This is a guest post by Jenny Rapson, a stay-at-home mom to 3 kids, and co-founder of Mommin’ It Up. I invited Jenny to talk with our readers about how the momification of marketing is NOT the answer. (And if you think that’s an odd point of view for a mom marketing agency, read our P.S. after Jenny speaks her piece.)
Eight years ago I became a mom. Before that, I was a woman.
Guess what? I’m still a woman.
Marketers, you’ve got products. Products I may enjoy or have use for. But unless they are supposed to keep my kids’ rear-ends dry or their bellies full, I do not want you to sell it to me under a “mom umbrella” or with a “mom twist”.
I am a woman. And just because I have given birth doesn’t mean I don’t like the same fashions, books, magazines, cookware, jewelry, or handbags as other women. And women who are not moms shouldn’t be left out of marketing pushes for women’s products simply because they’ve never popped out a kid or two.
So when I see your blog post titled: “Great Yoga Pants for Moms”, I won’t click on it. (Even though, clearly, only MOMS do Yoga. Other women are more into cardio.) When your glossy magazine ad touts “Meal ideas for busy moms”, I’ll keep turning the pages. (Because really, women who aren’t moms aren’t busy? They don’t need meal ideas? Oh you’re right, only moms cook. Women of the non-maternal variety eat out or have their servants make the meals.)
Here’s the thing: when you start putting moms in a box, you start a downward spiral into the offensive. Those who market fashion to “moms” are doing so, I believe, on the premise that women who are mothers have bodies that are compromised. So now, we need to be told what fashions we can and can’t wear, and for those that are acceptable for women of a maternal condition, well those we need to be told how to wear. Ummm…yeah, my fashion sense did NOT fall out with my placenta. And you know what? I STILL LOOK GOOD! But if I do need advice on how to wear a certain trend, I’ll look in a fashion magazine or on a fashion website FOR WOMEN. Because once again, I AM A WOMAN.
If “moms” are all we are, then where are the jeans made just for c-section moms, the dress that’s perfect for moms of multiples, and the handbags for moms who gave birth naturally? What sort of scarves are appropriate for step-moms or – here’s a tough one – adoptive moms?
These products don’t exist, because THAT’S STUPID.
And so is the idea what I lost my woman card when I picked up my mom card.
If I did not carry you inside my womb, YOU DO NOT GET TO CALL ME MOM. So, Mr. & Ms. Marketer, Ms. Fashion Blogger, and Mr. PR guy – don’t DO IT. Or you’ll be talking to my back as I pass you by without a glance.
Maternal Instinct P.S.: we couldn’t agree more. We regularly talk about how marketing to moms is about recognizing the rhythms and priorities of a busy woman’s life…a woman who happens to live in a house with children. We regularly advise clients not to use the word “mommy,” not to place “stunt kids” in their ads, and — as our Uncommon Moms series demonstrates — not to lump all moms together under a June Cleaver umbrella.