The Today Show’s new co-host for the third hour, MSNBC alum Tamron Hall, shared a startling and somewhat unusual story from her childhood this week. She confessed, live on the air, that her mother wiped her face with a pee-soaked diaper when she was a baby.
Right now you are probably thinking one of three things:
1) Why would her mother do this?
2) Why would Tamron share this?
3) A bewildered mixture of both.
Thankfully, I have a couple answers for you.
During their daily telecast, Tamron Hall — along with co-hosts Natalie Morales, Willie Geist, and Al Roker — tackle a whole slew of hot topics. Lately, it seems that the third hour of The Today Show has put an emphasis on sharing personal anecdotes, from stories about their children, to their spouses, to their feelings about their own body image. On Tuesday, the topic was superstitions.
After Al Roker went off on something to do with flying and ice cream sundaes, Tamron dropped an overshare bomb. She first admitted that she is “extremely superstitious,” and then shared this nugget from her childhood:
“If you want your baby to be pretty, you wipe their face in their diaper. And my family did that, I swear! And my mom, she wiped my face with my cloth diaper with my urine. It’s supposed to make your kid pretty.”
To which Willie Geist asked, “Did you come from a family of witch doctors?”
Tamron stated in a matter-of-fact tone, “It’s a voodoo Southern culture thing.” I, personally, had never heard of this tradition before. I did a Google search for terms like: “diaper wipe face pretty,” “baby make pretty with dirty diaper,” “tradition of wiping face with used diaper.” But my search came up empty. So perhaps it’s not as commonly practiced in the south as Tamron thinks?
Needless to say, though, this got me thinking. What other unusual baby superstitions are out there that I’ve never heard of? Here are four other wacky ones I found:
The Lotus Birth
After most births, the placenta is severed and discarded. But in the case of the “Lotus Birth,” the umbilical cord is not cut, and the placenta stays attached to the baby. The placenta is cleaned off, wrapped and sometimes coated with sea salt and herbs (so it doesn’t start to smell). After it has dried out and decayed, it eventually will detach from the baby naturally.
Spitting in a Baby’s Eye
This is an odd one that apparently happens in Bulgaria. In order to try to ward off the Devil and to not make him jealous and want to steal the baby, an adult must make it appear that the baby is not desirable. They do that by pretending to spit in the baby’s eye and declaring, “May the chickens poop on you.” Yes, that.
In Maharashtra, India, there is a VERY dangerous-sounding tradition of throwing babies off a 50-foot-tall building to, “ensure good health and prosperity for their families.” Not sure how this ensures “good health” but I guess if you survive the fall, you’ve got to be pretty sturdy right?
In Spain, each year on May 25, men dress up as Satan and jump over rows of babies. Apparently, this is done in order to keep bad spirits away from the infants.
So there you have it! Four superstitions possibly even more unusual than the one Tamron shared. Have you heard of any these, or do you have any of your own? Leave them below in the comments!
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