Thursday, January 23, 2014

A critique of the modern "cake smash"

A blog I normally enjoy is running a contest that I find so irritating I can hardly stand it. I thought about making a critical comment on the blog itself, but that's obnoxious. I thought about tweeting (apparently I'm doing that again) something witty and cutting, but there was no way to explain myself in 140 characters. And I also considered a Facebook post, but I'm trying not to drive my casual acquaintances away with over-frequent rants about nutrition.

(Wait, don't you go away! It's only loosely* tied to nutrition, I promise!)

Finally, I considered not saying anything about it to anyone at all ever, and I don't really have any good reason for not doing that except what are personal blogs with limited readership for, anyway?

The irritation is a photo contest for the "best cake smash"—you know, the picture you get when you put a piece of birthday cake in front of a 1-year-old and let them "eat" it as best they can. I do get that it's really cute when they get cake on their faces. (It's not cute on brides, though, so I still don't understand that.)

But judging from the entries in the contest, the modern cake smash is a major photo op that requires everyone involved to go insane. Here's what I learned from looking at the contest entries on Facebook:
  1. There is a big trade in professional photographs of 1-year-olds with cake on their faces (just Google "cake smash" and look). Boys go shirtless but wear oversized neckware, girls also go shirtless but get giant hair ribbons, and the frosting color MUST coordinate with the diaper/tutu color.
  2. In the interest (I guess) of getting better photos, people are putting huge amounts of cake in front of their babies for them to destroy. Full-sized, professional-bakery cakes! The kind with fancy lettering that cost money! Go ahead and dive right in, little Brayden!
  3. Finally, I wondered why so many of the children were crying in their cake-smash pictures. At first I reasoned that they might just be overstimulated, or startled by the singing of "Happy Birthday." But then I started reading the comments on the photos, and the people were laughing about how little Emma didn't much like it when her mommy SMASHED LITTLE EMMA'S FACE IN THE CAKE. (Ha ha ha! I wonder why not!) 
So, this is my own little forum and I'm going to go ahead and say it: Gluten, sugar, and chemical-filled frosting for 1-year-olds are stupid, but they are the least of our worries when there are dangerous lunatics like this on the loose raising children.

* I'm actually going to mostly set aside the nutritional aspects of giving cake to a 1-year-old because I already know how that battle goes. And someone in the Facebook comments already posted that she was "sad" to see all the babies eating "legalized cocaine," and she got RIPPED TO SHREDS by the other mommies. Too bad for the entire mommy universe that they're wrong and she's right.


  1. I don't understand the cake smash for babies, but then again I don't understand the reason for a huge party for a 1 year old either. As for smashing food into the face of the bride or groom, I just think it's crass. Let's just have a huge food fight at the reception and let everyone have food on their face, clothing and hair.

    Also, if you don't addict children to sugar early in their lives they have a much greater chance of never craving sugar. A win-win because you have a better chance that they never have a complete melt-down at the grocery store and they have a greater chance of not having a weight problem or developing Type II diabetes.

  2. I like your tweets.