Are You a Momshell?

Filed under: Beauty & Style

woman in heelsIt seems like every few months, somebody comes up with a new label for us parents. What started with Soccer Moms has evolved into an encyclopedia of terms designed to put us in our appropriate box. In the recent past, we've seen the rise of Hipster parents, who strive to pass on their alternative tastes to their offspring; the Mousewife, who combines her desire to be a stay-at-home-mom with her need to earn a few bucks; and now we have the Momshell.

Unlike some of those terms, the meaning of Momshell is pretty obvious -- a combination of mom and bombshell. But what is also different about that term is that, unlike the others, it is used to describe the way a mother looks -- not what she does. And while it is surely meant to be a compliment, there are those who worry that this focus on appearance is ultimately harmful to women. Being a good mother and raising happy, healthy children used to be a worthy goal in and of itself. Now it seems that if we don't look amazing while we do it, we are somehow failing.

You may be secure enough to not feel any pressure to compete with the Momshells in your life, but the same cannot be said for the thousands of women who are auditioning for a new reality show called Hottest Mom in America. Maybe those moms are in it for the $25,000 college money prize, but I am sure the one free year of Restylane treatment is also a big draw.
I think a woman who takes care of herself is a great thing, whether she's a mother or not. But in my experience, modern mothers are much more competitive than they were back when I was a child. Had the term been in use then, my mother would have been considered a Momshell. She exercised on a regular basis and was always perfectly turned out and groomed. The difference between my mother's attention to her appearance and many moms today is simply a matter of who they are looking good for. My mom did it for her own self-esteem, not to win a contest or be recognized and admired by her peers.

Hot mamas are nothing new. For every mother who leaves the house in sweats and no makeup, there has always been the mom who dresses up as if someone might want to take her picture while she's out. What is new is the term itself. And perhaps the pressure to live up to it.

Is the Momshell label harmful to moms, or does it inspire us to get out of the sweats and put on some makeup?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.