A St. Paul mom is having her cake and smashing her face into it, too.
To celebrate turning 40 on May 20, Serina Brueggemann decided kids shouldn't be the only ones having messy fun on their birthdays. The nurse anesthetist and mother of two arranged for a cake-smash photo shoot, which in recent years has become a trend for babies turning 1.
"I'm not someone who ever takes myself too seriously," she said. "I wanted to have some fun with the idea of turning 40 because it's something that women usually fear with every ounce of their being."
Brueggemann enlisted the help of some friends from her "Real Housewives of St. Paul" Facebook group, and photographer Rachel Farganis. The women gathered the necessary supplies for a cake-smash photo shoot: poofy tutu, golden tiara, sparkly shoes and a chalkboard with Brueggemann's stats, including age ("aged to perfection"), weight ("none of your damn business") and favorite food ("vodka").
Farganis drenched her St. Paul studio in glitter and snapped photos of Brueggemann as she dove into the cake face-first, licked icing from her middle finger and drank pink Champagne straight from the bottle.
Judging by the number of posts to Pinterest, cake smashes for adults aren't a new idea, but these photos struck a chord. A photo captioned "the cake smash to end all cake smashes" has been shared on Facebook nearly 6,000 times and has drawn attention of mommy bloggers across the world.
"Women typically don't celebrate our own birthdays after a certain point, and we certainly don't hire photographers and get cake for ourselves," Farganis said. "I think people like to see someone who is turning 40 having fun."
Brueggemann agreed. Aside from hearing from women who want to do something special to celebrate their own birthdays, she said her favorite part of the photo shoot was the gold-glitter Betsey Johnson heels that she'll never wear again. "Walking in those heels was medieval torture," she said. "But they made me feel fabulous."
That's just how 40 should feel. □