Let me start this by saying I’m not anti-formula or the people who use it. Some of the best women I know used formula. I was fed formula. While I’m a breastfeeding mom, I’m not the “breastfeeding police” or what I would be more accurately called although not PC a “breastfeeding nazi”. What I am, is confused as to why everyone, especially those breastfeeding and really those non-mainstream in general find the Similac commercial so awesome.
Here’s what Similac wants. They want people to share that commercial (and yes, it’s a commercial). What’s the message behind their commercial? “Don’t judge other parents, because we’re all great parents” and for that I applaud them. That is SO true. But there is also an underlying message here, especially for them, and it’s keep quiet because all this talk about alternative methods is affecting our profit margins.
All that aside let’s start with the featured image. When shared the image most often generated is this one:
Angry covered up breastfeeding moms. Since a formula company is behind this video, this is pretty significant. Now onto the video. The very first line uttered by a mom bottle feeding is “Oh look, the breast police have arrived”.
Please note that them calling the breastfeeding moms “the breast police” while an insult to some isn’t really being MEAN or bullying the breastfeeding moms. Because they’re calling them a name based on their perception of the regulation of other people’s breast so it’s more reflective of the breastfeeding mom than of the formula mom.
It then cuts to the breastfeeding moms, who by the way are conveniently covered up saying “100% Breastfed, straight from the source”. Why conveniently? Because then there is no need to say the breastfeeding mom’s side of the Mommy War which is often: “EW COVER UP!” or “Can’t you do that at home?!”
After that it cuts to a “natural birth mom” scene who points out that she had an all natural birth “assisted by dolphins” which while you can actually do is an extreme of natural birth mom and quite mocking. Another group of mothers then says “You push, we cuddle” once again not showing the non-mainstream mama’s side of the story. And in this Mommy War the response is often “You don’t get a medal”.
Another scene depicts a mom saying “oh disposable diaper, apparently we don’t care about the environment”. Which isn’t an insult to the non mainstream practice of cloth diapering but instead a repetition of an insult cloth diaper users apparently hurl at disposable diaper users (which by the way, is me).
In another scene the natural birth mom, who also happens to be a stay at home hurls what is probably the most offensive comment to a working mom “How does it feel to be a part time mom?” In all fairness this scene is probably one of the most accurate descriptions of the mommy wars since the working mom responds back that they probably spend all day getting mani-pedis.
Back to the breastfeeding moms who say “Looks like some moms are too lazy to breastfeed”. How does the formula moms respond? “Looks like someone came nipples blazing”. But is that really what goes on and is said during debates like these? Does the breastfeeding mom hurl insults and make a formula mom feel insufficient while all the formula mom does is say things like “nipples blazing”? In my experience that is not the case.
The dads get in on the breastfeeding debate too. They argue back and forth starting with “It’s not all about the breast”, other dads say “yea it is” and it ends with “No it’s not”. This is marketing and a gentle reminder from Similac that it’s NOT all about the breast!
The end I think is what blinds everyone because it’s TRUE! When something bad happens we all come together and parenting ideals and styles go out the window, as they should. There are many groups I’m involved in where we’re all very different but always come together in the end, good or bad! But does this video really show that? Or is it yet another marketing ploy?
Considering the one-sided interpretation of Mommy Wars, I’m going with marketing ploy.
A friend of mine shared this blog and I am going to just repost what I said to her: Honestly, I think it quite accurately represents the mommy wars and refreshingly makes fun of them and the people who buy into it. Yes it is totally marketing a product, but the best marketing uses truth to it’s advantage in a comical way. Because make no mistake, the things said in the commercial have absolutely been said to people, as I have seen most if not ALL of them. Shoot, I, and others, were continually harassed on an iVillage message board by this woman and her friends because we formula fed (I cloth diapered but she also went after people who used disposables). Shoot, she actually said we should have our children removed from our care because of it! Not even joking. How is that helpful for a first time mom trying to navigate having a child?
The thing is this: I have a 15 year old now and I realize that all that stuff matters not. It makes no difference in the long run what feeding practice you use or what diaper you use or if you put them in a stroller or a sling or if you were a SAHM/WOHM. It really doesn’t. So looking down on someone else because of their choices only makes you look like a fool, ykwim? What matters is how good of a parent you are, being there for them, loving them, encouraging them, nurturing them, helping them grow to be the best person they can be. If you are going to hinge the entirety of your success as a parent on whether or not you did any of these things, you are going to end up in a very bad position down the road.
Christa Marie says
My point, was that it’s a marketing ploy and not realistic of the Mommy Wars. At the very least it doesn’t show both sides of the Mommy wars especially as it concerns Breastfeeding/Formula Feeding. It may for some formula moms be an accurate description of their experience but it is in no way an accurate description of a breastfeeding Mom’s “side” in the Mommy war. If it showed both sides there would have been a lot more not so nice things uttered by the formula moms.
But, it was done this way on purpose because ultimately it makes Similac/formula look good. It’s a marketing ploy.
Gabi Pezo says
standing ovation! 🙂
Julie Houston says
some good insights, thanks for sharing! Ah, corporate america at it's finest… fairly nauseating actually to see so many mamas share this on FB and think that the fact that it's a formula commercial doesn't even matter – that's the whole point!! yuck.
I agree that it is a marketing ploy- never the less I find the stereotypes hilarious… now that you mention it though, I would have liked to see more of the formula moms saying the hurtful stuff we breastfeeding moms hear all the time- its of course subtly one sided because they are selling a product, they certainly don’t want to make thier customers look mean too!
Overall I like the message though I think they should have had a kid fall from the jungle gym cause obviously the mom who lets her buggy fall down the hill is a terrible neglectful parent (LMAO- said in jest!)
Patricia Rhodes says
This is by far the most awesome and accurate review of the video that I have read.