Behold Baby Couture, the snotty new magazine with the slogan, "We put the 'coo' in couture." Poor, poor rich mommies! They've always wanted a publication they can call their own, that's filled with overpriced items perfect for pampering their spawn — and clearly not for mere commoners who shop at Babies R Us. Baby Couture delivers. I've got no kids of my own, so I asked Pamela Paul, mother-of-two and author of the new book Parenting, Inc.: How We Are Sold on $800 Strollers, Fetal Education, Baby Sign Language, Sleeping Coaches, Toddler Couture, and Diaper Wipe Warmers — and What It Means for Our Children for some insight. After the jump, Pamela and I give gut-reaction impressions to pages of the magazine.
Dodai: I just wanted to point out that their slogan is not a joke. It's very very real.
Dodai: The Editor's letter begins, "I am what I've coined a 'serial miserablist.'" I stopped reading after that.
Pamela: "Miserabilist," "nitpicking about my body," people with "an ugly core," "an attack of gastritis." Um, isn't this supposed to be a fun magazine about kiddie clothes?
Dodai: This swingset looks great, huh? It's all natural, made from white cedar. And it rings up at an affordable $21,850.
Pamela: Just what you need when the local playground is crawling with untold numbers of germs and the unwashed masses of neighborhood toddlers.
Dodai: $648 worth of furniture for kids never looked so depressing. To hell with the planet: Bring on the bright plastic chairs! Kidding. Sort of.
Pamela: The designer baby furniture world is still mired in mid-century modern, which seems so 2005 now. My favorite is the abstract, minimalist rocking horse, oddly not featured here. It looks more like an abdominizer than a toy.
Dodai: The stroller on the left is $400; the stroller on the right is $759. As far as I can tell, neither are guaranteed to keep a kid from screaming his head off in the grocery store.
Pamela: The one on the right has its own catalog, filled with photos of hipster parents and nary a child in sight. It's all about us.
Dodai: Really? Parents want their infants dressed like Rod Stewart's baby? Really?
Pamela: Is this child from Rod's third or fourth batch? Fifth?!
Dodai: Ah, child models. One can almost smell the ennui from here.
Pamela: I am fairly certain I spot eye shadow. To think I waited until 8th grade before breaking into Ultima II.
Dodai: The feature story, "A Perfect World," is an interview and photo shoot with covermommy Christine Costner and son Cayden. It is TEN PAGES LONG. If I'd had the patience to read it I'm sure I would have found it fascinating.
Pamela: Cayden, Aiden, Braydon, Jayden. Will and Jada, look what you started! Please make this whole trend go away.
Dodai: Then again, maybe not.
Pamela: In this hard-hitting feature, Costner is described as "not just any actor," but "one of the world's most respected thespians." (Insert Native American whooping sounds here)
Dodai: Wow, Asian kids!
Pamela: Oh, parenting magazines love Asian babies. It's only when they get older that editors seem to decide they're "not cute" any more.
Dodai: Black kid! Redhead kid! Baby Couture is officially more diverse than Vogue.
Pamela: Working our collective nostalgia for 1986 Benetton.
Dodai: Saucy minx. She's totally going to tell all the kids in the sandbox she's a model.
Pamela: They'll rip off that bunny necklace in a flash. It's probably laced with lead anyway.
Dodai: Okay, enough already. I've officially reached baby overload. No. More. Thanks.
Pamela: Please tell me why this baby is wearing a shower cap. Oh, it's a bonnet. Doesn't make it any better.
Baby Couture Magazine [Baby Couture]
Related: Parenting, Inc.: How We Are Sold on $800 Strollers, Fetal Education, Baby Sign Language, Sleeping Coaches, Toddler Couture, and Diaper Wipe Warmers — and What It Means for Our Children
Pamela Paul's Website [PamelaPaul.com]