Pampers Prints: You Can’t Polish a Turd

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If you are from the South then you’ve probably grown up hearing the phrase:

“You can’t polish a turd.”



With the re-release of their designer print disposable diapers Pampers is attempting to do just that.  See also: “Like putting lipstick on a pig.”

Do printed disposables make for prettier packages of plastic wrapped around human fecal matter?  They will definitely spruce up that drab ol’ landfill.  It needed a facelift and those non biodegradable argyle diapers are going to make it look really nice for the next 500 years or so.  </sarcasm>

It boggles the mind why anyone would pay a premium price for an item that is meant to be thrown away. This doesn’t just apply to disposable diapers mind you.  Fancy paper plates, decorative  paper towels, paper bibs…. the list goes on and on.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Tampax started making polka dot tampons next!  That area definitely deserves a little decorating!

I enjoy attractively designed items for myself, my home, and my children.  I also enjoy saving money.  It just so happens that my cloth diapers cover the color sprectrum and come in prints!  So do my cloth wipes, my reusable paper towels, and my washable dinnerware.  And by using things that can be reused I save money.  See where I’m heading?

Before Huggies Jean Diapers and Pampers Designer Prints there was one thing Modern Cloth Diapers have had over disposables for years: The Cute Factor. Both sides can argue environmental impact and cost savings and both can find “evidence” to prove or disprove their points.  But modern cloth diapers are cuter.

They saw the writing on the wall.  Cloth diapers had the aesthetic edge.  Stylish, sophisticated, design minded parents might switch to cloth diapers for that very reason!

Pampers aren’t cute. In fact, they are ugly.  They even SOUND ugly.  The swish of a disposable makes the hair on my arms stand up.  And call me crazy, but when I am out in public and catch a whiff of a child wearing one that has been soiled (pee or poo) it makes me a little sick.

I’ve been onto Pampers for some time.  Their marketing to India and now Nigeria is appalling. {India Article, Nigeria Article}  Selling modern conveniences to families who would love them and need them but who would spend a HUGE chunk of their income on them is just plain WRONG.  When the dollar trumps your concern for other human beings that is a company I will never support.

To grow here, P&G must persuade people who live on $5 or less a day to buy items they’ve forever lived without….In Nigeria, many people can barely afford a bar of Ivory soap, let alone a luxury such as disposable diapers….

Do I dare pull a Kanye?!

Pampers doesn’t care about Black People.

Or Brown People. Or White People.

They care about Green People.

I’m going on record and saying that I have used disposables before.  I hope to never do it again, especially now that I know how to hand wash flats when traveling.  But if I do, so help me, I will never give dollars to Pampers (or P&G).

Pampers will do Whatever It Takes to get your money.  In America they will hire designers to come up with appealing designs to print in ink on their paper diapers with less pulp in them (which saves them money) but still charges you more for that improvement.  These same diapers were thought to have caused thousands of rashes in babies all over the country.  Even if the CPSC gave up that investigation you’ll never convince me Pampers Dry Max diapers weren’t to blame.  {disclaimer: that is totally my opinion.} They will slander cloth diapers and post Myths vs Facts with flimsy defenses of the environmental impact of their disposable diapers and claims against cloth diapers lacking facts to back them up.  They will market their diapers to Third World Countries because the pennies they charge for their products multiplied by Billions of impoverished people still equals big money.

Money, Money, Money.

Their print diapers, just like pretty wrapping paper (which you hopefully recycle if it can be) get used once and thrown away.  What A Shame.

These remind me of another brand *cough bumGenius cough*

And stringing the disposable diapers on a clothesline?! Who do you think you are fooling?  “Awww….. diapers on a line, how quaint and cute!  Let’s go with that one.”  In real life there should never, ever be disposable diapers drying out anywhere!  Why would you even put that idea out into the universe?  Reusing disposable diapers is a dangerous practice that impoverished families have resorted to. In reality, if a disposable diaper were strung on a line to dry it would be bloated and puffed and bursting with SAP gels soaked in urine.  It would look, smell, and feel disgusting.

