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Well-rounded child: Chinese parents strap helmets on babies to reshape their heads

Trend marks break with tradition of seeing flat heads as auspicious

(Getty Images photo)

(Getty Images photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A new beauty trend is catching on among Chinese parents — head rounding — yet it is not the parents themselves but their babies who are undergoing skull reshaping.

Taking advantage of the window when their children's soft heads are more malleable, parents are taking to social media to discuss and try out various products that promise to “correct a baby’s head shape,” according to a recent report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP). These products range from pillows to headgear, as seen on Chinese e-commerce site T-Mall.

The SCMP report features one mother’s struggle to perfect her baby’s head. After growing frustrated with the infant's refusal to sleep on its side, she got some “head correction gear” custom-made for her child.

The solution was a kind of molded helmet that specialists created after they wrapped the baby’s head in plaster to get a precise measure of the cranium. Though the headpiece can be removed, it is meant to stay clamped onto the baby’s head for most of the day so as to “guide” its shape just like retainers do for children’s teeth.

“I have a flat head, and I know how painful it is for women,” the mother revealed in an online forum. “I don’t want my kid to grow up and regret this part of herself,” per the report.

Some netizens cited supported her, saying, “The suffering now is for a beautiful head in the future. Your baby will grow up appreciating your hard work!”

Ironically, Chinese parents in past generations did all they could to stop their kids from getting round heads. Flat heads and broad foreheads were traditionally considered auspicious in China.

Parents in the past would force children to snooze with their heads on books or wooden boards to flatten the back of their heads, suggesting that although aesthetics may have changed, the time-honored tradition of making babies suffer for beauty lives on.

Updated : 2022-01-22 20:06 GMT+08:00