Unifiable Infantile Hideousness: Is YOUR Baby Ugly?

This might not be news for the entirety of the human race, but not everybody can have a cute baby.  If I had to be honest, I would say that some babies are about as cute as a truck stop bathroom.  Further upsetting is how most parents seem to have this innate ability to believe that their child’s heinous appearance is actually one of considerable beauty.  If you’re the sort of person who is into prayer and is even considering having a child, pray for a sexy baby because you’ll never know if it’s ugly and nobody else is going to ever tell you.  In fact, most close friends and relatives will probably automatically assume your child is as cute as a button for the first few months.  I recently met a newborn conceived by two of my closest allies and I assumed it was adorable, but was it really?  Did I forfeit my objectivity because of some personal attachment I already had?  I can’t be sure, and that genuinely scares me.

The ratio of ugly babies to cute ones is about one in three and these unsightly babies seem to be evenly distributed around the world.  You would assume that most of them would be in orphanages and living on the street but they are just as likely to be kept by their parents as an attractive child, further proving my theories on parental blindness to infantile repugnancy.  That should not suggest that I completely endorse the abandonment of children, even if the abandonment is based on their level of attractiveness.  It just seems that, if parents were aware of how monstrously grotesque their offspring can be, a larger percentage of homely children would end up for sale somewhere.  That not being the case, I have to assume that looks are becoming less important in society or that people are just oblivious to their troll-like appearance.

Since I’m not about to suggest something crazy, like our culture no longer places a stigma on being severely unattractive, my single hypothesis for the reasons behind this phenomenon are directly tied to the very survival of our species.  If our genes make it impossible to identify ugliness in our offspring, that might have kept our ancestors from leaving their ghastly youngsters in the woods or dumping them into a river.  This would have been an invaluable trait for prehistoric humans and seems to explain some modern day parental behavior.  Every long and boring conversation you have ever had with a coworker about their children’s successes is the modern day equivalent to not letting them be devoured by wolves.  So, despite the obvious advantages this ability has given to our species, I ask that all parents try to be a little bit more objective when parading around their potentially monstrous-looking babies.

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52 Responses to Unifiable Infantile Hideousness: Is YOUR Baby Ugly?

  1. This is the second post today I’ve ready that references trolls…weird.

  2. I took an interest in several “I’m a parent, see my kid ” blogs. I soon unsubscribed. They are into themselves and their kid so much it makes me puke I am a father of Suspect #1 (29 now) and Suspect #2, (26 now) so I am not anti kid. But why in the world do they think anyone wants to read a moment to moment daily blog about their kid from poop to crayons? I’ve known junkies that were less consumed and directed by their dope than these parents are by their dopey kid. . Amazing.

    • ian says:

      it’s a plague that’s overwhelmed blogspot. it makes it so i don’t want to look at the next random blog. i know that a three year old is not posting up-to-the-microsecond details of their goings on, it’s not their fault, but i can’t help think of how far i might be able to punt their cute little bodies… and honestly, i like kids, especially when i can give them back. hell, i’m good at the smile-and-nod, so half the time people talk about their kids i’m not really listening; i could give a shit, but i won’t be a dick about it. but the fact that these parents are putting out all of this information about their kids on the open internet (as opposed to say, making a private blog to annoy the people that at least have some real personal relationship with the kid) just seems a bit off to me. what happens, if, someone this kid never met, watches them grow up, follows their life, and by chance meets this kid out at a mall? “hey, jimmy, still spitting up on your grandfather every time it’s his turn to babysit?” ‘ummm, who the hell are you, guy?!?’ “i’m a big fan. read every post, jimmy. can you spit up on me while my wife–jimmy meet my wife bonnie–takes our picture? here, jimmy, i’ve got some gerber peas, your favorite.” ‘gaddamnit, mom and dad, that blog is my life’s curse!’

      • Posky says:

        This is an unfortunate trend. The remedy is becoming slightly more self-aware. Remember, these people are cursed by their genes. Carl’s comparison to drug addicts seemed spot on, these people need an intervention.

  3. Ugly is in the eye of the beholder….I think. But I wouldn’t know because my babies were GORGEOUS!!

    • Posky says:

      Well, I’ve beheld a lot of ugly. If you want to post photos up of your children as babies, I will do my best to remain objective.

  4. I like the fine touches you put on the baby…like the wart on his shoulder. Nice. lol.

    • Posky says:

      I got scared twice while drawing it. I also got sick. That wart sealed the deal.

      • It just goes to show that you’re truly willing to go the extra mile to ensure a quality and accurate drawing. I’m sure that there are simply TONS of babies out there with warts on their shoulders that sprout tiny hairs…I’m sure of it.

