Let’s face it… television commercials are not exactly known for their realistic depictions of everyday life. In fact, in the image-conscious world of advertising, authenticity often seems like little more than a pesky afterthought.
In terms of unrealistic advertising, jewelry brands are among the worst offenders as they strive to portray every holiday and major life event through an impractically romantic lens – the most egregious example being the perpetually saccharine Kay Jewelers. But there is one ad, in particular, in which Kay takes the sweetly idealistic shtick a bit too far.
In this stunning lack of marketing prowess, a glowing young mother sits wrapped in a plushy white robe, serenely rocking her newborn daughter following a 2am feeding on Christmas morning. Suddenly, a figure emerges from the shadows; why, it’s her doting husband, having risen in the middle of the night for no other reason than to light the Christmas tree and present her with a gift – a watch. How nice. Because there is nothing a new mother needs more than yet another reminder that she is constantly on the clock.
This commercial made its ill-timed debut during the 2009 holiday season when I, myself, was in the throes of new motherhood. In fact, I often saw it while nursing my own newborn. And it made me irrationally angry, as I considered it to be blatantly false advertising.
Why? Well, let’s break it down…
According to Kay Jewelers: A new mother is the essence of maternal serenity as she happily rises for a 2am feeding with dewy skin and perfect hair, enveloping herself in a soft, plushy robe.
In Reality: When I (grudgingly) got up for 2am feedings, my skin was pale and gaunt; my vision marred by crusty eye boogers; and my hair was sticking out in every direction. I was hawt.
I also generally slept in the previous day’s clothes, which were often times the same clothes I’d worn the day before that – because at that particular juncture, my days and nights were fairly indistinguishable. So, there was no plushy robe; only dirty yoga pants and nursing bras stained with milk and spit-up. In short, I was anything but the essence of maternal serenity.
According to Kay Jewelers: A new mother is content – even happy – to be up in the middle of the night, serenely rocking her sleeping baby.
In Reality: I will freely admit that I was not pleased to be up in the dead of night, when Zumba infomercials were the only thing to watch on television and I felt like the lone person in the entire freaking world who was awake. Furthermore, once I got my daughter down after an overnight feeding, I went straight back to bed, grateful for whatever sleep I could muster before my wee bottomless pit grew hungry again.
According to Kay Jewelers: Those first few weeks of new parenthood are so incredibly romantic, a husband will actually be moved to surprise his wife during an overnight feeding for the sole purpose of presenting her with a token of his undulating love and affection. And she, in her serene state, will no doubt react with glowing adoration at the gesture.
In Reality: Oh my God, there are so many things wrong with this scenario I don’t even know where to begin.
First, the early weeks – nay, months – of new parenthood are anything but romantic. Okay? Enough said.
Secondly, no sleep-deprived new father is going to willingly get up at 2am unless he’s been asked told to; the only possible exception being if he wanted to use that time – when his wife is otherwise occupied with the baby – to go searching for his testicles, which have no doubt been safely tucked away in an undisclosed location. And only when he gives up the search – having deduced that his manhood is gone for good – might he then take that time to start bestowing her with gifts.
Otherwise, she’s on her own. In the dead of night. When the Zumba infomercials are the only thing to watch on television and she feels like the lone person in the entire freaking world who is awake.
Oh, but I’m not done yet…
Let’s just say, for shits and giggles, that my husband had gotten up with me for a 2am feeding on Christmas morning. He didn’t – not that I’m bitter or anything – but let’s just say that he had.
In that scenario, I would have handed our sated daughter off to him and been back in bed sound asleep before he even had time to light the tree, much less hand me a gift. Bitchy? Perhaps. But also a hell of a lot more realistic than Kay Jewelers’ deluded sense of new motherhood.
And therein lays my irrational anger with this commercial, as well as the moronic and presumably childless marketing team involved with its production. And the proverbial cherry on top of this hot mess of a sundae is the fact that the entire thing ends with the dopey new dad asking his wife if their weeks-old daughter will remember her first Christmas.
Allow me to answer that…
No. Not even a little bit.