Dads are often portrayed in advertisements and media as incompetent parents. This Huggies ad does exactly that; it says leaving babies alone with dads is “the toughest test imaginable.” The ad is geared towards an average, young middle class family. The message given is that when the father is clueless about parenting, Huggies diapers can pick up their slack. Gender dictates the roles of parents.
This ad is counterproductive compared to the vision discussed by Lisa Belkin in When Mom and Dad Share it All. She explains the importance of dividing work equally between parents. One couple she interviewed had made an agreement that “they would not be… the mother-knows-best mold” (Belkin 1). The article presents that mold as out-dated. However, this Huggies ad came out in 2012, and the mothers in the ad certainly know best. One mother tells her husband “Good luck” before leaving, suggesting that he is less skilled as a parent. This ad sets the expectation that mothers must pick up the slack after the fathers. I think society would benefit from ads that represent mothers and fathers as equally involved and skilled parents, because as Belkin says, “Gender should not determine the division of labor at home” (Belkin 2).
Belkin, Lisa. “When Mom and Dad Share It All.” NYTimes Magazine. New York Times, 15 June 2008. Web.