Real Boobs: Breast-feeding Foes
Wednesday - August 09, 2006
Babytalk is a magazine for mothers with babies. It has caused a furor because it dared show a close-up of a baby’s face pressed against a partial side view of a woman’s exposed breast. To hear the protests of the hyper-Puritanical, you would think the end of the world was just minutes away. Gee, I didn’t realize that a breast-feeding baby was pornographic. What was I doing trying to track down National Geographic as a precocious, pre-pubescent thrill-seeker?
I should have been hanging out in the “Infant Nutritional” section of Borders.
This is so ridiculous. It’s difficult to believe how downright anal Americans are about the human body. I am a conservative in life, but I also exercise some common sense in everyday conversations. There is a definite difference between a titillating (oh goodness, here come the snickers) photo of a scantily clad Hollywood wannabe with all but the central part of her mammary glands exposed and a mother lovingly, and discreetly, feeding her child at her breast. If you cannot differentiate between the two, that’s your problem, not the mom’s or the baby’s.
The bottom line here is Americans are squeamish about nudity. We protest when we see a baby and a mother breast-feeding, but it is perfectly all right to have Paris Hilton sitting legs spread on the cover of a magazine you can buy in the grocery store.
Which image is more acceptable? You should hear some of the comments about the Babytalk cover with the mom and baby breast-feeding. According to the Associated Press, one person wrote, “I was shocked to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine.“Another wrote, “I immediately turned the magazine face down.” Another writer was very eloquent when he/she wrote, “Gross.”
There is more.
“I shredded it. A breast is a breast - it’s a sexual thing.” Referring to her 13-year-old son, the writer went on to say, “He didn’t need to see that.”
Finally, a woman who is identified as a breast-feeder, a “lactivist,” if you will, says of breast-feeding, “I’m totally supportive of it - I just don’t like the flashing. I don’t want my son or husband to accidentally to see a breast they don’t want to see.”
Can’t we all just grow up? Is it really, “gross” to see a picture of a breast-feeding baby? How can that be? Do you know what’s gross? Death. Mayhem. Carnage. Abuse. Hate. We get images on of these on covers of magazines on a regular basis. Where are the parades and marching bands trying to remove those images from the newsstand?
The state Legislature in 2000 passed a law legally preventing mothers from breast-feeding in public. This legislation was required because some wanted to put a stop to breast-feeding in public. I thought responses to those in opposition to breast-feeding were eloquent. “Breast-feeding is not sexual or lewd behavior. Breast-feeding mothers are not exhibitionists. They are simply caring for their children in the most natural way possible,” according to Harry Yee, then commissioner of the Civil Rights Commission.
This is exactly what’s depicted in the photo which beautifully graces the cover of Babytalk magazine. I applaud the editors for taking the heat generated by anal retentive Puritans who could find shame in a convent. If you find this natural and appropriate act to be offensive, then do this. Don’t look. Don’t pick up a copy of this magazine. Tell your son not to look. Tell your husband not to look. You sure don’t want them to go blind from seeing a woman’s breast blocked by the head of a nursing baby.
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