According to the majority of companies, the mother must be an under-sexualised dairy farm dressed in cable knit and slacks. Oh, and she must always be on hand with Dettol and lasagne. She may occasionally wear a pony tail and a pencil skirt, because “busy” modern mums will relate and buy Birdseye breaded fish medallions.
In every facet of advertising we’ve seen the rise of the “kick-ass” woman. Australian model Ruby Rose broke the mould and put the metro-woman on the map, like an up to date version of Annie Lennox, she made androgyny cool again. She’s covered head to foot in tattoos, and her smoky eye is a thing of envy. In Vogue magazine you can see trans women, women with buzzcuts, mixed race women. There’s been an outcry for fair representation and the media has dutifully answered.
However there’s one woman that’s untouched: the mother. There’s no women with a full sleeve of tattoos giving their babies Heinz, no Kim K strutting down the aisles of Wall Mart slinging nappies into a trolley. The crown of representation goes to the middle class, thirty something white woman. She’s the phantom woman who strolls the parks in our wake, with a shelf full of Dolmio pasta sauce and a veritable menagerie of Fisher price toys. Oh, and she also has a husband. Hubs watches football on television until he’s called for dinner, where he dutifully scrambles to the table like a cocker spaniel.
It’s like Sylvanian families with Febreeze.
It appears to be an unwritten rule that once a woman gives birth she must shed her sexuality like a snakeskin and replace her heels with sensible shoes.
Let’s see more black mothers, mixed mothers, young mothers,single mothers,pierced mothers. Not to say the middle class white woman doesn’t have her place, because she does. However, mothers in advertising need to evolve with the rest of the world- with widespread relatability.