STFU Parents: Creepy Ultrasound Images That Capture The Spirit Of Halloween
Four years ago, I ran a column thatÂ daredÂ to ask the pivotal question:Â Are ultrasound photos on Facebook still considered overshare?Â Bold as that question may (or may not) be, I was sure most people would say they don’t necessarily consider ultrasound pictures overshare, but they don’t understand the impulse so many couples have to share them online, either. Instead, dozens of readers retaliated and said it was completely normal to share sonograms on social media and I needed to recalibrate my definition of “overshare,” which struck me as funny since I’d originallyÂ had the idea for STFU, Parents after chatting with friends about all people we suddenly knew whose profile pictures were of blurry fetuses. Back in 2009, coming across an ultrasound photo on Facebook equated to a furrowed brow or side-eye at minimum. Today, it just signals a flurry of ‘Likes’ and anywhere from 40 to 4000 comments of congratulations. People expect to see ultrasound pictures. They’re commonplace, and nearly 100% welcome. I’m actually surprised when I check Facebook and thereÂ isn’tÂ a 12-week-old fetus chilling in utero in my newsfeed. We have fully transcended the days when sonograms were considered “TMI,” and soon enough, we’ll all be able to ‘hang out’ in our friends’ wombs in virtual reality and take selfies with a developing fetus. I don’t know when, exactly, that will happen, but I’m confident it will be sooner than I think.
With that said, I did stop writing about ultrasounds pictures after that column ran, because it seemedÂ like readers were trying to “teach me” something. I needed toÂ look around and realize that a cute, grainy 2-D image — or even a horrifying, nightmarish 4-D image — wasn’t nearly as bad as childbirth galleries, sanctimommy posts, poop pics, or mommyjacking. I was sort of told to “stay in myÂ line,” as it was made abundantly clear that no one equated ultrasound images to most other STFUP content. But my overarching point was never to say that all ultrasound pictures (or the intentions behind posting them) are BAD so much as to wonder aloud if there are “right” and “wrong” ways to post them, and if posting them is an indication that someone might be prone to oversharingÂ later on.
After all, some parents make really weirdÂ art, cakes, tchotchkes, wall murals, stretched canvases, keychains, and even getÂ tattoosÂ and purchase lifelike dolls based on their ultrasounds, as reported inÂ this story on BuzzFeedÂ andÂ in this post. And I get the distinct feeling some of the parents who post Photoshopped images to express their genuine excitement about impending parenthood have no clue just how creepy those images reallyÂ are. It can be a sign of what’s to come, and that is not to be disregarded lightly. If someone is capable of posting the below image, what else are they capable of??
SHEER TERROR. This is a tiny fetus, gently touching his face with his still-developing digits, seemingly stretching his skin back as one would at a facelift appointment with a plastic surgeon — and oh yeah, he appears to be joining us from the depths of a carpeted living room via some kind of floorÂ vortex. Does this mom honestly believe that those classic wooden letters are better accompanied by this frightening, modern flare? Couldn’t she have laid them out on grass, or a white piece of paper, instead of some dull, suburban shag carpeting? This is a little tooÂ “Poltergeist III”Â for me.
Thankfully, some parents DO have a great sense of humor about sonograms — and specifically, how creepy and/or strange they can be — as first showcasedÂ in this blog post. And since I haven’t been posting about ultrasounds in the past four years, I’ve had many people send in perfectly good-natured examples that deserve to be recognized. It turns out, some parents ARE aware that their fetuses just look like little aliens.