The approved talking point is that all babies are beautiful. But ask anyone who has seen the gooey meat potato better known as an infant and they'll tell you that, well, that's just not accurate. Some babies, suffice to say, are a little hard on the eyes. Their tiny little heads are all soft and misshapen. They haven't been given the proper amount of time to grow into their facial features. Some infants, let's face it, look like 80-year-old accountants prepared to explain, in excruciating detail, all the ways you screwed up your taxes.
While it's easy to assume parents would take offence to anyone describing their child as anything less than angelic, Tiktok parents are — thankfully — poking fun at their odd-looking offspring. In the latest TikTok trend, caregivers are actually posting pregnancy pictures describing their hopes for their perfectly symmetrical, soon-to-be adorable babies, only to follow up those hopes and dreams with snapshots of their, shall we say, unsightly newborns.
"She definitely grew into her facial features," one mum posted, along with pictures of her brand new baby girl twisting her face like an award-winning contortionist. "She needed a little time but she's adorable now," another mum shared, along with pictures of her little one sporting an eye roll even the most obnoxious teenage boy would need years to perfect. "He's gotten past the ugly newborn stage I promise," one mum assured followers, sharing pictures of her newborn son sporting some relatively large eyes and an apparent need to consistently stick out his tongue.
Here are just a few of the cutest ugly babies around:
Truth be told, it's common for babies to enter the world looking a little worse for the wear. Babies are born covered in vernix, a thick, cheese-like material that protects the skin when a foetus is growing inside a pregnant person's uterus (cute!). Caput Succedaneum, more regularly known as having a cone-shaped head, is also common if the birth parent or person's labour was long and difficult. There are a slew of other typical conditions a newborn can experience that would make them less than aesthetically pleasing — from a full-body rash that resembles pimples to white and yellow spots on the face — that usually resolve themselves in days or weeks.
Turns out, it's also common for the majority of adults to find newborns to be ugly, according to a 2018 study that found that most adults consider babies to be appealing when they hit six months of age. So, really, if you don't find a baby to be cute it's not your fault — it's science.
Truthfully, when both of my children were born, I thought they were the most beautiful creatures on the planet. I also thought they looked like rotten onions; like maybe my uterus was the sun and they had been in that bitch for way too long. But I still believed in my hormone-fuelled heart of hearts that my sons were gorgeous because motherhood is weird and babies are weirder, and celebrating all that weirdness is part of the fun that is parenthood.