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What is ‘sad beige’ parenting and how did we get here?


If you’ve been browsing for baby shower gifts over the past few years, you may have noticed that onesie, wall hangings, and wooden toys have been dominated by a certain color palette.

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This dreary monochrome take on children’s fashion and design was dubbed “Sad Beige” by humorist Halle Deroche, who, on her TikTok account, features upscale children in the sad voice of German filmmaker Werner Herzog. Describes the offerings of retailers. that sad beige lady,

DeRoche told HuffPost that the videos she primarily makes in her car during lunch breaks from her job as a librarian now have 12.5 million likes.

In a recent post, Deroche/Herzog sarcastically stated, “I call it staring blankly into the abyss toward which we are all headed, whether we dress ourselves in cashmere or khakis.” The video ends by revealing that the “Sable Cashmere Polo for Babies,” designed by a rare child, sells for $95 (£77) from Banana Republic.

Even those unfamiliar with Deroche’s satire and the companies she mocks can recognize the less-than-colorful trend in celebrity babies’ nursery decor, such as kylie jenner’s son,

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In a video titled “to our sonThat Jenner released on YouTube last March, the images of the baby’s nursery are so monochromatic you might initially think they were filmed in black-and-white.

Big sister Stormi, in her patternless beige pajamas, takes viewers on a tour of the “baby’s room.”

We watch her silently tapping the muted gray, beige and rose beads of an iridescent toy that shares a shelf with gray and white stuffed animals and blocks of natural wood.

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Gentle wave created by the shade of the walls, chair, carpet, crib slats: beige, gray, all shades of off-white.

Jenner’s nursery both exudes a minimalist serenity and reveals a depth of wealth unimaginable to most parents.

Unsurprisingly, the items that blend best into the scheme are also some of the prized ones.

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Where Did ‘Sad Beige’ Come From?

A few things may have inspired this silent turn in kids’ fashion. First, to avoid the gender barriers of aggressively marketed pink or blue, some people may have found their way to beige as a gender-neutral alternative.

Colors with names such as Sand, Oatmeal, and Ecru are not stated as masculine or feminine. They don’t really shout at all, blending quietly into the background of whatever off-white paint you already have on your walls.

Second, there’s nothing like bringing a new human into the world to shore up your ecological conscience. You don’t want piles of bright plastic waste floating in the ocean forever, and neither do you want colorful plastic toys and accessories jarring the peaceful atmosphere of your child’s nursery.

Finally, there is an affinity for natural ingredients that are safe and non-toxic for babies. For example, undyed wooden toys and undyed, undyed cotton are mostly beige, so the color becomes a shorthand for simplicity and thoroughness.

When the trend matches a company’s commitment to environmentally sustainable, ethical production, it fulfills this tacit promise, and consumers may assume that the higher cost reflects these standards. But, as Deroche has notedJust because a product is beige doesn’t mean it was ethically or sustainably produced. Parents need to do their research if they don’t want to become victims of greenwashing.

What is the charm of beige color palette?

The sad beige aesthetic has taken on meanings beyond non-gender and non-toxic. it also stands for Some: authority and dominance of adult taste.

Sad beige appeals to parents, especially pregnant or new parents who are concerned about how a new baby will disrupt the serene aesthetic of their homes—and their lives.

Parents who identify with the gloomy beige trend “don’t want to compromise on aesthetics. They don’t want their home to be awash in oceans of sequins or neon slime or polyester ball gowns,” says Martha Alexander, a journalist and mom. Father explained in one interview with BBC.

Besides not cramping their style, a room — or kid’s — decked out in beige equals an off-white wall. “I think sometimes this aesthetic is trendy, especially with influencers, because it can make products pop,” DeRoche said.

“If your whole life is basically your stage, you have to have your home as that backdrop, and so I think that’s why we see that neutral backdrop with influencers. It’s really about marketing.” It is,” Deroche said.

It is also not unreasonable to think about how your baby will match your look when you spend most of the day carrying that baby.

“Our kids, at least when they’re young enough to dress up without a competition, are a reflection of our own personal style,” Krista Boehm, who runs the online baby and children’s clothing boutique Aspen + James, tells SELF. told HuffPost.

“Whites and beige are trending in adult fashion,” says Boehm, “so when I strap my baby to my chest, I love a look that works collectively, and that’s easy to care for.” is very small.”

The company’s website, which features a lot of beige, mentions “neutral hues,” which Boehm says aligns with customer demand.

“We know that many mothers are using those specific keywords in online searches,” she explained.

FatCamera via Getty Images

Parents who identify with the gloomy beige trend don’t want to compromise on the aesthetic.

Mommy-and-me outfits are the trend, and adult women are more apt to buy items in this color family than to wear themselves.

Other advantages of beige, Bohm said, are that it matches almost anything and can be assigned to children of any gender.

Why is it so enjoyable to make fun of ‘Sad Bez’?

In addition to being funny and clever, DeRoche’s TikTok videos tap into another urge many parents share: schadenfreude at the new parent’s expense.

We all start out with lofty goals for our parenting: color palettes we’ll never touch and food additives they’ll never eat. Then reality hits, and before you know it, you’re knee-deep in Happy Meal boxes and hot pink tutus.

“When I was pregnant, I thought I was going to live in a Scandinavian utopia,” Alexander said, adding that she “failed almost immediately” to fulfill this vision.

“It all went down with Jumperoo,” she said.

Deroche, the parent of an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old, describes her parenting palette as an “exploded circus” that in her home, “is nothing Instagram worthy.”

“I think it’s so easy to be minimalist when you have a baby,” she said, “but when they’re whole little people it becomes a lot harder.”

While DeRoche says she has aesthetic preferences and has expressed them in some of the art she has in her home, she has discarded the illusion that she can control her environment or its inhabitants.

Deroche said, “I think being an aesthetic is a valiant attempt to maintain the illusion of control.” “We all want to be in control of our parents all the time. And it’s a long hard experience to be like, ‘Wow, I only have 10% control when I thought I’d have 100’ — it’s a He has been very humble as a person.

While she loves beige, Boehm knows that the days of it dominating her baby wardrobe are numbered.

“I fully expect that my own 1-year-old daughter will soon decide what she’s going to wear for the day,” she added, “and I will encourage and fully support her in developing her own style — colors and all.” .

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