The famous Bonds Baby Search annual competition to find Australia’s cutest babies is facing some big changes.
Enough is enough
The move comes in the wake of some pretty terrible behaviour over the last few years. Bonds hopes it will discourage the slew of mean comments aimed at some babies, as ambitious – and actually downright nasty – parents sought to give their own babies a better chance at taking cute baby crown by slagging-off other entrants.
Now in its sixteenth year, Bonds have done away with the People’s Choice category public voting altogether, instead opting for daily winners picked randomly by Bonds staffers. It’s a brilliant call when you look at what’s been going on.
The pageant began to take a racist and downright revolting turn back in 2011, the Herald Sun reports “when a picture of a Eurasian baby was tagged ‘Bonds Australia, not Asia’ and another child was called an ‘ugly duckling’.”
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Toddlers and Tiaras?
Competitive types were apparently going to town on other baby entrants via social media comments, and it was not so much Toddlers and Tiaras but more Parents and Poison.
“In 2014 some parents turned on finalist babies — which included two children with Down syndrome — calling them ‘plain and weird’ and ‘hideous’,” the Herald Sun explains.
“Others said there were babies who were ‘a lot better looking than the ones chosen’.”
What are people even thinking?!
Every baby is beautiful
Bonds head of marketing Emily Small says the company is keen to make the competition much more inclusive, celebratory and kind, with a new category for “fur-babies” rolling out this year.
“Due to the overwhelming volume of entries Bonds Baby Search receives every year, we want to give back to the Australian public and celebrate more babies,” Emily told the Herald Sun.
“By removing public voting, Bonds is judging Baby Search again, and will be selecting daily winners, giving away more prizes to celebrate more babies.”
The 2019 competition launched on February 7 with a prize pool worth $40 000 on offer. Babies, pups and kitties all welcome.