Some babies really do have a face only a mother could love.
And that’s perfectly okay. You just don’t need to tell them (the parents) about it. In fact, keep that to yourself.
My first son was freaking gorgeous when he was born. He was ‘perfectly cooked’, had a head full of golden straw-coloured hair and was just scrumptious and perfect. I thought to myself, ‘Ohhhh, newborns are so beautiful. I could have ten of these.’
Then my second son was born. Well, he really did look like a smashed crab. His ears were folded over, his head was shaped like a cone and he was really swollen. He was purple and bruised and looked like he’d had a hard night out on the piss. I’ve got eyes, he was DAMN UGLY. Doesn’t mean I didn’t love him, I adored him. Birth is not kind to newborns.
The thing is, most newborn babies look like skinned rabbits… or old men… or a monkey… or a sentient cabbage…
It often takes a few months for them to stop looking like squished up little goblins and more like cute, smiley little buttons. You can probably blame Hollywood for our expectations of a newborn baby. Have you ever noticed in movies and TV shows that quite often when a pregnant woman has a baby on the screen, it comes out of her almost six months old looking absolutely perfect and so old that it’s ready to crawl back inside again? UNREALISTIC!
Look, it’s okay to think a baby is ugly, but if that baby isn’t yours, never say a word! It’s one of the worst social taboos you can break.
If you’re not sure what to say when confronted with an ugly newborn, thankfully the good folks over at WikiHow have you covered. They literally have how-to instructions for everything including how to react to an ugly baby and suggest things like not saying anything at all (genius!) through to paying the kid a compliment.
One time I was having coffee with a friend who had recently been to visit another friend of ours who had just had a baby. The baby girl had some red marks on her head because of a forceps delivery but also had a particularly nasty case of ‘baby acne’ – little whiteheads that were all over her face.
“It’s the ugliest baby I’ve ever seen,” she declared.
I nearly spat my coffee out. I was so shocked that anyone would say that out loud, even though many of us are guilty of thinking these things. Ladies in the cafe who overheard the conversation were giving my friend the side-eye.
Two weeks later, I met the baby myself for the first time. ‘Ugliest baby I’ve ever seen’ was an understatement. I’d never seen anything quite like it that wasn’t CGI on a horror movie. To this day I’ve never seen another baby with that level of ‘baby acne’ either. But beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder, and mama was absolutely smitten with her new bundle, and rightly so. I got to have a hold and she still had that perfect newborn smell, made those cute little newborn noises and had the cutest little fingers and toes.
Remember the story about the ugly duckling that turned into a swan? Well, that kid is 13 now and is, like, model-stunning these days.
At least my friend didn’t say anything to our other friend, even if she made me uncomfortable AF when she initiated the conversation. The internet is full of forums where people are declaring someone, usually a mother-in-law, but maybe a friend or some asshole random stranger has decided to opine that someone’s baby has been belted with the ugly stick. I have another friend who experienced a random ‘comedy’ busker on the streets of Melbourne calls out to her and tells her her baby was ugly and to cover it up. The whole thing escalated and he nearly found himself extracting his guitar from somewhere unpleasant, and I’m not talking about the Yarra River.
So if in doubt, remember what your mother always told you: if you can’t say someone’s precious newborn doesn’t look like a swamp donkey, don’t say anything at all.
So in a bid to prove to you that some babies are ugly, I have some examples.
1. This is my niece Tayla
(Hi Tayla, now dying with embarrassment.)
Now, she was the UGLIEST baby I’d ever laid eyes on, and I remind her of it every birthday. Mum and dad had this very picture up on their wall for years. It made me want to throw up a little every time I saw it. On a positive note, she is absolutely gorgeous now! But even if she wasn’t, I would still love her.
2. This is little Beau
He is our CFO’s son. He is a total himbo… NOW. Back then… urrgghhhhhhh. Apparently, the midwives would walk past him and go, ‘Ohhhh, you had a boy… cricket…’
(His birth was 9 minutes long!)
3. This random baby from Reddit
A Reddit user said about this baby: ‘He looks like he yells at kids to get off his lawn’. Yes, yes he does.
4. This other random baby
Another hilarious Reddit user said, ‘He smokes and works in a pawnshop’. Yes, he also does.
Yep, some newborns are just plain ugly. But most grow out of it, and if they don’t, it is certainly character building.
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