When it comes to animated baby fat, cartoon toddlers are drawing the line.
As you may have noticed, toon-toddlers have become increasingly self-conscious about their levels of baby-fat in the public eye. One can only assume that this is due to the cartoon baby body image fluctuations that are evident across many entertainment programs. When did this two-dimensional epidemic begin? And more importantly, why?
To help understand this pressing issue, a dedicated team of illustrated body image specialists at HiMama has conducted a study regarding baby characters throughout entertainment history, and it’s become obvious where things began to go wrong...
The 60’s were a joyous time for cartoon tots, as they could freely fluctuate in weight as they pleased without the social pressures of fitting into a size XS Huggies diaper. Bamm Bamm and Pebbles from “The Flintstones” were excellent role models. Their prehistoric diets provided them with delightfully chubby bodies that were celebrated as being at the top of the food chain. It’s evident they had the luxury to eat as much stegosaurus soup as they wanted without concern.
There was a brief scare in the 80’s when cartoon babies began embracing the “smoking diet”, as you may recall with Baby Herman from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”. In a desperate attempt to stay thin, Herman was depicted constantly puffing on a prominent stogie. This didn’t go unnoticed by youngster watchers, and suddenly babies everywhere were monopolizing the Cuban cigar market, buying out smoke shops left and right! Although sales were skyrocketing, fathers were beginning to feel uncomfortable with the notion of “puff, puff, pass” with their 3 month old.
Luckily the late 80’s saw change, when Maggie Simpson from “The Simpsons” secured her rise to stardom. Maggie brought a more refreshing take to the scene, encouraging babies to “pacify not puff” with her prominent soother sucking. The lack of nicotine resulted in her frame appearing bulbous in the center, but Maggie was quickly embraced as a silent spokeswoman for bigger stomachs being “ok”.
With the 90’s came the adorably plump cartoon toddler idol Tommy Pickles from the program “Rugrats”. Tommy very quickly became a favorite among ankle-biters, as his quick wit and sharp attention to detail charmed its way into their hearts. Babies worldwide were emulating Tommy’s curvy figure, having their diaper be their main (and only) fashion accessory. It wasn’t until Baby Dil, Tommy’s younger brother, was born that weight issues among babies began skyrocketing. Dil had unusually small arms and ankles which didn’t lend to the typical baby's physique.
The real issues began in the early 00’s with the immense intelligence and svelteness of Stewie Griffin from “Family Guy”. As one can imagine, his expansive use of knowledge intimidated the newly developing brain of a baby. Additionally, his football shaped noggin, which in contrast is highly disproportionate to his unachievable frame, had created ‘head and body envy’ for those babies which had a smaller cranium and larger build.
We're now brought to present day, where the issue has advanced into a full blown epidemic. The cruel hearted cartoonists behind the popular program “The FairlyOdd Parents” introduced “Poof”. Her spherical body shape and virtually non-existent legs have created an unattainable body goal for babies. “Thunder Thighs and Wide-Eyes Syndrome”, which affects modern day babies, has recently been identified as being the result of too much “FairlyOdd” tv watching. Fairly Odd? More like UnFairly Odd.
As you can see, the findings of this study are shocking and truly alarming. One can only imagine what this is doing to the sensitive notions of body image for a newborn (which is already in a fragile state).
“We can only hope that our HiMama Logo, which pictures a child immersed in a train car thus effectively hiding their body, leaves babies with the lasting impression that all bodies are beautiful; it's what's on the inside that counts.” - Ronald Alanasberg, HiMama Body Image Specialist
The Dirty Diaper is HiMama's humor outlet for the whimsical world of children and child care.