Monday, August 9, 2010

The Insecurity Blanket

There is coin to be made.
You just need to make a mom feel insecure enough to open her wallet.
It’s not so hard. Use her hormones to your advantage. The last five pounds of baby weight. Those ratty jeans. The perma-ponytail. A transitioning self-image combined with sheer exhaustion make it an easy sell for you.
And who are you? Why, you’re America, of course! And you have a new best friend.
The Momshell.
Also known as the Hot Mom.
Sometimes called the M.I.L.F.
It’s not a new concept, but it’s a growing concept. And it’s intriguing and distasteful and utterly ingenious.
At first glance, the theory resonates wonderfully: moms need to make time for themselves. When you look good, you feel good and you’re a better wife and mother. Having a child doesn’t need to equal a decline of hygiene! There’s no need to wallow in sweat pants when you could be the epitome of maternal chic!
  Heidi Klum, for example. Strutting the cat walk a mere two hours after giving birth to her 17th child, she’s a savvy business-woman, a loving mother, and she reeks of sex and elegance. Even outside Hollywood, the momshell abounds. There’s Michelle Obama – our organic-eating, garden-growing, modern-day Jackie O. Then let’s take a peek inside the wives’ locker room of an NHL team…coiffed and sleek with brats equally coiffed and sleek. And let us not forget “Stacy’s Mom.” A classic momshell if there ever was one.
Heidi Klum's Body of Knowledge: 8 Rules of Model Behavior (to Help You Take Off on the Runway of Life) That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in BetweenAngelina Jolie: Portrait of a Superstar Rolling Stone Magazine Jessica Alba Cover Poster 9740Michelle Obama: Mom-in-Chief
I’ve been watching the momshell movement with mild interest, never really paying it much attention until my sister forwarded me an article on the subject. And then it suddenly dawned on me that our country has beenMOMSHELLACKED. It’s seeped into our subconscious and while the rhetoric sounds positive, I have been ignoring the mounting negative. Which is mainly that it’s a MASSIVE MONEY-MAKING SCHEME that preys on the insecurities of motherhood.
In fact, my disgust with the momshell moniker can be summed up by the title of the upcoming book, “From Mousewife to Momshell: The Rules and Celebrity Secrets for Being a Thinner, Younger and Sexier Mom.”
Thinner. Younger. Sexier. Sweet Jesus.
You just know that book is going to be a NY Times Bestseller.
The article goes on to discuss how being a hot mom comes down to disposable income. If you’ve got the money, then you can get the personal trainer, the “skin care, makeup, hair color and clothing.” And let’s not forget the onesie for your baby that says, “Don’t you wish your mommy was hot like mine?” It’s a socio-economic thing.
And just when I feel that I’m way too unfashionable to even be reading this article, several mothers step up and ask whether the momshell trend is “about empowering women or peddling pricey products.” Yes! And how bending the traditional stereotype of a mom is a good thing, but gets murky “when society starts viewing ‘regular moms’ as frumpy, mousey or inferior.” Yes, yes!
I mean, what the hell is wrong with wearing workout clothes seven days a week?
So this article was a bit of a wakeup call for me. I was aspiring to be a momshell and didn’t even know it. To lose the baby weight, to look fabulous at the office Christmas party, to create the appearance that you run yourself and your household with complete ease. To look thinner. Younger. Sexier. The pressure is there.
But when I actually sat down and thought about it, it wasn’t anything material that makes me feel like a hot mom. It’s the 30 minutes that I spend on the treadmill. It’s a LONG, hot shower - water bill be damned. It’s Friday night when I come out of the bedroom looking like shit and my husband has set the table, lit the candles and prepared a delicious dinner. ( Which has never happened but He is still in training. He will clean to impress me and I feel sexy when the house is clean :)It’s when I make time for myself – not for Botox or shoes – to feel rested and strong and confident.
What about you? What makes you feel like a momshell?
Hopefully it’s not a pair of Jimmy Choos, because then I’d have to send your kid a picture of my kid in her new T- Shirt. The one that says, “My mommy can kick your mommy’s thinner, younger, sexier ass.


  1. Amber, I love this post. You are so right on. Although I am not a mom, I already feel the pressure to stay fit now and all the way through trying to have a baby and being pregnant. Then you add into the mix of being competitive with all the other bitches out there? UGH. People can get very catty and want to try to "keep up with the Jones'" but what is important is what you feel inside.

    I always feel the most beautiful in a cute pair of PJ's from target, eating pei wei and drinking wine on movie night.

  2. We need a movie night!
    My sexy is all about shoes! It makes me no difference what's on top!

  3. Very well written, Amber! I take pride in the fact that I never hesitate to get down on the floor with my child to get on his level and get dirty for fear of splitting a pair of too tight boutique jeans in half or messing up a fresh manicure or pedicure. I actually have had friends cancel play-dates on days that they have gotten their hair done and are trying to salvage it for date night later that evening. I can hardly catch my little runner in a great pair of tennis shoes, so I know it would be borderline hazardous if I had to chase him down in heels. About the only thing you can count on with me is that about %90 of the time I have my hair back in a ponytail, dressed in work- out clothes, without any make up on my face! I know I can only speak for myself, but there is nothing my husband finds sexier than a wife who can be found interacting with his son and not out wasting away his hard earned money on getting "MOMIFIED". Yes, I said it (and not because it is close to Halloween), but most of those hot moms would look more alive and real if they were dressed up as Mummies. You have to wonder just exactly who they are working so hard at to impress???


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