      • Posky says:

        Gross… but I sort of hope so.

        Also, I’m very glad to hear that you appreciate and understand the sacrifices I make for my readership. I knew you were special.

  5. I’m crushed, Posky. Shattered even you might say. I imagined you to be as magically sensitive (and possibly pale) as Powder and then this. I admire your grasp of toddler aesthetics but I just wish I could go back to a simpler time when it never occurred to me that you might “go there” regarding ugly children.

    Seriously though, stepping away from Jokes ‘n’ Shit, USA: funny as hell.

    • Posky says:

      I’m sorry to have forever shattered your image of me. Please try to remember me as a whimsically gentle and hauntingly handsome ghost of man who just happens to also call for the abolishment of showcasing ugly babies.

  6. Cindy says:

    Bawling with laughter and I can’t share this with my work colleague as she is busy blabbing about her toddler’s early-morning cutisms …

  7. ian says:

    “It just seems that, if parents were aware of how monstrously grotesque their offspring can be, a larger percentage of homely children would end up for sale somewhere.”

    holy crap, that was funny! and to further support your conclusion from evidence given, i submit “oxytocin” as the primary cause of ugly-baby-blindness (UBB).

  8. Hilarious. Now Husband Dan and I have actually had discussions about this, especially when someone thrusts a Little Being into your line of vision and you feel complelled to say something other than, “Oh, I’m so sorry.” Since my three are now in their 30s, I subscribed to a couple mommy blogs to see what was going on with the younger generation. After awhile, I unsubscribed.

    • Posky says:

      A few of them are really great. A couple of my regular readers actually talk about their kids frequently and I usually enjoy the stories. However, I’ve also come across plenty of examples for these odd people who explain the minutia of their lives and go on this happy rants about their offspring. Loving your family is wonderful but nobody else cares if it isn’t an interesting story. These blogs are like a page long bumper-sticker about how they are still on the honor roll.

      I think I’m going to start making weird, but true, comments on blogs like that from now on.

      “If we were all big cats, I would probably eat your children.”

  9. audrey says:

    We’re genetically designed to think babies are ‘cute’ – large eyes, large head, small nose, small hands. There was a documentary about dogs and humans and they were saying that because dogs are, proportionately, similar to babies we have similar biological feelings to them.

    Weird! But totally explains why (thankfully) parental love is blind.

    On another note: let’s start a campaign to end baby-touting on the web. Seriously! If I had an online presence before I had the ability to go #2 in the potty I can’t even imagine what that would do to my sense of self-control. Yikes!

    • Posky says:

      I am for your campaign as well as cute dogs. Both seem like great concepts and I also saw that documentary. It’s wonderful.

    • the master says:

      The comedian Dara O Briain made a similar observation in his recent stand-up tour, and demonstrated it with a simple word association test.

      DOB: “Babies.”
      Audience: “Awwww!”
      DOB: “Puppies and kittens.”
      Audience: “AWWWWWW!”

      So there you go. A sizable chunk of the human population is predisposed to favouring the young of animals that, just a few thousand years ago, were our predators. How the hell did we ever make it to the top of the food chain?

  10. subWOW says:

    Babies look like monkeys. Seriously if you just think about how that big head was squeezed through a narrow canal and then POP out comes the monkey, or baby-monkey-looking babies. Doesn’t mean we as parents are not going to love them, but man, they look like wrinkled old men. Of course, doesn’t mean I don’t like old men either, I just don’t like those mean old ones or the ones that tried to grope me with shaky hands… Oh, where was I? I try not to lie and I try not to hurt people’s feelings, so often when presented with a newborn, I would immediately ask, Awwww. So tiny. Look at the cute little feet. Because tiny feet are ALWAYS cute. See? Not lying. Then if you ask them how the baby is sleeping, they will do all the talking, and you simply need to nod sympathetically while playing with the baby’s feet. You don’t even need to look at the baby’s monkey face.

    • Posky says:

      It sounds like you have a foot fetish.

      However, your methods of diversion and avoiding talking about how ugly a baby is ring true. That’s a clever and effective tactic.

  11. It’s true, we need less blogs that are all “Welcome to Smashed Peas on My Floor”. Please, DO NOT welcome me. I’ve already left.

  12. Asian Dyna says:

    Whatever spell these parents have are usually passed on to me because I would always agree with them:
    Troll parent: “Look at my baby. Ain’t she cute?”
    Me: “Yes, she’s lovely.”
    And never reply this way:
    Troll parent: “Look at my baby. Ain’t she cute?”
    Me: “Of course not! She’s hideous!”

