I get a lot of mom-related advertisements in my social media feeds. (Because, obviously.)
Anyway, this gem from Yoplait popped up the other day…
…and I just couldn’t handle the glaring irony.
I’ll quote the relevant parts of the transcript to demonstrate what bothers me.
Host: “We’re doing this really cool hidden camera social experiment about moms…”
Host: “Moms face a lot of judgment on social media…”
Host: (*while watching from hidden camera*) “Come on, Mom, get in there!…(*whispers*) Oh, you better help, Lady!”
There…do you see what I mean?
Did you catch what’s happening here?
Okay, I’ll spell it out:
They’ve set up a hidden camera to make sure that one mom isn’t “judging” another mom.
In other words, they’re literally monitoring from backstage–watching to see if these moms behave the way they want them to behave.
How does Western Don’t-Judge culture keep missing this?
How is a Hidden Camera Experiment not inherently judgmental?
And, if that’s not clear enough, then here are pieces of Experiment #2:
“Let’s see if these other moms offer themselves up as impromptu audiences [for the little girl]…”
(*hidden camera rolls*)
Host: “So far, so good!”
(*after the test-subject does what they wanted*)
“We have hidden cameras everywhere. And you nailed it, girl!”
And then, here’s me, while I’m listening to this:
Come on, guys, this isn’t that difficult.
We’re not making the world a less-judgmental place.
We are trying to teach people how to judge in more socially-accepted ways!
Now, before anyone gets the idea that I’m AGAINST this experiment–or AGAINST judgement in general–that’s not what I’m trying to say.
I’m pro-judgement, for this very reason.
I embraced the idea that I’m “judgmental” a long time ago, because I realized it’s impossible NOT to judge.
I’d much rather admit to everyone that, yes, I’m watching you in public (and, yes, I think some are making good decisions and some are making bad ones), than try to pretend I’m not judgmental…WHILE SITTING BEHIND A CAMERA AND MONITORING HOW OTHER MOMS BEHAVE.
That’s just silly.
We can agree about this, right?
The only way to thank each other for doing something nice/good is if we judge first. Think about that. The problem isn’t watching and judging the choices other people make.
Instead, the problem is when we judge by unfair or untrue standards–such as giving ourselves a pass that we don’t give to others. Or judging to make ourselves feel superior.
Once we understand that our goal is to start judging correctly, well then we’ve made a breakthrough.
Then we can have the conversation about whether it’s really fair and true that mothers should always “help” take pictures of a snotty kid who keeps sticking out his tongue.
(Yes, the host whispering “You better help, Lady!” still rubs me wrong. Like, maybe, if it were MY kid, I really wouldn’t want another mother to “help” by begging him to smile, when he’s being a turd. But, whatever.)
Anyway, my point is, embrace the fact that you’re judgmental.
Just embrace it!
At least when we admit that there are certain standards of behavior we expect other moms to follow–then these hidden-camera experiments actually make sense to test each other…
…instead of being completely hypocritical.