'Perfect Mums' - do you feel the pressure?
This post was created in association with Baby Dove.
If somebody said define the ‘Perfect Mum’, how would you describe her? Composed, confident, fair, big green eyes, flawless skin and impeccable hair?
Would she look just like the eerily flawless image featured in the new Baby Dove ad, which was revealed at Waterloo with the question: ‘Is there a perfect mum?’
The advertisement got people talking and today, Baby Dove, is revealing that the image of the mum isn’t actually a real mum! She isn’t even a real person.
Baby Dove created “her” by doing something pretty cool. They gathered together thousands of images of mums as portrayed by advertisements, social media and newspapers and magazines then used the latest Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to create a new, unique image.
Baby Dove performed the “Perfect Mum” experiment after conducting research with 3,000 first-time mums in the UK. The results of their research were shocking. Nearly nine out of ten first-time mums (88%) feel the pressure to be perfect, where media representation of motherhood in magazines and newspapers (47%) is the biggest contributor to this pressure, followed by images on social sites, such as Facebook and Instagram (33%) and celebrity mums (28%).
By creating a the “Perfect Mum” image they wanted to shine a light on a real issue in society: images of perfect parenting are denting mum’s confidence to be herself.
Let’s be honest, motherhood is extremely difficult. Not just the long sleepless nights and the mountains of washing but also the immense pressure from society on first-time mums. For their pre-pregnancy bodies to re-appear overnight, to become these ‘perfect’ mums and to have memorised every single parenting book on the shelves and immediately know what her baby wants and needs.
We’re so often comparing our own lives to pictures we see on our Instagram feeds, the photos that have been edited, angled to perfection and only showing the highlights. We feel this immense sense of guilt that we must be doing something wrong if these celebrity mums aren’t having the same rubbish days that we do. We always seem to want what they have which leads us to think the grass is always greener on the other side. When in reality, it’s not often the case.
It’s so easy to say ‘don’t follow the herd’, but the implementation of that is much more difficult, especially when motherhood can be a lonely journey, being homebound with a new baby, you do reach for your phone and scroll through social media. Which leads to wondering why your baby doesn’t sleep as peacefully as that celebrity baby, why your baby doesn’t dress as cute as that mummy blogger’s baby, how does that mum not have dark circles and what exercises did they do to get rid of their mum tum overnight. So many things shown on social media making us normal mum’s feel rubbish and this is something that needs to be changed.
So what is Baby Dove’s mission? To help ease the pressures and anxieties new mums may feel because the most important thing is being a happy mum and have a happy baby. I think that is so crucial. The baby days literally fly by and you look back and you don’t remember the good times because we’ve been so wrapped up in trying to be these perfect mums and show to the world that we’ve got it nailed. But, this is too much pressure on ourselves.
I think this experiment conducted by Baby Dove is definitely thought-provoking and if it can make one first-time mum re-evaluate their lifestyle and make them be more gentle on themselves, then that’s great! Once we can do that, the perception of the ‘Perfect Mum’ will definitely be different. Different for the better. Different for society.
To find out more about Baby Dove, visit http://www.dove.com/uk/baby.html