What “only children” look like in 2009
Friday, March 20th, 2009
I recently encountered the website for Only Child, a magazine that shrewdly targets the “20 million only-child households” in America (this figure has doubled since the ’80s and increases every year). I urge you to check out the home-page, if only to see how it depicts sibling-free kids. The main photo offers a primer on how to recognize both genders. Let’s start with the boys:
Identifying qualities of male only-children
1. They are bald: Without siblings to pull their hair, stimulating growth, they quickly molt and wear colorful bandanna doo-rags to conceal their shame.
2. They are patriots: These lone-wolves gravitate towards Top Gun colors such as red, white, and blue when choosing dorky headgear.
3. They never get dirty: Growing up among adults, male singletons rarely roll about pointlessly in mud or grass, and wear snow-white clothing at all times.
4. Still, they are quite roguish: On the rare occasions when an only boy encounters others of his kind, he flings his arms around them like a New Kid on the Block or a Rockette.
5. Some are actually trademarked: A few exceptionally isolated youngsters (above, left) feature a large “TM” symbol in the middle of their stainless tees.
Identifying qualities of female only-children
1. They are hairier: More conscious of appearance, female only-children religiously pull their own hair 200 times a night to ensure growth.
2. Their teeth are endearingly flawed: To avoid looking too perfect and indulged, girl singletons visit special dentists who sand off bits of their teeth (above, left) or create endearing gaps (above, right).
3. Their patriotism manifests in floppier, shinier ways: See hats.
4. Fewer arms are flung: Their need to bond is stronger than their male counterparts. To this end, they often forgo limbs entirely and meld themselves into one snow-white clump of pseudo-sisterhood.