I’m sure that by now, you have all seen the cover of this month’s TIME magazine.
My initial reaction was “That’s awesome! Showing an older nursling on the cover of a magazine! I’ve always believed that the more people are exposed to nursing, the more they will accept it. But wait… there’s something wrong here.
I first noticed the camo pants on the child. He looks much older than the almost-4 that the article proclaimed him to be. Why does he look so much older? And this particular mom’s website is called I am Not the Babysitter. It’s supposed to be a play on how young she looks. So why a boy who looks older than she is an a mom who looks younger than she is?
And why on a chair? That’s a really awkward way to nurse. Being a mother nursing a 3 year old myself, I can see the problems with that. My child would bounce and wiggle and probably try to jump off the chair with my boob in her mouth! This doesn’t show a normal nursing relationship.
And, while I do it myself, nursing from over the top of your shirts is, by definition, more revealing. Most moms I see, even the ones who don’t use a cover, don’t do it. I obviously have no problem with it myself and think it’s much more convenient, but it certainly adds to the shock value of this photograph.
That’s just it: shock value.
That’s what TIME magazine was aiming for–shock value. They weren’t trying to get the message out there of this lovely relationship and older child can have with their mother. They weren’t trying to say that attachment parenting is a valid method of parenting. They were trying to shock us. They were simply trying to sell their magazines by making you either hate or love this mother based on this one photograph.
My initial reaction was excitement at bridging the gap between nursing others and those who find nursing to be private, disgusting, or even pornographic. The gap caused by a system who won’t help mothers nurse, but still touts it as “best”. A system that causes guilt and outrage and isolation.
Instead, TIME magazine was trying to shock us. They were trying to cause such a reaction that could cause more magazines to sell. They weren’t trying to bridge any gaps, they were taking advantage of those gaps and widening them. They were trying to put us against each other in order to make a profit.
Shame on you TIME magazine for causing more hate.