Speaking Up for STFU Parents
When Blair Koenig started STFU Parents, a Tumblr that lightheartedly pokes fun at the myriad parental oversharers of the world, she had no clue that four years later her inbox would be overflowing with enough tantrums, dining table diaper changes, and placenta casserole recipes to fill an entire book. And yet, STFU Parents (the book) hits stands this week, complete with vomit, snot, and of course, those perennial potty-training updates. Breaking down the submissions into categories like “Mama Drama,” “Mommyjacking,” or the ominously titled “Gross-Out Factor,” it’s a cautionary tale for anyone who’s ever considered giving birth — or even been friends with a parent.
Do you just hate babies? Why start the blog?
I noticed a big influx of information — kidformation — in my Facebook status feed. I kind of loosely complained about it to a parent friend, so then she started sending me screen shots of her annoying friends, who were mostly bragging about their kids. Up until then I’d only witnessed more boring, minutiae-type updates — how many naps their kid had, how much their kids had eaten. But the updates she was getting were a whole new level.
I’m probably going to regret asking, but what’s the most revolting thing you’ve ever seen?
It’s all a matter of taste. Some people are not grossed out by snot, but personally, I think pictures of kids with snot hanging off their faces are the worst. Anyone who takes an aerial picture of an open diaper or a toilet with shit in it … I don’t even understand how a person thinks that way.
What about all the placenta eating? I mean, I grew up with animals, I know dogs and cats do it, but until I became a regular reader I thought it was limited to the animal kingdom. And then one of my own friends posted a placenta smoothie.
The placenta shake is a powerful image. People are taken aback by that shot, because there are no red vegetables that create that color, and it looks, at first glance, like a cocktail. The fact that it’s an HD picture that looks like it belongs on a menu … that’s what’s so funny about it.
What’s been your most popular post?
Definitely the Brenda post. Brenda clicked “like” on a lingerie company’s Facebook page and so pictures of underwear kept popping up in her feed. She kept posting furious responses, demanding this company stop posting “pornography” on her page. Her relatives kept trying to explain, “Auntie, you can ‘unlike’ the page,” but Brenda’s fury kept growing.
I’ve read a lot of bitching about how you have no right to do this blog because you don’t have children.
Movie critics aren’t generally also filmmakers and food bloggers tend not to be chefs. I don’t understand a lot of the criticisms. I mean, are you really defending the right to change a diaper on a restaurant table?
Which is your favorite category?
“Sanctimommies” are hard to beat, though a good mommyjacking is up there too. My favorite is when someone posts something really sad like, “My brother RIP,” and then some idiot replies “happy birthday to little Samuel … in four days.” It’s not even their kid’s birthday THAT day — they just have to take the attention off the guy with the dead brother to talk about their child.
Photo via Shutterstock
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