The Breast A Man Can Get

To me, the issue with Time's "Are You Mom Enough?" cover is not so much about the depiction of breastfeeding, the fact that the child depicted is still breastfeeding at three or the idea that this the lady in the picture is attractive (and somehow that makes the image "pornographic") but rather now that child will forever be known as the kid who, at three, was pictured standing on a chair suckling at his momma's teet.

We take all manner of goofy pictures of Animal and Jen is always joking that she is going to have a ball showing them to Animal's future prom date, the joke being that of course we wouldn't embarrass him like that. We never, ever joked that we were going to take a picture of him breastfeeding and use it as the cover of Time. Although, believe me, there are quite a few that would make the cut, they're just that cute.

No, we decided early on that we would never take a picture of Animal and use it in a way that seemed in any way exploitative. In doing so, we realized that we may miss out on many good opportunities for publicity, but ultimately, we felt that exploiting our child was probably just not worth it in the end. You know, issues of dignity/self-esteem (or whatever they're calling it nowadays).

Then again, who are we to judge? What, if anything, is wrong with using your child to make a statement about something you believe strongly in? Even if he is teased mercilessly in a few years, that's just a reflection of his tormentors' small minds.

I was telling my own parents about this story and explaining that it had something to do with "attachment parenting" — "whatever that is," I added. A little while later Jen explained that every time I strap the little Monkey on with the carrier I was, in fact, practicing attachment parenting. And that we actually own the book the article was apparently about (though I don't know that there is an actual article).

"You're not breastfeeding him until he's three though, right?" I asked.

No, she said, these people are taking the concept to an extreme. In her opinion, she added. She does not judge other people's parenting.

Which of course is the first thing you learn as a new parent — or really, the second thing. The first thing you learn is that you're kind of an idiot, and it follows logically that you wouldn't be judge-y about stuff. Unless your a huger idiot, that is.

So, what do you do? Oh right, not put your child on the front cover of Time with your tit in his mouth, because, jeez, that's just kind of mean, you know? I mean, right?

Posted: May 11th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Broken Link | Tags: , ,