Friday, February 25, 2011

Women who ARE their Children

Thanks to CFVixen for forwarding me a link to a fabulous article by Katie Roiphe entitled Get Your Kid Off Your Facebook Page: Why do Women Hide Behind their Children? Katie addresses the disturbing trend of women using their childrens' pictures as their profile pictures, thus (in a way) sending the message that their identities are their childrens'. This is a smart and thought-provoking article about how women are taking a step backward and undoing many of the gains that have been made by living through their children.

21 comments:

Rebecca said...

How interesting that the same author also wrote an article called "My Newborn is Like a Narcotic", a little over three months after the one you reference above.

http://www.doublex.com/section/kids-parenting/katie-roiphe-my-newborn-narcotic?page=0,0

Temujin said...

Uh oh. What does it mean that my Facebook photo is a photo of my cat?

This may be just my own middle-child axe to grind, but I'm guessing the vast majority of those babies are only children. I can guarantee you that the solo baby in the picture is not a middle child. Once the second one comes along, there are a lot fewer photos, fewer baby souvenirs, fewer updates, and two faces won't fit in the thumbnail space.

I also have the sense that many women have joined social networking sites BECAUSE they just became mothers or because their daughters just became mothers, so they need to enter into a system of constant updates.

Now that I think about it, I've noticed that men are much less likely to include another person in their Facebook photos unless they're newlyweds.

Tilley's Mum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Spectra said...

I know what you mean. I have a coworker who never talks about her own life; it's always what her kids are doing. How little Bratleigh is doing in volleyball, how her girls LOVE "Twilight" and Justin Bieber, etc. All of these things are not very interesting to me, which is a big part of why I don't want kids. The idea of having to watch kid and teen-focused television shows and listen to teenybop music all day makes me want to stab my eyeballs out.

Childfreeeee said...

Rebecca..that is downright creepy!

Childfreeeee said...

I wrote about this before but another thing people do that is along the same lines is to send out holiday cards that have a family photograph on them, but the photo is only of the kids - the adults are missing. It's as though the adults' identities have been supplanted.

Todd said...

Just another sad incarnation of one of the chief reasons people have kids in the first place: eternal youth by proxy. What better incantation against the Reaper than the deafening pitter-patter of an army of Mini-Mes?

Memento mori. :)

Catherine said...

I've been thinking this for ages now and am so sick of it. At one point, a friend of mine actually made the observation herself, when the baby was about 9 months when she put in a picture of herself and then captioned it with "I just realized this is the first picture of me since Bella was born!" I wanted to respond with the obvious, DUH because your life is the damn baby, but I restrained myself, as usual...

Gumby said...

Oh I hate that! (Both the FB and Xmas card things.) If you're going to do a "family" photo card, make it an actual photo of your FAMILY!

Diana said...

Oh yes! That annoys me so much when women do that! One of them even had their scan thing on it throughout their whole pregnancy. I mean, really....

Dave said...

No Facebook for me. Just elated to know what I am missing LOL!

Shal said...

I have also been subjected to profile pictures of ultra sounds and children. When I search for friends on Facebook, I would like to see a picture of them! If I want to see their children, I will look through their photo albums. I also get xmas cards that are just kids. ANNOYING!!!

Elizabeth said...

The new thing we are encountering is people signing e-mails and cards with a name using the first letters of the parents and childrens names. It seems a little cult-like to us - how will these kids develope any sense of self?

Hiliary said...

I want to be with the men in the other room talking about news and politics and drinking brandy! They are surely more interesting!

I've observed that men NEVER talk non-stop about their kids! In fact, when I meet someone - whether professionally or personally - MEN never bring up the subject of their reproductive status in the first 5 minutes like women do. It is so offputting because it's clear to me that these women see motherhood as the most important -- and perhaps, only -- aspect in their life and they rarely have other interests worth discussing (books, movies, news, etc.) let alone having time to join you for an activity.

Wix said...

I don't see the need to put your kids anywhere on facebook at all. Mail or even e-mail pictures to people who actually matter, everyone else can bugger off.

Putting them as YOUR picture is indeed disturbing, the trend starts from the ultrasound on. It really seems like they're milking that social trump card from day 1:
"What do you do?/who are you/etc"
"I AM *whoever*'s MOTHER OR FATHER!!!"

Catherine said...

What about the Facebook profile picture of the peed on stick from the positive pregnancy test? That's my favorite, because nothing says more about "me" than a piece of cotton saturated with urine!!

RichM said...

Or the women who use a black and white photo of a girl as their profile picture, causing one to wonder "is that you or one of your daughters?"

I've only seen one male do something similar.

Regaining my self image said...

I have my dog as my profile picture sometimes!! LOL

TLO said...

Oy, vey, it totally is eternal youth by proxy, Todd! So with you on that one, as I often say that most parents essentially just want to BE their kids. I guess I must have a very old soul, as I have no desire to return to my youth in that manner. ;)
The ultrasound photos-as-profile pics freak me out the post. They are uber-creepy and it is just downright BIZARRE that a woman wants to put herself out there as a fetus.
Oh, and the other fun thing is when a "friend" updates her status to read: "Annie X is: knocked up!" I almost gagged when I saw this as a former co-worker's status a couple of years ago.
Let's just say that these things, together with the rather absurd melodrama of Facebook, have caused me to delete my account forever. I have been Facebook-free since September 2010! :)

seltzermint said...

This is a phenomenon I've often pondered! It makes me giggle though that one of my Facebook friends has a profile pic of herself and her preteen daughter with the daughter "cut out" so the mom is the focus. I actually like that. It is not the daughter's Facebook after all!

Many of my old friends send out Christmas cards with just their children on them. When this happens, I assume one or both parents have put on lots of weight. LOL

Jeff Miller said...

Wow, there are some really sensitive ladies on here! YOUR F/b page is YOUR page, not your kids. You are not your kids. Make them their own page if you like, but your page is yours. If you don't like you, don't use your children to distract the world from your own discomfort, just turn your page off.