At a party the other night a friend was telling me about the ugliest baby he'd ever seen. So ugly was this baby that a mere description was not enough, he grabbed his phone and logged on to Facebook to share the horror. A few pictures later and we agreed that yes, this baby was not going to be in an Anne Geddes calendar any time soon... not that the parents know that. Oh no, they're blissfully unaware of the quiet whisperings of “looks like an old man” and “are you sure its human?” So naturally my next thought was “What if Tricky is ugly? Will I even know?”
I've been told the trick to know if your baby isn't calendar-cute is by the response of those seeing him for the first time. If they coo and mention his dimples, his eyes and general cuteness, then its likely they think your spawn is acceptable. If however, they instead focus on other features, chances are they think your kid is ugly: “He's so big!”, “Look how much hair”, “Such small hands” and the like are almost guaranteed to mean you've scored a fuggo. But that in itself isn't a great predictor because I know when I see a baby for the first time the first thing I think is always “Its sooo tiny! How can this be out of the womb yet?”
I know I'm getting way ahead of myself, seeing that Tricky isn't even born yet, but I'm pretty sure even if people do skirt around the cuteness factor and try to make lame comments to cover their awkwardness it won't matter – I'm unlikely to notice, it will just go over my head and I'll continue to be smitten... at least I hope so.
Research published in June last year on the PloS ONE website (an open access scientific journal – hey I never said I wasn't a nerd) suggests that whilst its been known for a long time that attractive adults are often more advantaged in life (from getting better jobs, higher pay and generally more opportunities), it apparently all starts in the cot. Pretty babies are loved more. This was only based on the results of 27 volunteers so its not exactly written in stone, but the results indicated that babies who were considered 'more attractive' were looked at more and from this they determined they were therefore loved more. What this research didn't consider was that the people looking at these babies were not their parents – I cannot imagine loving Tricky any less if he happens to come out with a cleft lip or birth marks all over him. He'll still be my little baby and therefore perfect in my eyes.
I've only had one friend tell me she didn't think her baby was cute. She was certain that when her daughter was born she must have had some genetic abnormality because she didn't look “quite right”. But what is right? Depending on how they come out they can look pretty alien! Squished heads, covered in cheesy vernix and blood, squinty eyes, even bruising from a traumatic birth mean they're not the most attractive things in the world - for the record my friend's daughter is now seven and looks like she should be in a catalogue she's that gorgeous! Babies need a few days (if not weeks) to get a bit cute in my opinion – but come and ask me on the day Tricky is born and I'll probably tell you he was instantly gorgeous.