Even if you haven’t heard of the “sad beige baby” trend, chances are you’ve seen it all over Instagram or TikTok. It refers to the ultra-minimalist aesthetic that many moms seem to be gravitating towards, dressing their kids up in muted tones, giving them colorless wooden toys to play with, and photographing them only against a background of, well, sad beige things.
The neutral look has become the norm for so many parents, influencers and children’s brands that most of us rarely bat an eye when we scroll past the images in our feeds.
But thanks to the delightful humor of one mom on TikTok, the “sad beige baby” look is now being put on blast.
The term was initially coined by Hayley DeRoche, who started by creating a few humorous videos mocking the trend while mimicking the voice of German filmmaker Werner Herzog. Once they took off, DeRoche created a whole TikTok account around the phenomenon, which is now known simply as @sadbeige.
“Welcome to Werner Herzog’s new line of childrun’s toys,” DeRoche says in one video while using a clip from the children’s brand gathre. “Sad beige toys for sad beige childrun, inspired by Cormack McCarthy’s The Road.”
In another, heartbreaking music plays in the background as DeRoche features several images from an unnamed children’s clothing line. In most, the children look unhappy and unsmiling while wearing things like saggy brown jumpers and muted, cream-colored T-shirts.
“I call this one, ‘Please, sir, may I have some more?'” DeRoche jokes against the image of a sad-looking child who appears hungry.
“I call this one, ‘Waiting for the Orphan Train,'” the mom adds when a photo of two children sitting on a wooden bench pops up.
Now that sad beige has become a “thing,” other parents are joining in on the mockery.
“If you’re a Montessori parent, please give me tips on how I can remove the color from my child’s life,” @tiny_waste says in one recent TikTok. “I’ve switched out the clothes in his closet, changed the blankets in his room [and] I’ve started peeling fruit before I give it to him, but it’s frustrating sometimes because it’s still colorful on the inside.”
Other moms have simply been sharing images of “sad beige baby” things when they see them out in the wild.
Whether or not the “sad beige baby” trend is here to stay remains to be seen, but one thing’s for sure: It doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
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