STFU Parents: Parents, Don’t Show Me Your Child’s ‘Poop Face’
Of all the things poop-related that parents could post about their kids online, a “poop face” certainly isn’t the worst. I’ve seen pictures of poop thatÂ youÂ wouldn’t believe,Â and no, that is not a humblebrag. One accidental click into my Bathroom Behavior submissions folder might have me reaching for a barf bag, especially if I click on the folder labeled “Worst Shit EVER,” which features — you guessed it — pictures of poop that are nastier than most highway roadkill. Even a brief glance at a thumbnail can make me nauseous, and that’s saying a lot, considering I’ve seen dozens of placentas and probably twice as many C-section pictorials. There’s something about human bowel movements that are extremely complex and important, particularly for babies, which creates a fascination for parents that non-parents just don’t have. Hell, I’ve heard from tons of parents who aren’t too fascinated, either, and are instead repulsed at what comes out of their child’s ass most of the time. I think of those parents as allies, people who can look at aÂ giant piece of poop sitting in a child’s pottyÂ orÂ splattered on the floorÂ orÂ stuck to their child’s hairÂ and refrain from taking pictures and posting them on Facebook. I salute the folks who choose not to torture their friends by snapping pics of diaper explosions or runny diarrhea, posting photos with captions like “If I have to see this shit, my friends do, too! Haha!” The parents who do that are on my Shit List for life, and let me tell you, I’m not the only one who feels that way.
Still, there’s a contingent of parents who think that poopÂ facesÂ are worth documenting, because they’re awkwardly funny and expressive. You can be a parent who doesn’t post pictures of the final product and still think the “engineering” is worth discussing online amongst friends. It’s in that spirit that Pampers created its latest social media “parent challenge” called #PampersPooFace, where the winner receives a year’s supply of Pampers Baby Wipes. If you haven’t already heard about it, because you’re a person who has made better life choices than I have, the rules are pretty simple: Post a photo of your kid’s “poo face” and tag it #PampersPooFace, and then hope that the fancy Pampers marketing associate whose job it is to go through photos of babies shitting can maybe deem your kid’s poo face one of the best ones out there. A real prize of a poo face, IF you and your baby are lucky. I learned about this #PooFace campaign initially on Twitter, and then checked out some exciting entries inÂ this side-eye of an article. Granted, there are some good entries in there, as far as the selection goes, but a part of me wonders why any parent would stoop so low just to get free baby wipes. I know it’s all in good fun and it’s just one tweet out of a zillion and some parents genuinely want to share this comical face with the entire world, but honestly? Parents have gone from marketing their child’s smiling face for a Gerber food ad (featuring prizes like “college tuition”) to marketing their child’s poo face for a baby wipes contest. Doesn’t that seem like regression to anyone else?
In any case, once I saw this campaign exists, I thought two things. The first was that this is sooo up Pampers’ alley. Remember the Pamp Stamp social campaign? Or have you managed to block that one out?
Ughh. My second thought when I heard about the contest was, “Well, duh. This won’t be hard for parents since so many of them already have #pooface pictures in their Facebook archives.” Poo faces are nothing new; if anything, they’re old fodder for an internet that has long relinquished any standards of decorum. Parents know all about poo faces, and their friends do, too. They’ve been seeing them pop up in their newsfeeds for years now. Pampers is just hopping on the #pooface bandwagon and dangling some free baby wipes on a stick, hoping to get in on the action. The only difference between the campaign they’re running now, which depends largely on directness, and some of the submissions I’ve seen in the past viaÂ STFU, ParentsÂ is that parents used to be more about the sneak attack than they are now. They used to post adorable, professionally-taken photos of their children in lush fields with “surprise” captions like,Â “If you look closely at the picture you can hear him grunting. I had to change his diaper in the cane field,”Â or,Â “yes…she was pooping in this one :)”, much to the delight of their friends. Now, there’s no beating around the bush. It’s #pooface or bust. Or something. And, as the headline in that Mirror UK article says, it’s all kinds of wrong.
Let’s take a look at some examples of parents who were all about the poo face before it ever became a corporate hashtag. And let’s ignore the notion that Depends will unveil a similar campaign. (“You guys should see myÂ Grandpa’sÂ #pooface!) At least if it does, most of the people who’d qualify won’t know what a hashtag is. Thank god.