Thursday, October 4, 2012

Why Listen to Heidi Klum?

by Margaret Curtis, PhD

Stalking around the display of her wares on TV, supermodel Heidi Klum offers parents the nursery of HER dreams. She names her designs “Trulyscrumptious,” which sounds like an eclaire or Napoleon pastry, and advertises their availability at BabiesRUS. Why not call this exercise in arrogance by its true name—“Trulyobnoxious,” created for RidiculousRUS?

What babies need designer trappings in the room where they sleep, drool, and begin to aim for light sockets with tiny fingers? And stalking down a runway, as Heidi's gait demonstrates on camera, accomplishes no movements appropriate to Dad, Mom, or Kiddie in the ideal nursery. Mom and Dad come best equipped for this task—and grandparents, with mementos.

The tiny doll which Grandma made for Mom belongs on a high dresser. Dad’s and Mom’s recorded lullabies can out-perform Heidi any day or thundering night. The resident of that nursery heard her parents’ voices long before s/he kicked or screamed. Hearing them while parents confabulate together in another room reassures that child of their constant presence and protection.

What they need to protect that child from first of all is merciless commercialism. Swath that child in keepsakes—a favorite comforter, embroidered with images of family pets, or a cross-stitch masterpiece donated by Aunt Hilda, or Uncle Edward’s old army blanket. If that child is lucky, s/he will never forget these members of a particular and very specific human family.

What that child does not need—EVER—is the assumption from Day One that no fate better than becoming a smarmy stalking supermodel awaits in the future. Heidi’s dreams belong in Heidi’s closet. Let her bring them out to impress somebody else--not a child who dreams of Mommy and Daddy tiptoeing in barefoot to check if that child is covered, and kissing that sweet brow Good Night.  

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