Babysitter Solutions: Celebrity Sitting

How much do child-care choices of celebrities influence your decisions?

Mannies have been inadvertently helped for a few years now by various famous personages, including Britney Spears, who recently used a male bodyguard/manny, Perry Taylor, for her son. Spears' use of a manny has been the largest thing to hit the manny world yet. The image of tall, blond-haired, blue-eyed and strong Taylor carrying her small son smote hearts across the nation. Papers immediately picked up on the "buff babysitter" trend and started promoting it after his appearance, nicknaming him "Perry Poppins." The New York Times, USA Today, CNN and the Today Show led the charge, discussing the idea of mannies, their appeal, their newness and their charm. Some reporters even polled parents on the street about their feelings on male nannies, or paired their news with other male trends. (The Today Show paired its coverage with a discussion of the rise of the "himbo," or male bimbo, as the new arm-candy male in Hollywood.)

Why is the manny trend so appealing? Men as nurturers present a very wholesome and inviting image, especially to single mothers. Anyone who's even seen Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard knows how sexy male protectors can be. Men also provide role models that women can't. For children with busy or absent fathers, supportive, wholesome and non-threatening men are downright necessary to restore balance. And as a final plus, your husband won't run off with the manny, except in very rare cases. What's not to love? As a final ironic twist, Perry Taylor now guards Jude Law, whose own romantic troubles with both his nanny and Sienna Miller have had him in the headlines for quite a while.

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