We Spleen: Baby Fat-Shaming

UPDATE: Wry Baby has taken its “I Hate My Thighs” snapsuit off its website in response to the uproar caused by the following Ms. Blog post!

Yes, we know—it’s meant to be funny. After all, the company that sells this onesie with the saying “I Hate My Thighs” is named Wry Baby. And we feminists do have a sense of humor.

But really, there’s something icky about projecting fat awareness on babies. It’s not the babies who will be forced to become aware of their avoirdupois—it’s grownups who will be reminded that wider-than-sticks thighs are something hateable rather than loveable. (And, in fact, babies’ delightfully chunky thighs are some of the most lovable things in the world!)

The Wry Baby website deems this “a tiny statement regarding self-image.” Hahaha. Actually, it’s a pretty large statement for a 10-pounder to be making—a harbinger of things to come later in a child’s life, especially if that child is a girl. The snapsuit comes in purple—a neutral color in the rigid boy-girl binary—but does anyone think this is designed for a boy? Really, have you ever heard a man or boy say that they hate their thighs?

How hard would it have been to switch this to “I Love My Thighs”? That would have flipped the old trope right onto its diapered booty. It would have made us think, “Yeah, how come we love babies’ thighs but start to hate on them when a kid gets older, and especially when that baby turns into an adult?” If we could stop for a moment and think loving thoughts toward those strong muscles that carry us around in the world, maybe we could reconsider wasting so much energy shaming ourselves and others.

What do you think? Are we taking this too seriously? Or is it just not funny at all?

And by the way, if you’d like a darling feminist onesie, visit our Ms. Store!



Michele Kort is senior editor of Ms. She is the author of Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro and coeditor (with Audrey Bilger) of Here Come the Brides: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage





The late Michele Kort—a dedicated feminist—was the senior editor of Ms. magazine for 13 years. She died June 26, 2015, after a long battle with ovarian cancer. She worked for decades in field of journalism, covering sports, music, culture, art and feminist issues for publications like LA Weekly, The Advocate, Shape, Redbook, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Songwriter, InStyle, Living Fit, Fit Pregnancy, Vegetarian Times, Fitness, UCLA Magazine, Women's Sports and Fitness and more. She is the author of four books, including a biography of singer/songwriter Laura Nyro, Soul Picnic: The Music and Passion of Laura Nyro. Rest in power, Michele.