Cloth Diapers in the Media

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KimbaFoxNatsume

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I'll admit I used to think plastic pants were optional with cloth diapers. Obviously, being on this site, I know better now, but this does bring to mind something I've noticed: when have you ever seen, in a movie, TV show, etc. - particularly in cartoons - cloth diapers being worn with plastic pants? Just tonight I was watching the Christmas movie Elf, and the main character is shown as a baby in an orphanage being put to bed in a cloth diaper, but no plastic pants. Maybe perhaps the tag on the diaper is a plot point, but still. Seeing they're so essential, why are plastic pants never shown?
 

dogboy

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I'll admit I used to think plastic pants were optional with cloth diapers. Obviously, being on this site, I know better now, but this does bring to mind something I've noticed: when have you ever seen, in a movie, TV show, etc. - particularly in cartoons - cloth diapers being worn with plastic pants? Just tonight I was watching the Christmas movie Elf, and the main character is shown as a baby in an orphanage being put to bed in a cloth diaper, but no plastic pants. Maybe perhaps the tag on the diaper is a plot point, but still. Seeing they're so essential, why are plastic pants never shown?

That's a good question. I think they just take the easy way out: buy some white cotton material, and Voila, the character is diapered. I also think it may be ignorance, because very few people put cloth diapers on their babies. If you go back and look at earlier films, you'll see plastic pants. A good example is the Tom and Jerry cartoon, Baby Pants, where the little girl of the house puts Tom cat in diapers, a baby bonnet and gives him a bottle of milk.

She puts plastic pants on him, and later in the cartoon, the alley cats come in, make fun of Tom, pretty much beat him up and pull out his plastic pants, probably rubber pants, and pour water in them to simulate Tom wetting his diaper. When I watched that as a kid, I would almost hyperventilate, wanting to be put into cloth diapers and plastic pants.....sigh.
 

sbmccue

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I haven't seen Elf, but I know some AIOs can give the appearance of a cloth diaper with no plastic pants. Admittedly, these are for infants rather than adults, but unless you see pins in the diaper, you may be looking at an AIO and not know it.
 

Cottontail

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I've thought about this before too. I think it pretty much boils down to this: Because so many of these portrayals are trying to emphasize the diaper--whether to distinguish a baby character from an adult one, to convey humiliation of an adult character, etc.--they put it right out there, unmistakable with its diaper pins and all. You know what it is immediately, and you get that it's being shown for a reason. Plastic pants would make things a tad ambiguous.

I don't know that old films and cartoons are necessarily more accurate in their portrayals of cloth diapers, either. For proof, look no further than the 1937 Disney short "Modern Inventions", starring Donald Duck (no plastic pants), or the slightly disturbing 1932 live-action short "War Babies", starring Shirley Temple (all characters in enormous cartoonish diapers with foot-long diaper pins).
 
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WBxx

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She puts plastic pants on him, and later in the cartoon, the alley cats come in, make fun of Tom, pretty much beat him up and pull out his plastic pants, probably rubber pants, and pour water in them to simulate Tom wetting his diaper. When I watched that as a kid, I would almost hyperventilate, wanting to be put into cloth diapers and plastic pants.....sigh.

Think this is the Tom and Jerry scene you referenced. Stretchy amber waterproof pants in 1943, they were certainly rubber and I too was fascinated by this cartoon in my youth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEuGbWL2BC8
 

dogboy

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Haha....Castor Oil plus diaper equals one big mess!
 
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