Time Magazine features on its May 21, 2012 cover Jamie Lynne Grumet, 26, photographed with her three-year-old son, breastfeeding.
Let’s cut to the chase: Mrs. Grumet is a very attractive, young and blond mom. Her son, standing on a chair and wearing a gray sweater and camouflage pants, looks mature and confident.
Despite the story’s focus on attachment parenting, the highly promoted juxtaposition of a hot mom with an older-looking boy, sucking on her nipple while looking at the camera, is an attempt to sexualize the scene, create controversy and get people like me to link to the story.
It’s a deliberate, staged cover photo. It’s link bait.
But it’s also an issue I feel strongly about. So here here’s my view…
I was breast fed until I was about three. It’s natural and most ideal for baby health and maternal bonding.
My kids were breastfed (though not until three).
From a pure biological standpoint, humans were designed to breastfeed.
There’s nothing perverted or corrupt about that. Nothing at all.
But one thing most certainly is perverted and corrupt: The hidden yet powerful pressure forced on toddlers and young children to become mature and sexual.
It’s everywhere, and most pervasive with girls. It’s in our culture and media. It’s in the clothing and toy industries. It’s in our schools and, subtly, in our parenting.
I don’t give a damn about a three-year-old breastfeeding. But I care immensely about the pressure my three-year-old daughter feels to look like a mature, seductive woman.
It is time to obliterate the contradictions!
It is time to get our priorities straight!