Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ve gotten a lot of advice, and not all of it has been helpful. My brother-in-law, for example, told me not to touch my cat anymore. It’s easy to excuse the advice of well-intentioned relatives (and I’m sure I’ll be grateful for their input later on), but I find it despicable when companies use fear to try to sell their products to anxiety prone parents-to-be. Open up any parenting magazine and you’ll see dozens of examples, but this is hardy a new technique. This ScotTissue ad from 1944 tries to move product by encouraging mothers to make ad-hoc surgical masks out of toilet paper for any infant caretakers who have cold symptoms.
Here’s a close up:
I’m pretty critical of parenting paranoia now, but will that change once Robot Jr. arrives? Will I be crafting double-ply TP masks and forcing them on the faces of friends and family? I guess we’ll find out in three months.