We got the latest Pottery Barn Kids catalogue yesterday in the mail, and since I had nothing else allotted to the five minutes before I left for class, I flipped through it. I was seriously creeped out by the lifestyle they’re promoting.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I loves me some Pottery Barn. Dan and I actually have an apothecary table and matching TV stand. However, somehow with the main Pottery Barn catalogues, I’m able to distance myself from the vision of life they’re selling and just focus on the furniture and rugs themselves.
With the Pottery Barn Kids catalogue, I found that incredibly hard to do, maybe because there were actual kids in many of the pictures, which is almost never the case in the regular catalogue. The kids’ bedrooms all looked spotless and constructed. This is not inviting in the way it might be for adults. It felt very restrictive. Not only was everything put away, but the rooms were full of gleaming, heavy wood furniture and obsessive toy-organizing structures. The “playrooms” were even worse; they looked like classrooms. I was offended by the fact that all play seemed to be happening only in the playrooms, and the play actually being conducted in the playrooms seemed more like work. Also, everything, everything had a kid’s name on it. In some of the bedroom photos, there’d be a pillow with the kid’s name on it, and then the name on the wall in cut-out letters, and then the name on the baskets in the cubbies in the wall organizer.
It was all just so sterile. It seemed designed for the family that a) uses their kids’ rooms as showpieces in their perfect homes, and b) can’t remember their kids’ names, probably because those kids are actually boarded out until needed for endearing photos. I’m all for organization, especially if it’s going to help Nate read, and I’m even in favor of showcase homes, but kids have to get a pass on that. You can make the choice to be an obsessive adult with a perfect home, but leave your kids out of it.