposite.I’d say that I at least respect the craftiness of the marketing folks if I could also say that I despise the corporations who pay for and then use those crafty PR ploys. I just don’t know what to make of it anymore.

  4. The correlary to that reasoning is that I’m not pretty, therefore I must be a bad mother. How’s that for pressure? You must be attractive, for your kids’ sake. Silly me, spending 25 years quietly teaching, listening, guiding, encouraging and expecting them to think for themselves when I could have done better by my kids if I had gone for a facial once a week. At 47, maybe a little cosmetic surgery would make my teens listen to me more. It’s a downward spiral.The last thing mothers need is more guilt, and to throw our looks into the mix is horrible. I bet they wouldn’t dare market a product saying “A handsome dad is a better dad.” Only women are held to that standard.Thanks for giving me another reason not to buy Dove. 🙂

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