These days it seems like Hollywood propagates the image of the instantly svelte and hip new mom. In celebrity, even older moms come out of pregnancy after only a few months allegedly looking and feeling better then ever.
Given the media hard sell on perfectly packaged mommies, I’d like to redefine the word hip for all us mere mortals. The dictionary definition states that “Hip” is a slang term meaning “aware and influenced by the latest fashions in clothes, music or ideas; stylish”.
All women react differently to pregnancy and burgeoning motherhood. However, I would characterize the average new mom as someone who is finding it really hard to feel “hip” - in the traditional sense of the word. Whether you’re a working or a stay-at-home mom, most women will tell you that having a baby changes their identity by making them a lot less focused on themselves. You’ve been given this tiny, vulnerable human to care for. Now that everything revolves around them it is harder to focus on what is in vogue. Applying the principles of “hip-ness” into ones life simply cannot be accomplished in as intimate a way as before. No matter how fashionable we look to the outside world, all new moms know how difficult it is to stay à la mode.
I think the dirty little secret in Tinsel Town is that the media has created a smoke and mirror effect that makes celebrity moms look like they achieved a flawless transition into motherhood. Their babies are viewed as their newest, most darling accessories. Sinewy stars sport their progeny or adopted “mini me”s like the latest, most coveted Fendi embellished 'Spy' bag. Let’s not forget that most celebrities won’t admit that they have expensive personal trainers, chefs and stylists to help them get back into tip-top shape. They also don’t have to worry about paying the bills, affording a nanny or taking years off from serious work to adjust to their new lifestyle. In the book, “Down Came the Rain”, Brooke Shields used her celebrity status to bring a human face to this very complex rite of passage. She confirmed that even beautiful, stylish celebrities need time to normalize and ease into parenthood.
For the average new mom who is struggling with a newly defined identity, we are forced for the first time to look at the bigger picture. We do this by redefining how we embrace the hip quotient in our lives. As we turn our attention away from ourselves we see for the first time two worlds colliding: style & function. We trade in our high-heeled Jimmy Choos for a pair of Cushy Simple sandals. When deciding on the next hippest neighborhood to live in we consider the best school districts or how close we’ll be to the park instead of how many exciting venues are nearby. We hope that our better judgment will lead us in the right direction and that the fashion gods will smile upon us. This is because we fear that losing the edge we once had of being hip (before baby) is a slippery slope to becoming a soccer mom or a house frump. When deciding which of the latest idea trends will influence our life, we now focus more on the practical, educational and ethical value. I consider myself fairly literate on the latest pop culture trends. As a self-confessed reality show junky, I know I’ll probably have to cut back on my viewing before my son gets old enough to realize how mindless it is! The one good thing that the media has helped mold via certain celebrity is the new wave of trends toward charity and eco-sensitive alternatives.
Today, when I see a stylish new mom walking down the street I admire her spirit. The unspoken alliance of new motherhood has given me insight into just how tricky it is to juggle dirty diapers, grumpy babies and post-natal pudge and still look fabulous. Real moms have redefined what is fashionable in design and culture. Their style principle is now marked by esthetic function, comfort and integrity. Clearly that is the sexiest way to be hip.
WELCOME TO HIP SLOPE MAMA
A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!