Chinese parents, who believe that a round head is more attractive, are taking to social media platforms such as the trendsetting forum Xiaohongshu to discuss “miracle” equipment that helps “correct a baby’s head shape.”
Chinese parents are going to great lengths to ensure their babies do not have flat heads, including purchasing “miracle equipment” such as helmets to correct the infants’ head shape. The trend of putting corrective molds on babies’ heads began in October when parents flocked to stores to purchase helmets for their children. These helmets resemble bowling balls and are allegedly designed for babies with flatter heads in the back. They involve strapping the mold to a child’s head for extended periods in the hope that it will shape their soft, still-developing skulls into a more aesthetically pleasing, rounded shape by the country’s beauty standards. The current craze appears to stem from the belief that a round head is more attractive. Because babies’ bones are soft, parents use “head-shape correction” products such as pillows, helmets, and mats to mold their heads into a round shape. “I took my baby to head-shape correction, despite my family’s protests,” one mother wrote on a Chinese social media site.
Because the baby prefers to sleep on her back, her mother explained, her head appeared “flat and stretched out.” When the mother could not get her infant to sleep on her side, she took her to a local clinic when she was only seven months old for custom-made “head correction gear.” The girl’s head was plastered, and a mold was made to “guide” the growth of her skull. “I believe that wearing a head helmet serves the same purpose as wearing braces in that it corrects a body part and makes it more beautiful,” the mother wrote, adding, “I have a flat head, and I know how painful it is for women who are chasing beauty.” I don’t want my child to grow up and be ashamed of this aspect of herself.”
“I think wearing a head helmet serves the same purpose as wearing braces, which is to correct a body part and make it more beautiful,” the now-deleted post’s unnamed author wrote. “I have a flat head, and I understand how painful it is for women who want to be beautiful. I don’t want my child to grow up and be ashamed of this aspect of herself.”
It’s unclear how much this woman paid for her baby’s head mold, but according to the Chinese news site Sohu, such devices can cost around $4,300. Separately, the Alibaba-owned shopping portal Taobao, ċḧïńä’s equivalent of Amazon, sells a variety of baby head-correction devices. These range from $20 head-shape-correcting pillows to $3 versions of head-correction helmets to $15 sleeping mats designed to keep infants from sleeping in positions that may “cause a flat head.”