The Baby as Accessory: This Ridiculed Mom Didn’t Start It

Designers and stylists are now treating babies like the latest fashion trend, and mothers are imitating that behavior.

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Shona Carter-Brooks

 

Courtesy of Shona Carter-Brooks/Facebook

On one level, I can see how Shona Carter-Brooks got it twisted.

Carter-Brooks is the Tennessee bride who decided that the "something new" to include in her wedding-day wardrobe would be her 1-month-old daughter. So she fastened the infant in the folds of her bridal gown as if she was adding a tulle bow or a taffeta sash, and dragged her down the aisle.

She also preserved the moment on Facebook, where it went viral and where she wound up being vilified for possibly endangering her child and ridiculed for her tacky taste. Carter-Brooks' pathetic defense to the overwhelming criticism was a barely literate post about the baby being "covered by Christ," and about God being on their side.

Whatever.

Once you get past the ridiculousness of it all, as well as fears about what kind of future lies ahead for this baby if she has to live with other dubious judgment calls made by her mother, the truth is that Carter-Brooks is not that much different from others who decide to accessorize with babies.

Babies as props do, in fact, continue to be part of a trend.

Last year, for example, The Guardian featured an article that proclaimed babies as the latest fashion accessory

Among other things, it trumpeted Givenchy's campaign to include models clutching their naked babies while wearing the latest designs, and discussed how parenthood had caused more designers to be inclined to include babies in their shows and advertisements.

Other outlets have also noted that trend

Then there are the endless ads that feature designer baby slings and pouches—all ways to coordinate carrying the baby with the mother's ensemble. And even if Carter-Brooks never caught sight of designer baby ads, or shows with infants on the runway or designer baby slings, chances are she's aware of the celebrity baby-bump craze in which expectant celebrities grace the red carpet wearing fashions that emphasize their expanding girth.