Pampers, you can’t polish a turd. Cloth diapers just can’t compete with a Billion Dollar business when it comes to advertising.  But they can compete where it counts.  Word of Mouth, Quality, Money Savings, Benefits for the Baby, and all around awesomeness.

What do you think?  Is Pampers utilizing the cute factor of cloth diapers for marketing purposes?  Or am I just a crazy cloth diaper lady with an axe to grind?

{I realize that Mythbusters did in fact manage to polish a Turd in a previous episode.  But in the end what good did it do?  It just resulted in a shiny Turd.  Pretty garbage is still just that, Garbage.}

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  • Caitlin

    I don’t have a problem with people who choose disposables (or disposables with cute–but no where near as cute as cloth–prints), but for me and my family cloth is the only way to go. I know basically nothing about various disposable diaper brands’ business practices; however, I find it disgusting that any company would exploit improvised persons or nations in any way.

    The biggest issue I have this whole “thing” is the ad that Pampers is running, which displays their disposable diapers on a clothesline. In fact, I am surprised they don’t see this ad as a liability. After reading about desperate families who had no other options but to reuse disposables, I find this ad not only offensive, but also dangerous. Is the implicit message here that it’s okay to reuse disposables?

    I know for most of us it’s obvious that disposables are a one-time-use item, but I believe that some people are struggling and just don’t know there are other options. Many of those people may be unaware of the health risks associated with reusing disposable diapers. Unless they have it printed on the bag that the image is only for marketing purposes, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if some people take this image to mean that they can hang their disposables out on a line to extend their use–and then when their babies are sick, they will be suing Pampers.

  • Caitlin

    On my comment below improvised was supposed to be impoverished–Ugh! I get so annoyed with auto-corrects sometimes.

    • Anonymous

      I knew what you meant! Happens to us all!

  • Why do they have their diapers on a clothes line in the picture!?  That’s wrong in so many ways!  Also, if they are bashing cloth diapers so much, why do they want to make their diapers look like cloth (on the outside of the box anyway)?

  • Caitlin

    Oh, and by-the-way, is that a new Ragababe print I see???????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Yes…… Yes it is! They posted it on their FB page!

  • dynamightymom

    Before kids, I was a Nanny to a family whose Mom was a brand manager for P&G. She was one for dog food or something. They had Pampers EVERYWHERE. It was Pampers haven. Back then, I didn’t know any different (my son changed that). BUT I went to babysit them one time after leaving them and getting a full-time job somewhere else and they had seventh generation diapers I believe? I thought wow, what a change. Then the Dad went on a huge rant about how AWFUL Pampers are and he just couldn’t believe they used them for so long. So that kind of swore me off on them because if an employee of P&G is swearing off of them you know something is wrong. Then a year or so later find out she left them and is working elsewhere. THAT speaks volumes! 

    • Anonymous

      Pretty enlightening comment! Thanks for sharing that!

  • KT

    Noticed a comment about the diva cup and must add how much I love it and how much money it has saved us! We moved to Thailand 7 months ago with our then 19 month old son. We left the cloth behind hoping to potty train quickly and not knowing what our laundry situation would be. Needless to say I very much regret that decision. Disposables are pricey here and not as good quality. Our son is potty trained now, but for the next one I’m back to cloth! There’s only one brand of diapers I recognize here, but I can’t remember if it’s Huggies or Pampers…

  • I was in Target and saw these things and almost puked. They even have a “tag” that looks like a sewn on cloth diaper tag on the back. I hate P&G as well. They have been torturing animals and making disposable products soaked in chemicals for decades. These really piss me off and I wish the greater public understood that they are being taken advantage of! I could scream.

    • Anonymous

      I could scream too!

  • Megan

    Very funny post…

    It’s also funny that the CD mom’s think it’s the sposies that smell from a mile away when soiled…wrong, so wrong.  But you all can continue to tell yourselves that.lol…

    When I was pregnant, I considered going the CD route, but after hearing so many judgmental mom’s who do so, I’ve changed my mind.

    Continue having fun ripping others apart, because you’re the only mom with all of the answers. Bravo!