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Moms, Is There Such Thing as an ‘Ugly’ Baby?

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Updated March 2, 2017
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Image: Veer / The Bump

This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but when my first son was a newborn, I entered him in some baby modeling contests. This is even more embarrassing because I came across the photos recently. I was shocked. Not because my baby is now in first grade. (How did THAT happen?!) Not at how tiny he once was. I was shocked that he was – how to put this nicely? – not quite as cute as I remembered.

Now, wait. Before anyone gets their nursing bra in a twist, let me just say that my son is adorable now. Shaggy hair, smooth skin, big brown eyes. And, of course, I thought he was adorable then, as every new mom does. But looking at the photos, I noticed things I hadn’t then. Like his bad case of baby acne. And the skinny little chicken legs. And just how BALD he was.

Maybe it’s the hair. Both my babies were cue-balls for the first year or so, just like I was. My mom says she used to tape a bow on my head to keep everyone from thinking I was a boy. This was before Velcro barrettes and elastic headbands, apparently. Some people can rock the bald look – like Bruce Willis or Taye Diggs – but most of us look way better with hair, don’t you think?

I’ve heard people say there’s no such thing as an ugly baby. I happen to agree with that, but there certainly are such things as funny-looking babies. In fact, a lot of them fall into this category. Mine did. The baggy skin, the double chins, the too-big eyes, the patchy hair. I heard one mom say she feared she had given birth to a baby ape when her daughter came out covered in a fine layer of dark fuzz! And depending on how your baby emerged from the womb, his or her head may have that lovely conehead look. C-section babies come out looking far less smushed.

Anyway, unless we’re on “Toddlers & Tiaras,” we all know a child’s looks aren’t what’s important, right? Although someone should have clued me in to that in my delusional new-mom days before I sent out those cringe-worthy baby headshots.

Were your babies gorgeous from the get-go or more funny-looking cuties?

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