When parents enter their kid into a cutest baby contest like the Gerber Baby Photo Contest, they’re filled with the hopes and dreams of winning that top prize! Because why wouldn’t they win? Their child is in fact the cutest!
Unfortunately, there can only be one winner, and every year thousands of parents are disappointed to find out that their kid wasn’t the winner and they wonder if their kid really IS the cutest kid out there.
I can tell you that I completely understand because I’ve been there before. We entered our daughter Marvel into the famous Gerber Baby Photo Contest so she could be their Spokesbaby for 2016 and win a $50,000 cash prize!
Since this post is about not winning, I’m sure you can guess that Marvel didn’t win. But her losing helped me learn some things that will help you when you’re feeling down about not winning.
The Money Doesn’t Matter
This was the first thing I had to learn. I had this fantasy built up in my head about what we’d use that money for. I thought up vacations we could go on, houses we could build, debts we could pay off, so it was disappointing knowing we wouldn’t have that money after all.
But in the end, my husband Sean and I still have jobs that we love, a roof over our head, and lots of great memories that we’ve been able to make as a family.
Would that money have made us happier? Probably not, because as they say “money doesn’t buy happiness.”
It’s Not The End Of The World
While I waited for the announcement of who won, I would frequent the Gerber Facebook page. It made me sad to see some of the comments from the women on there. While most understood that the contest was just for fun, there were others who would leave comments that made it seem like the end of the world if their child didn’t win.
I completely understand getting excited and your hopes up, because that’s what I did. But I had to remember that I have more chance of getting struck by lightning than winning. It’s still a chance, but you can never assume you’ll win, because then you’ll just automatically be upset.
You can always choose how you’ll react and I’ve learned that I just need to remember it’s a fun contest and that, at least for a few more years, there’s always next year!
Gerber Knows What They’re Looking For
Now this is just my own theory, but I am a firm believer that Gerber already knows the type of kid they want to win the contest. Gerber needs to be diverse in their winners or people will cry foul.
To help prove my point, back in 2008 I auditioned for American Idol. The very first audition is with a group of producers and not what you see on TV. After I sang my song, one of the producers said to me, “You’re not what we’re looking for this year”. Instead of being upset, logic said to me that they would be looking for a specific style or type of person in order to weed through the thousands of auditions they saw.
So when I was thinking about how in the world they would choose the winner for Gerber, I was reminded of this experience with American Idol. With the amount of entries they receive, they’d have to have set parameters to look for so the pictures don’t all start to blend together after a while.
Last year’s winner was very similar to Marvel in that she was a caucasian girl and about the same age. So it wasn’t a surprise to me when the winner this year was of Asian heritage. It just proved my own personal theory true (though the baby IS very very cute!). (Edited to add that the winner for 2017 is a boy, which I had guessed they would choose a boy, further proving my theory).
Now don’t go relying on my theory. Next year 2018, I could be completely proven wrong (though I’m thinking maybe an older kid or a set of multiples). It’s really just my own fun way of guessing and it also helps me feel better about my daughter losing.
My Daughter Is Still The Cutest Baby
The biggest thing I learned is that I don’t need a contest to tell me that my baby is cute, and neither do any other parents. Not winning the contest doesn’t all of a sudden make her magically an ugly baby.
Admittedly, there are some babies cuter than others but really what matters most is what the parents think and I’d argue to say that all parents think their baby is the cutest (or else why would they put them in cute baby contests?).
Of course, I’m one of those parents. Marvel is still the cutest little thing I’ve ever encountered, and every day she gets cuter (which I don’t know how it’s even possible!)
So remember, when you’re feeling down about your kid losing the Gerber Baby Photo Contest, or any cute baby contest for that matter, it’s not about the money, nor is it the end of the world. What matters is that your kid IS cute, because that’s what you think and that’s what ultimately matters!