Whenever I hear the term “sexy baby,” I think of cliché '80s music and mall bangs and Ray-Ban sunglasses. I don’t think of a baby at all. “Sexy baby” conjures up cheesy pop songs and leg warmers — no bibs, bottles or pacifiers in sight.
I think we can all agree that babies aren’t sexy. In fact, most people would shudder when asked such a direct question. “Do you think your baby is sexy?” Cue uncomfortable silence and how-dare-you death stare.
This is precisely why it is surprising to see the jokey term “sexy baby” thrown around by new parents and well-meaning relatives, especially on social media. Perhaps it’s a cutesy way to pay a new baby attention, but the effect is lost on me.
Babies are cute, not sexy, as one new mother describes so well. “I don’t know if I’m being too oversensitive but last week we went to my MIL place for Easter lunch and I had Paige in her Bonds jeans and a hoodie and my SIL was calling her ‘sexy.’ She kept on saying it and I felt a bit funny with this. By no means did I dress her up to be sexy, she was dressed trendy in jeans, so to me she looked cute, not sexy.”
Creepy comments on social media abound, according to another forum commenter, “I am fb friends with a girl I used to work with and she had a baby girl about a week after me. She always posts pics and says stuff like... ‘look at sexy Emily.’ Or ‘my baby all dressed up looking sexy.’ Um, is it just me or is that totally weird? It creeps me out every time I see it. Who the hell calls their baby sexy?”
Who the hell, indeed? I’m just going to say what we are all thinking. It’s wrong to call a baby sexy. While most guilty parents and relatives would call it a lighthearted joke, infants cannot and do not have sex appeal. There is nothing sexy about a baby. In fact, there are literally dozens of adjectives that you can use to describe a baby instead — adorable, sweet, gorgeous, beautiful, breathtaking, stunning — and the list goes on.
Calling a baby sexy is not a compliment. It is inappropriate, and it rightly makes most people uncomfortable. If you have a daughter, there’s plenty of time for her to be sexualized by our culture. Leave sex out of it for now.
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