Did the New York Times belittle mothers with its 'Mom Hair' article?

Posted June 28

In a recent article, the New York Times offered new mothers tips to avoid a growing fashion faux pas it dubbed, "Mom Hair." Mothers took to Twitter to protest. (Deseret Photo)

You've heard of so-called "Mom jeans" and the dreaded label, "post-baby body," but now thanks to a new New York Times article, new mothers must also contend with another postpartum fashion faux pas: "Mom Hair."

"You’ve likely seen it at suburban malls: the longer-in-back, slightly–shorter-in-front bob that should read sleek but is inescapably frumpy," Bee Shapiro wrote in the Times' fashion section column, which also offered tips on how to plan for a post-baby 'do by planning while still pregnant.

Shapiro contends in her article that women often rush into cutting their hair drastically after giving birth, which can sometimes be problematic as many women experience some hair loss after childbirth. Taking it slow, Shapiro said, gives the hair time to recover to the major phsyical changes part and parcel of motherhood.

“It’s just about getting the mom the little kick she needs," a stylist told Shapiro in the article.

The advice, however, is not sitting well with some media outlets who quickly penned articles critical of the Times piece.

"Moms gave us the miracle of life, but now let’s make fun of their stupid haircuts," New York Magazine chided.

But perhaps the most angry responses came from women via Twitter.

"Girl things are silly. Lady things dumb. Mom things embarrassing. Old woman things vs. bad. See a common thread here?" Heather Havrilesky tweeted.

"To think I wasted time after my kids were born writing novels when I could've been rectifying my frumpy mom hair," novelist Curtis Sittenfeld tweeted.

"Yeah, not keeping up with hair trends was my BIGGEST postpartum concern," writer Rachel Jeffcoat tweeted.

For others, the article was a step back in time for journalism aimed at women.

"This piece was written with the saccharine belittlement that once marked women’s magazines, a faux-friendly tone that is mocked, day after day, by the brilliant Twitter account Man Who Has It All," Slate Magazine's Michelle Goldberg wrote. "The best newspaper in the world should not run articles that might as well be headlined 'Ladies, You Might Think You Look OK, But You Don’t.'”


Twitter: ChandraMJohnson


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