Friday, October 1, 2010

Babies As Accessories

Julia Roberts is rumored to be next in line to purchase a third-world baby. In her case, India will be the fortunate place that will have this insanely rich person come to select a baby to buy. This whole practice of rich white women scavenging the world for yet another black or brown human toy is beyond disgusting. It is based on a deep colonial conviction that Africa and Asia are there to be exploited by affluent white people in any way they can think of.

There is, however, another side to this problem. Lately, having a baby to drag around and show off has become a sort of a job requirement for all sorts of celebrities. Babies are now marketed as the most fashionable accessories one can possibly possess. Any aspiring starlet only has to start surrounding herself with endless babies to attract media attention and get tabloids to follow her and the poor babies who hardly enjoy being used as props. Of course, a child is only useful in its infancy. Babies are cute and cuddly. They make the woman dragging them around look more youthful. As they grow up, however, they become a lot more dispensable. Nobody wants to market themselves as a parent of a teenager. That would make you look old, and what can be scarier for a celebrity? So an endless supply of newborns is needed. How lucky for Roberts and Co that there are entire continents out there where babies can be procured cheaply and easily. They can keep pretending to be young and fashionable until the day the die.

I agree completely with Jonathan Franzen when he points out that nowhere is the resounding ideological victory won by the Republicans as evident as in this unhealthy obsession with babies. What is especially disgusting is that under the guise of the so-called "family values" people engage in such completely irresponsible and exploitative practices.

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