Parents Fear That New Generation Will Be First To Be Less Hip Than They Are
As the nation continues to eye the future with trepidation, parents everywhere are expressing fear that the ongoing financial crisis could mean their babies and young children will represent the first generation in decades to be less well-off stylistically than their forbearers.
Most agree that the current standard of cuteness achieved by themselves sets a high datum, but say it would be unfortunate were their offspring to continue down the path of being significantly uglier than their parents.
University of Denver sociologist Mark Bingham explains: "Having parents that look like Kori and Jason from [attractive indie band] Mates of State who shop at upscale kids' boutiques like 'Sew Chic Dresses' and 'Clothes Minded'-- or at the very least, Baby Gap -- make our population look nice now, but future leaders of the nation may not have the same advantages."
The possibility of the future generation falling into slovenliness and poor fashion seems too tragic for many parents and would-be parents to handle.
"I've always dreamed of having a child," said Gold Coast resident Jennifer Borheim, "that I would totally doll up. Like, I'd put him in a designer baby carriage, and go for walks around town with my husband in his pork-pie hat and barely-concealed tattoos. We would look amazing."
Now, Borheim says that the idea that her future child might someday be unable to attend a kids' yoga class -- causing a snowball effect ending with the inability to become friends with children that ironically wear Converse All-stars -- makes her want to never have kids.
"I simply couldn't be seen in public with a child like that," she said.
Not all are worried. Even as sociologists and researchers sound warnings of a possible meltdown and even rejection of established fashion norms, parents continue to make decisions that they believe will instill in their children a powerful sense of being hip, no matter what may be going on in the world. The Stegal family of Chicago tries hard to embody this approach.
"We just had our first family portrait taken, and it's so cute!" exclaimed Danielle Stegal of Uptown. "It's me in this amazing sun dress and knee-high flower-print galoshes I bought from this boutique on my block, my husband looking just like he came straight from the [Canadian elctropop group] Junior Boys concert, and [children] Emma and Trevor in baby-sized Death Cab For Cutie t-shirts."
Stegal is confident that her children are going to be the coolest teenagers and hippest adults when they come of age, and her husband, Jonathan (who asked us to refer to him by his full first name), agrees.
"We have a side-by-side all-terrain stroller, and a three-seat tandem bike for the kids when they come of urban bike-riding age," he added. "Our kids are going to want to be just like their parents when they grow up, because they'll remember how cool we were. It's all about setting a good example."
Others, however, remain fearful that their efforts will be for naught, and that the next generation will sully the advancements made by the super-attractive demographic currently of-age.
"It's a really untenable situation," said parental counselor and financial advisor Carl Dilton. "Unless parents cut back on the cuteness they are heaping on their babies and toddlers, there will be nothing to build on when they become young adults and college graduates. There needs to be a sense of restraint, because if things keep on going as they are now, 'cute' may be the new 'douchebag'."