Friday, May 11, 2012

Time

Everyone's doing it, so I might as well put in my 2 cents about the TIME magazine cover and article on attachment parenting. A lot of the hullabaloo has been related to the cover where blogger, Jamie Lynne Grumet is shown nursing her 3 year old son.


In the circles I venture into, issues revolved around her pose/weight/outfit. Some agreed with Salon.com, that putting a thin/hot mom in a tanktop while nursing her son, who appears to have been dressed and positioned so that he looks older (like 6 or 7), sexualized the image.

I disagreed. A tanktop and a child on a chair does not equal sexualized. Maybe if the tank top had some strategically placed sequins and tassels, but a plain tank top? Maybe if she had a "come hither" look, but she doesn't. She looks confident and perhaps challenging (especially paired with the divisive headline). It's provokative, but not sexualized No, she probably doesn't nurse like that at home, but no one nurses at home as if a photographer is posing them for the cover of TIME.

And maybe the boy was dressed to look older, but six year olds do nurse and there's nothing wrong with that either, so that argument was kind of null for me. Perhaps if someone glanced at the cover and went home aghast that a 6 year old was nursing, they'd be a little nicer to their friend/family member who is nursing her 3 year old. Of course, I'd like for them to be nicer to moms who nurse their 6 year olds, too. Usually by that point, it's not something that is brought up in conversation anymore because of the negativity around it. Let's get past that as a culture.

When I went to pin another photo from the TIME article, before I could count to 10, there were some very rude comments on it. Concerns that a child with teeth shouldn't be nursing (some newborns have teeth!), that it would cause some sort of Freudian or psychological issues to nurse a kid who would remember it, and general, "EWW..." surfaced. I asked for respect in dialogue and replied well and I'm ok with leaving the conversation where it is at, so don't go and comment- we all have better things to do than comment troll Pinterest- it's the weekend! But enjoy reading the conversation if you'd like. It was one of those, "Ok. Here we are again..." moments.

In all, I thought the related article was nice and that the cover was some "sell magazines" propaganda. And that's pretty much my whole opinion on it.

Margaret's opinion was, "A big kid nursing!"

Isaac's opinion was, "Breast!" (that's our name for nursing).

Other related articles and responses:

Dionna Ford's Huffington Post article, Extended Breastfeeding Does Not Equal Extreme. Dionna was one of the bloggers in the article's photos as well and did her own post at Code Name: Mama.

Also in the HuffPo: TIME Magazine: the Breastfeeding Debate.

Time Magazine Breast-feeding Cover Provokes Strong Reaction, from the LA Times.

From Breasts to Boobs and Back Again, from Jason Good 365.

USAToday published an article, Breast-feeding a 3 year old is normal, anthropologist says.


And one more opinion from me: Please stop publishing the word "breast-feeding" with a hyphen. "Breastfeeding" is the acceptable form. Ignore the squiggly lines in Microsoft Word. They don't know anything.

14 comments:

  1. Mayim Bialik said she did a TON of interviews today regarding this cover and article, and apparently told off someone who was on CNN with her for saying it was sexual. I didn't see it but will look for it online tomorrow, though it may be up now...

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    1. http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2012/05/11/exp-nr-mayim-bialik.cnn

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  2. I nurse like that. If I'm preparing food at the kitchen counter, Moira will bring over her little chair and push my shirt up herself.

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    1. I think I have too! Kids are smart.

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    2. Yep. My daughter has scooted a bench over while I do dishes.

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  3. Love your thoughts on this! Why in the world do we need to shame her for wearing a tank top?!

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  4. I agree SO MUCH! Thank you for sharing!
    BTW, I breastfed my oldest son till he was five, and ya, we nursed like she is on the cover. And YA, I mainly wore plain tanks that I could pop the booby out of.

    When this cover/article showed up the other day, I was SO excited. I thought it was beautiful. A strong beautiful woman looking us in the eye, while breastfeeding. I will be framing to remind myself to keep on being strong with my two current nursing children.

    Peace!

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  5. My 10-year-old son looked like a 5-year-old when he was 3. I constantly got told to control him better and he would get told he should know how to behave better simply b/c he looked big for his age. I found myself telling folks, "He's *three*!" a lot. Too often. And, if people would just accept that 3 and 6 are still baby ages, really, (not infancy, but definitely still developmentally closer to infancy than adulthood) then size and young child stuff wouldn't even be an issue. We force kids to grow up too fast and then wonder why there are so many messed up teens and adults. 3 or 6, he's a baby. Not a helpless infant, but a baby. I wish we'd start recognizing the importance of protecting childhood as a society. The only thing I find offensive about the photo is that the kid is in camo. I hate seeing kids wear camo. But, that's just my own peeve.

    I love this photo!

    God forbid we not be able to only focus on a woman's sexuality when we see a photo of her. God forbid.

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  6. I think the main problem was how Time made everything controversial. "Are You Mom Enough?" is a challenge, then the caption calls moms who practice attachment parenting extreme. I wish they would have just done the whole thing in a more enlightening, friendly way.

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  7. Ridiculous that they are saying anything about what she is wearing!! I have a stack of thin strapped, tank tops (pretty much the same as hers) that I wear almost everyday now because they make it so much easier to breastfeed by just pulling it down (like she has done here)! What do they expect her to wear?! And to talk badly about the photo because she happens to be so good looking?! Ridiculous!!!

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  8. Hoooooly goodness, on the Pinterest comments. I'm always disenchanted by the fact that it is mainly women whom I see make nasty comments about nursing in public/nursing past a year, etc.

    I feel so grateful for my supportive family and especially my supportive husband, when I see what other women must be surrounded by from these comments.

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  9. The only thing I didn't like about the cover is the "Are you Mom enough?" title. I wish society wasn't so judgemental about breastfeeding. But I also wish there wasn't so much judgement about women and mothering in general. Breastfeeding vs. bottlefeeding. Stay at home mothers vs. working mothers, natural childbirth vs. medicated. We need to inform, but support others in their decisions and I am one who has greatly benefitted from the support of others (including you) in my mothering choices. It's just too bad that Time magazine chose to focus on creating a conflict rather than just informing and educating. But I guess nice doesn't sell...

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    1. Yes, That is my only problem with it as well. Because my daughter self weaned at 13 months I'm not "Mom enough?" I have friends who didn't breastfeed at all and are wonderful mothers, but they still receive the judgmental looks and comments.
      As far as the picture being sexy, I just don't see it. You see more "side boob" when someone wears a bikini. I even asked Hubby if he saw anything sexual about it (because sometimes as a women I don't see what a man will see).

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