Strollers as a class symbol

Cars are the classic class symbol: when you see someone driving around in a BMW, Audi, or Range Rover, you know they have a certain amount of money. Yes, they are luxury cars and, with that, comes a nicer ride. But they also signify to those around that you come from a *certain* socioeconomic class. I’m not @-ing people who do have luxury cars—just recognizing that their consumer choices have social ramifications.

Well, when you enter into parenthood, strollers do that same thing. Strollers signify to those around your class status.

First, you have the Uppababy and Stokke class of strollers. These can be reaching the $1,000 mark or higher. But even beyond the price tag, these strollers signal a certain *fanciness* (if you will, lol). These strollers are all bougie, all day—you can’t deny it. Don’t get me wrong though: I’ve pushed a few Uppababies in my day, and damn, do they do feel nice. There’s just something that’s smoother about the ride.
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Maybe I think they feel so nice because the stroller we have falls into the ‘bougie-but-pretending-not-to-be’ category of class status. We have the Baby Jogger City Mini GT. Now, if you don’t have a kid, you have no idea what I’m talking about. But once you know this stroller, you will see it everywhere. It’s in the $300-$400 range, which is NOT nothing. We justified it by claiming that we walk the dogs everyday with A, so he’ll spend a lot of time in the stroller. Which is true! But now, almost two years in, I’ve started nitpicking the stroller (he can’t sit up straight enough!), which is ridiculous and I recognize that. Still, it’s a really nice ride and says to the people around us that we have some money/will probably make more money in the future/but try to pretend we don’t care about class status. Lol. (can you tell I’m trying to be self-deprecating here!?)

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Then, we have the good, old umbrella strollers. Classic. What most of us grew up with probably. This says, I’m just getting what is practical (both financially and otherwise). They can range from $20 up (though some of the fancy brands have umbrella strollers for $200—this isn’t what I’m talking about).

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Now, of course, there are things that fall in between these *very rough* categories. But, like I said earlier, I’m trying to light-heartedly call attention to the fact that parenting is a political, social and economic endeavor—and that the purchases we make as parents can perpetuate things like class status in the world. I don’t know if we would make a different choice if we did it all again, but at the very least, it’s worth recognizing.

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