Seinfeld was a very popular television sitcom that is now in syndication; reruns can be found almost every day of the week, and many of its lines and jokes are shared between friends and families. One particular episode, “The Hamptons”, was produced under the working title “The Ugly Baby”. Despite the title’s omission of the subject, the ugly baby was still a prominent plot focus. If you talk about “the ugly baby”, Seinfeld fans everywhere know exactly what you mean. But is the phenomenon of a real life ugly baby actually a thing? Or is calling a child ugly a demented thought reserved solely for the soulless fans of Seinfeld?
By now, we’ve all read the headlines about the secret baby-shaming Facebook group, and its sole purpose of making fun of ugly babies. Well, toddlers, to be specific. The Huffington Post covered the story here.
What I find most remarkable is that America thinks this is “news”. Yes, it’s horrible-awful-terrible and mean, but, really, people are rude in real life – not just on the Internet. In fact, before the days of Facebook, Seinfeld writers were very aware of the fact that not every baby was a physically attractive baby. But does that mean not every baby is beautiful?
Here’s the problem: every baby is beautiful.
At the very least, every baby is beautiful to his or her parents. When you have a baby, you know. You watch every little thing they do. You see them grow before your eyes. You see them learn. You take care of them. Your baby is your baby – and that’s beautiful to you. There’s this saying everyone has heard: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that is no less true about babies than it is about the rest of humanity.
The truth is, some babies are less attractive, in general – to those people who are not the baby’s parents, than others. So, maybe calling a baby ugly isn’t exactly incorrect. But it certainly is cruel. And immature. And totally not cool.