We are mammals. By definition, we nurse our children.
It has been that way from the beginning of our time on this earth.
So why does everyone get their britches in a bundle when we see it with our own two eyes?
I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding. I think it is wonderful for the baby, for the Mommy, for the family as a whole, and for society in general. Breastfeeding helps create healthy babies, it promotes the attachment between Mommy and baby, and you know what else? It’s free. Free food. Free, healthy food.
But really, I’m just sick of the debate. My ears hurt from all the talky-talky about this topic. We all know it’s healthier (unless you smoke crack, take certain medications or practice uncontrolled alcohol consumption), we all know you should do it if you can, so there really isn’t anything left to talk about.
But every time I turn around, there’s some NEW CONTROVERSY.
Oreo made a perfectly cute and clever ad showing a woman breastfeeding and the internet erupted with conflict.
I thought this ad was not only incredibly clever but very cute. Sure, it’s using breastfeeding to shill junkfood but really, it looks like something created by Don Draper himself.
Today Moms basically accused it of being porn. They claimed it was sexualized because the woman’s breast had been photoshopped (aren’t all ads photoshopped?!) and wasn’t covered in stretch marks and blemishes.
I see nothing sexual, lewd or offensive in that photo.
Now THIS is a photo I find offensive:
That black slash right there? Yeah, that’s what we use to cover up things that are disgusting, things that are inappropriate for public consumption, things that shouldn’t be seen in society. That is the photo Today Moms used.
Maybe I shouldn’t be so sensitive, but to imply that what we do, as mothers, to nourish our children is the equivalent of some back-rack nudie mag hurts my heart.
Time Magazine created a sensation this week by putting a picture of a mom breastfeeding an older child on the cover.
I don’t love the photo. It’s not what I would characterize as beautiful or sweet (unlike the Oreo ad) and frankly, the kid just looks like a brat which makes it all even worse. Obviously, Time Magazine was trying to push some buttons and create controversy by featuring an older child but what I don’t understand is…
Why is this still news?!
It won’t be considered “the norm” until it is no longer a sensation, until it is no longer a “cause”.
If you are a breastfeeding supporter and you want breastfeeding to be the generally accepted course of action in the same way wearing shoes is the general course of action when you walk out the door (again, not intending to offend those who choose not to wear shoes because they are unable or take medication that makes wearing shoes unworkable), it just can’t be a news item. Clearly we are not there yet.
But we should be. It is time. Women have been breastfeeding babies for as long as there have been women and babies. It’s time we got over it, don’t you think?
Why is it a problem in our society to see a woman’s breast in the context of her nursing her child? The fact that there is a baby attached to her nipple should immediately negate any sexual (and therefore inappropriate) connotation. I actually heard a radio announcer proclaim on his show this morning that if it’s all about the nutrition, why can’t you just pump it and feed the baby with a bottle?
BOOOOM! That was the sound of my head exploding.
Because we want to avoid putting those boobs that exist to give the men something to ogle at and play with anywhere near a baby’s mouth?
Of all places a breast should be, in a baby’s mouth is number one.
We have boobs because that is how we feed our babies.
I’m reminded of former United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s declaration on what constitutes obscenity, “I know it when I see it.” What is sexual or obscene and therefore deserving of being hidden from decent society is in the eye of the beholder. If you look at a breastfeeding mother and baby and you see something prurient, the problem lies not with the breastfeeding or the breast, the problem lies with YOU.
And I have a very simple solution for you…look away.
Other thoughtful posts on this topic can by found here:
Ado at The Momalog – Are You Mom Enough?
Shiftless Mommie – Enough
Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms – Are You Mom Enough Not to Take the Bait?
Scary Mommy – It’s Time to End the Mommy Wars
Mondays With Mac – Something Awesome Happened on the Way to the Time Magazine Cover
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