It’s not that NotMoms don’t exist on the internet, but their voices are few and scattered while women in all corners of the web, individually and collectively, speak of Mommydom and Life issues through that lens. The steroidal influence in this scenario is provided by the world’s advertisers, who like to spend their dollars on specific sectors of society. Unless you’re in a majority group, you must prove yourself viable, either through size, money or another form of influence.
The shadow of the Mom Machine looms as large as spaceships in Independence Day.
It is advertising gospel that images of children, puppies and a smiling Mom can sell almost anything. Madison Avenue is most comfortable when a woman conveniently fits in one of these categories:
- Single/Using Birth Control
- WannaBe Moms
- Young Moms
- Moms of Infants/Toddlers/Preschoolers/Tweens/Teens
- Empty Nest Moms
Women outside of those boxes are easy to forget until they’re needed to link to a specific product. Adoptive Moms and Military Moms, for example.
There’s a trying-to-be-a-movement going on to recognize NotMoms who are aunts, including a recent NY Times article and the Savvy Auntie website and book. That’s cool. What if you’re not an aunt? Or a godmother? What if there’s no discernible connection between you and children at all? You’re the gravy that the advertiser gets when the message is aimed at Moms.
I say you deserve more.
If it’s all about disposable income, well, it’s true that some NotMoms spend lavishly on kids in the extended family. But if one out of five American women isn’t spending her money on raising a family, where’s it going? Charity? Travel? Fashion?
Why aren’t brands beating down our door? Brands that focus on single women should be looking for NotMoms…hard. Good thought, right?
I’ll keep cyber-spelunking for data, but perhaps it’s time to do a survey of our own in this space. What would you like to know most about childfree women in America or anywhere else? Let me know and we’ll send the hug out into cyberspace.