A popular meme I occasionally see on Facebook is “Like if you’re a 90s baby with no baby!”
However, it seems that meme’s funniness was short-lived because some 90s babies with babies started taking offense. Some believe the meme was specifically meant to insult parents who had their children at young ages (teen to early twenties). Some also took offense at being called a 90s “baby” and assumed whoever made the meme was saying they’re not real adults. The backlash has caused memes like this to spring up.
That brings me to this question: Why is it okay to be proud you have children, but offensive to be proud you don’t?
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard and seen the following:
- “You have no idea what it’s like to be tired until you have kids.
- “You will never know true love.”
- “You have no idea what you’re missing out on.”
How are these not insulting? These are actually directed at somebody, either an individual or a group of people. If someone said they’re proud to be a parent, I wouldn’t assume they were, for whatever reason, taking unnecessary pity on me that I don’t have children and don’t want to be a parent. If they said any of the above, however, I would.
Likewise, that I’m proud I don’t have kids does not mean I feel pity for parents or believe they are pathetic. It means I’m happy with and proud of a choice I’ve made for my life instead of doing something I don’t want out of pressure (and yes, that would be the only reason I ever had a child; bad!). I believe that’s the case for most, if not all, of the people who find the “90s baby with no baby” meme amusing. It’s not a jab at parents. It’s asking “Who’s like me?” It’s no different than “That feeling when…” memes. It’s meant to be relatable.
Perhaps the person who first created it was being bugged by their family or friends about when they’d have children and they got fed up. Maybe they heard of the phrases I listed one too many times. Maybe becoming a parent at a young age is common where they live and they felt like the odd one out for not having a child at a young age (this is the case in my family). Since memes practically spring out of nowhere, no one will ever know except perhaps that person’s friends.
In short, I believe the offense taken to the “90s baby with no baby” meme is yet another example of people getting worked up over something trivial. I understand some people do take joy in purposefully trying offend others since the anonymity of the internet grants a certain kind of protection, and I believe that’s very immature. However, I cannot believe this meme is an example of that. At most, it really seems like nothing more than something innocent that was put into a bad context by someone who was upset by it and didn’t care what the actual intent was.