By the time a product gets to the vendors on Canal Street in NYC, you can be sure there's a proven market for it. The knock-off bag and perfume and gift makers don't go into production without a big demand. It's safe to say that anything that appears for sale in the shops known for cheap imitations is "on trend," but I might even be able to say that it's about to be last year's trend. That's why I was surprised to see the latest in onesie fashion. Boldly printed on new babe's belly was the following, "Don't You Wish Your Grandma Was Hot Like Mine?"
Riffing on the 2005 Pussycat Dolls hit Don't Cha, this gift item makes us think twice about the attractiveness of grandmothers. I needed to do some calculations:
If the average age women have first children in the US is 25 (via 2006 data from http://www.cdc.gov). Subtract 25 years for the older generation—the average age women had their first child in 1981 was 23. That would make the average age of a grandmother today 49. (Sure, that's an average age, and with 13% of new mothers being teens in the US, and 9% of new mothers being in their late 30's and early 40's, those numbers vary a lot). But for understanding a market, that average grandmother who is "hot" like our newborn's is at the very tail end of the Baby Boom generation. That sure puts "granny" into a new light.
Think of it this way: in 1980 when that Grandmother was graduating High School, the pop music hits were Queen's Another one Bites the Dust and The Romantics' What I Like About You. That's hardly the same image of Glenn Miller and Bob Hope fans that come to mind when we say "grandma." Yeah, today's average granny is potentially very hot.
And even the older grannies are staying hot as well. In this 2011 August article in the NY Times, cosmetic surgery for the over 65 crowd is on the rise, and it's expected to rise more and more as the older boomers hit 65. (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/09/health/09plastic.html?pagewanted=all) Grandma (and Grandpa) hotness is on the rise.