A growing number of parents are forcing infant heads to grow rounder because they will look more popular.
Social media feeds are quickly filling with advice to mothers and fathers who are thinking about reshaping their newborn’s skull.
So-called correctors are designed to force soft infant bones into rounder shapes. This means the baby does not have to live with a flatter head. Although some parents use special equipment at home, others send their children to clinics for custom-built head correctors.
“I took my baby to head-shape correction despite my family’s protests,” one trending mother said on the Xiaohongshu social network according to the South China Morning Post.
The woman complained about the infant preferring to sleep on her side, causing her head to become flat and stretched out. She tried to prevent her from sleeping on his side but to no avail, so she paid for custom “head correction” at a clinic.
The clinic manufactured a helmet from plaster cast to match her head measurements. The helmet braces the head to grow in a rounder shape.
“I think wearing a head helmet has the same function as wearing braces, which is to correct a body part and make it more beautiful,” the mother said according to the paper. “I have a flat head, and I know how painful it is for women who are chasing beauty. I do not want my kid to grow up and regret this part of herself.”
Although some users criticized the woman’s image-conscious thoughts, several others approved of her parenting.
“Nobody would put a helmet on their baby for no reason,” one user commented. “The suffering now is for a beautiful head in the future. Your baby will grow up appreciating your hard work!”
A Nanjing city pediatrician claimed helmets are normally used in hospital treatment when there is a medical problem in natural cranial development.
“It makes no sense to correct the shape of a baby’s head for beauty reasons,” he said according to the publication.
Some years ago flat heads were considered to be a sign of good luck, resulting in infants being forced to sleep on wooden boards, books, and other flat surfaces.
Ancient Chinese culture holds that beauty is a reflection of human moral standard. The divine connection and inner purity reflects one’s outward appearance.
Since communism was introduced 70 years ago in China, and Mao Zedong’s “Cultural Revolution” distorted these values. The Chinese Communist Party promoted atheism and tried to eradicate the nation’s 5,000-year ancestral heritage.