Quick, cover your eyes! Boobs!

Unless you’re living under a rock (and the way the world is going down the shitter, believe me, I’d understand if you were,) then you’ve probably at least glimpsed the ‘controversial’ Time Magazine cover of the mother breastfeeding her toddler.  The impression I get is that America is pretty much the only place where this seems to really piss some people off.  One reason may be that most of America seems to elevate breasts’ sexual function above their biological one.  In other parts of the world, not only is nursing normal, but so called “attachment parenting” is a way of life.

I nursed my daughter for 20 months (for you mathematically challenged folks, she was almost two) and believe it or not, I heard some pressure to “switch her to formula,” etc, etc.  When I nursed around others, I often covered up as much for their comfort as for my own modesty.  That said, that was a personal choice.  All of those things were personal choices, based on mine and my child’s needs, from the decision to nurse, to when and how to do it, and when to stop.  If you don’t like or agree with someone else’s style of parenting, the cool thing about living in this country is, hey, you don’t have to do it!

I really don’t understand why people in this country feel the need to beat others about the head with their own morals, social mores, and opinions.  I read comments regarding that magazine cover to the effect that the child would later on be scarred and embarrassed when their friends inevitably saw the cover.  Really?  Scarred?  Because I see and even know some people who ignore their kids, emotionally batter them, belittle them, overfeed them, smoke around them in enclosed spaces, get drunk around them, foist them off on others, have ugly fights with their spouses around them, and use them as ammunition in their spousal fights…   If the worst thing that happens to that kid is an embarrassing photo, then he’ll be okay, I think.   I’d worry more about the airbrushed tits and ass the kid has to see on every other magazine cover, billboard, and advertisement every day, all the time.

And for you people that think that the photo or the practice of extended nursing is perverse… grow up.  Get your mind out of the gutter.  Consider therapy even, if ‘boobies’ embarrass you so badly.   

I could say a lot of things about this cover, these ideas, but they’d probably all be things you have read before in one form or another.  So I’ll content myself with reiterating a theme you may have noticed courses through a lot of my articles.  People need to mind their own damn business.  Stop trying to make decisions for other people.

Additionally, some brilliant soul came up with this version of the Time cover that really hits me on an emotional level.  ~sniff~

9 responses to “Quick, cover your eyes! Boobs!

  1. Honestly, I didn’t take offense to the picture. I took offense to the headline. As a first time mother, I was “ordered” by my pediatrician to switch to formula when L wasn’t putting on weight at 3 months. I didn’t know any better so I did. He’s a perfectly lovely and intelligent child. With K, I bf’d as long as I could. My supply didn’t keep up, I was exhausted, and I switched to formula at 6 months. K has been speaking in full sentences since 1.5. I spend every waking moment with my children, I feed them, clothe them, cuddle them, and make sacrifices for them. So, yes, I am mom enough for THEM. Whether or not I am mom enough for Time magazine or Joe Blow down the street or any one of the umpteen million judgmental moms out there who point fingers and think they are better than me does not apply. It’s just all indicative of a bigger problem in our country. As women, we are always pitted against each other. The media, society, popular culture breed this “she’s better than you, she’s your enemy” attitude into us from a young age. Instead of reassuring our girls that they are wonderful just how they are, we show them that they should be “more.” It’s sad. And scarring. And I thought that maybe, just maybe, parenting would be the thing that wasn’t touched by it. But it isn’t. Luckily, being a parent has made me stronger. Unlike my meek high school self who always felt inferior, parent me can say “I’m not just mom enough, I’m THE mom. I’m the BEST mom. And my kids are AWESOME!”
    Sorry for the rant. Just hits a nerve.

    • No, you are so right. That’s another thing maybe I should have added to this article, but I kind of implied it with the whole passage about personal decisions. Being a mom is a very personal experience. Unless we see a child actively being harmed, we have no business judging other moms. Unfortunately, some people have problems distinguishing what is ‘harmful’ to a child and what is not. 😦 You are a super-mommy, Panda!

  2. To be honest, this isn’t something people over here are talking about. If they do, it’s a shake of the head and another ‘crazy Americans’ comment. I hadn’t heard that people had an issue with the boobage, either. The kid being three – that seems a bit strange. And as Panda said, the aggression inherent in the photo and the headline that says clearly that if you aren’t willing to bf longer than everyone else, then you aren’t good enough. It’s the judgementalisim (ooo, apparently that’s a real word! My iPad thinks so anyhow), and that Time is using this to make an issue out of something that isn’t an issue. Breadtfeeding is a natural process, not a contest. What’s next, comparing the quality of our poop, with an accompanying ‘shocking’ cover?

    • BAHhaha! I sure as hell hope not. I think the headline wasn’t so much intended to put down some Moms as to challenge the people who don’t understand attachment parenting… That said, it doesn’t excuse them for being insensitive to Moms like my friend Panda.

  3. Honestly, I never thought about that cover. I’ve seen it around on the internet, but never judged about it. I heard people saying that that kid would be bullied later, or be scarred like you said.

    There are much worser things on earth than a toddler sucking a boobie.

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