• Sat, Sep 15 2012

Lucky Magazine Wants To Exploit Your Working Mom Guilt To Promote Retail Therapy

Lucky AdLucky Magazine certainly knows how to inspire moms to shop. Exploit their guilt and vulnerability, then push a little retail therapy on them. At least, that seems to be the aim of their latest ad that reads, “My kids call the nanny Mom… FILL THE VOID.” Then it shows you a pair of shoes to buy. They’re called, “The Pick-Me-Up Shoes.” And let’s just come right out and say it, this ad is completely horrible and makes me want to burn piles of Lucky, not pick one up at the store.

As the wonderful Laura Donovan pointed out at The Jane Dough, these ads are just ridiculous. “They’re not just any ol’ pair of shoes. They’re magical, like Cinderella’s slippers, and will instantly fix your strained family dynamic.” I think we all realize that retail therapy is a pretty hollow comfort. Hopefully we all know that running out to buy new shoes will not assuage a working mom’s guilt.

Guilt really is the crux of this ad, too. It wants to exploit the feelings that moms struggle with all the time. It wants to exacerbate your problems, so that you might really consider shopping as a way to ignore your own emotional issues.

When my daughter was younger, she called her babysitter “Mom” for a while. And sometimes, she called me “Annie.” People were horrified when I admitted this. Family members got tears in their eyes because they just felt so bad for me, that my daughter would interchange my name with her daycare provider.

You know what I felt? Relief. I felt pretty great that my daughter spent her days with someone who loved her so much, she thought of her as a mother figure. I felt thankful that we had a babysitter so caring, my child was happy and comfortable and at home whenever she went there. Calling Annie “Mom” didn’t diminish my confidence as a parent. It didn’t threaten my place in my daughter’s affection. It meant that when my little girl was still learning about relationships and family, she felt loved by both women who spent time taking care of her. Where is the shame or guilt in that?

But it’s easy to have those insecurities. It’s easy to have a hard time when it feels like your children like their daycare providers more. And that’s what Lucky is trying to capitalize on. That’s what they want you to feel guilty about. It’s a sad and pathetic attempt.

Working moms feel plenty of guilt. We shouldn’t have to, but we do. We feel guilty for every hour we aren’t there. We feel guilty for the time that someone else spends raising our children. Settling that guilt is hard work. Thanks so much to Lucky for making it just a little bit harder. Thanks for furthering the pressure and the stereotypes and giving us meaningless and unhealthy coping mechanisms.

I wonder how many pairs of shoes Lucky will need to buy to cope with their dwindling reputation?

(Photo: The Jane Dough)

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  • Eileen

    My mom was a stay-at-home mom and gave me lots of attention. I still called a teacher “Mom”…senior year of high school, when we were discussing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It slipped out and I was incredibly embarrassed for a second, but nobody minded and nobody needed new shoes. Even me.

  • bumblebee

    I’m a dad to all kinds of kids. I’ve adopted, surrogated, fostered, baby sat, nannied…everything. At some point or another, all of the MANY kids I’ve helped raise have called me daddy, even if they already have a daddy or two of their own. ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ aren’t sacred terms to young kids, they basically translate to ‘female caregiver’ and ‘male caregiver’. If your teen is calling someone else mom/dad, you might have a problem (possibly not, it depends), but a elementary kid? It’s not even worth mentioning.