  13. Thank you–this needed to be said.

    • Posky says:

      I don’t think it’s news, I just wish we could do something about it.

      However, slam-dunking an ugly baby into the garbage is going a little far. I can’t believe you would suggest such a thing.

  14. James Taylor says:

    Once per month, a group rents out the smaller conference room at the hotel I manage and they hold a workshop on blogging. Most of the people who attend either talk about their babies/children or copy other people’s ideas and hope it will get them published (at least six women last year all wanted to make every recipe Julia Child has ever published and then write on it. Woof.)

    I had to fire a member of the waitstaff because they called a woman’s child “quite ugly.” We all lost our minds and were in hysterics, but I don’t want to lose business. All for the dollar, right?

  15. Byron Mosley says:

    Something about putting your children online just kind of weirds me out, but then again, I don’t have any kids, so…

    I wonder if parents would be so quick to post pictures of their children on Facebook if they knew that Facebook reserved the right to use (and I think sell, too) any of the pictures you post.

  16. David says:

    As I await the imminent birth of my first grandchild, I recall the defective heart of my second born, now deceased some 17 years, afflicted with Down Syndrome, he was, I must say, a darn cute baby. Defective, but beautiful. Even in the ICU with tubes and wires coming out of his chest.

    I still think your cartoon is hilarious, and there are a couple of mommy blogs I like, but mostly because the mommy is hot. Is something wrong with me? If yes, then too bad. Ugliness is in the eye of the beholder.

    I guess that’s all I have to say for now. :)

  17. 36x37 says:

    Here’s what I don’t understand: How absolutely gorgeous children can turn into unspeakably ugly adults. Just look at Prince William.

    I read once that most kids look like their fathers in their early years. It’s Mother Nature’s way of proving paternity, and of helping fathers remember not to eat or abandon their offspring.

    Ah, science.

  18. nrhatch says:

    Great post . . .

    You say, “most close friends and relatives will probably automatically assume your child is as cute as a button for the first few months.” Not always.

    * My maternal grandmother took one look at my younger brother (who is now quite handsome) and said to her sister (out of my mom’s earshot), “My, what an ugly baby.” My Great Aunt told me the story on her death bed, so I know it’s true.

    * Close friends had a daughter (who is GORGEOUS now). I took one look at her and gulped. I could not bring myself to say, “Isn’t she beautiful!” I just did not have it in me. By 6 mos. of age, she was well on her way to becoming a true beauty. But it was touch and go at birth.

    * When we debated having kids, fear of having an ugly baby caused us to remain child free. It just seemed too much of a gamble.

    What? We’re shallow. Sue us. ;)

  19. afrankangle says:

    Good perspective about reality of people. Made me think of this classic Seinfeld bit.

  20. Dr. Cynicism says:

    Actually, the reverse is quite sad. I have some friends that openly admit their baby is fugly – it’s very very sad. I almost wish they’d just pretend it was super cute and everyone could go about their usual business of deception and awkwardness.

  21. A few months ago, in a grocery store, I saw a young couple admiring their baby in their cart. As I drew closer to them, I thought to myself, “my God, that baby’s ugly.” The proud father must have read my mind, because he suddenly lifted his head and looked at me, still half-smiling, but as if someone had slapped him a little. All babies have cute ways, but some are just plain scary. I love your cat lady diaries; I hope she ends up finding someone, getting rid of all but one cat, and farting in public a lot more. I’m afraid, though, that she will get even more cats, be stuck in the 80s forever, reading Sue Grafton mysteries that are stuck in the 80s forever–you know the ones: “A is for crappy mystery book,” “B is for crappy mystery book,”……. Keep up the good work.

  22. I do think all babies are cute. But don’t shoot me yet! When I’m looking at a cute baby, I’m thinking to myself that the kid will probably grow up into an ugly creature. But at present, thanks to its tininess, it’s still cute. I do know one mom, a close friend, who said the first time she saw her kid, she said to herself, “He looks weird.” I think you’ll like her.

    I promise that when the husband and I finally make a kid, my blog won’t be all about “what my cutie pie did today”.

  23. bmj2k says:

    I argue this all the time. Yes, some babies are ugly. Hideous! And then even if people agree that they are ugly, they come back with “but that is what makes them cute.” No, that is what makes them ugly!

  24. Tammy Campbell says:

    Read Raymond Carver’s “Feathers” for an hysterically funny tale about an ugly baby and his best friend,a peacock. Crooked teeth and homemade bread also figure into this delightfully odd short story.

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