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May 10th, 2006 Adrian Chen | News Stories
 

Baby, You Look Like A Pimp

Portland-based Pimpfants incites a national tantrum with its line of baby clothes.

     
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Ever look at your 2-year-old and think, "You know, my kid's cute, but what he really needs is a hooded velour track suit"?

Well, Portlander Jared Parsons, brother of Fox 12 News anchor Shauna Parsons, thought it—and acted on the idea.

"When I was shopping for clothes for my kid, I saw that there was a void for people who wanted something a little edgier and a little cooler," says Parsons, a 31-year-old father of three kids, ages 2 to 5.

To fill that "void" in all our lives, Parsons developed Pimpfants (www.pimpfants.com), a line of baby clothes that come fully "pimped out," boasting a wide selection of velour track suits and "Lil Beaters"—tank tops that feature slogans like "My Mommy's a M.I.L.F." ("Mother I'd Love Forever," explains Parsons with a laugh).

The Pimpfants website was launched earlier this year to little fanfare. But then the widely read Drudge Report (www.drudgereport.com) linked to the website last week with the headline "'Ho Clothes for Kiddies."

Parsons now finds himself the subject of incredulous and outraged blog posts from around the country (like this one from www.bloggingbaby.com: "Pimpfants might be the grossest new word. Ever.").

Parsons has been featured in newspapers ranging from the Boston Herald to the Denver Post, as well as on both MSNBC and Fox News. And Pimpfants has been the subject of so much Internet banter that the website was recently overwhelmed by thousands of hits.

Most of the press has ranged from fiercely outraged to mildly disgusted. Not surprisingly, much has also been made of the Pimpfants name and its unsavory connotations.

"I take it [Parsons] has never talked to a prostituted woman who has been beaten to within an inch of her life by a pimp," writes Brenda Zurita for Concerned Women of America, a national conservative group.

But Parsons claims all the brouhaha is the work of overeager word police.

"Me and my friends had this lingo—if I liked someone's shoes, I'd say they were pimp," Parsons says. "Pimp just means stylish."

As for Parsons' Portland celebrity connection, his sister Shauna says she's "proud" of her younger brother. She and her husband, Ivan McAffee, were among the company's original investors.

"They're not selling baby stilettos," Shauna Parsons says. "It's cute, cozy stuff for kids."

 
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