Time Features Mother Breastfeeding Cover

Author: Abe
December 13, 2012

In May, Time magazine featured an eye-opening photo of a mother breastfeeding her child, with very clear mouth-to-breast exposure.

Time Breastfeeding Cover Image - by Martin Schoeller

Time Breastfeeding Cover photo by Martin Schoeller. Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeds her 3yr old son.

The cover is reported to be controversial — and it is. Our society continues to associate any nudity with sex, and also tends to rather obsess over women’s breasts in a fetishistic manner. Public breastfeeding is legal in many areas these days, with pro-breastfeeding activists continuing to push strongly for society to allow women and their children to do what’s natural whenever and wherever the time comes.

So, on one hand, the breast on the cover of Time, in conjunction with feeding, really shouldn’t even be controversial.

Other magazine industry insiders as reported by Fox News believe Time editors were trying to be purposefully provocative in featuring the breastfeeding on the cover in full fragrante delicto (if not delicioso), since they new full well that the cover would shock the sensibilities of many.

It’s sort of a great situation they engineered, because they could get away with shocking much of society, whilst simultaneously being able to keep the morale upper hand by implying or stating that this shouldn’t be considered outrageous.

But, it makes me uncomfortable because of the age of the child — he’s three. Even for those of us who are not upset at being confronted with breastfeeding in public, there is an unstated borderline where it feels as though a child has become too old to be breastfed, and they are just a bit over that edge for me in this photo. The child looks too old to me to be continuing to be breastfeeding, and his knowing look towards the camera simultaneous to the suckling further worsen the feeling. They purposefully played with the edge of acceptability and engineered this to flirt with the taboo. At what age is breastfeeding to be considered universally wrong? Five years? Eight? Ten? Twelve?!?

So, I’m left with the feeling that the cover could have aimed to be a bit more noble in the fight to give mothers the right to nurse in public without interference. There are other magazine covers out there which treat nudity and motherhood a bit more soberly, without falling into purposefully flirting with prurient suggestiveness. Even Demi Moore‘s famously nude, pregnant photo covers seem less provocative.

Tags: , , ,

Category: Magazine Covers | RSS 2.0 Both comments and pings are currently closed.

No Comments

Comments are closed.