Friday, August 04, 2006

How Big is Your Puritan Streak?

There was an interesting story in today's Washington Post. Attached at the bottom of this entry is the controversial cover. If you don't like thinking about the fact that babies breastfeed, avoid this entry altogether.

Ok, everyone else can continue reading.


Basically, a magazine about babies has a picture of a baby breastfeeding on the cover. I don't consider it graphic nudity; if you've seen any of Brittney Spears' performances (like her recent interview with Matt Lauer), any Hollywood red-carpet arrivals in the past five years, or been to the local pool, you've seen more boob. Not to mention the possibility that you, dear reader, may actually BE a woman. At any rate, BabyTalk magazine received 5,000 letters of complaint, calling the photo offensive and disgusting.

This is a hilarious comment from the article:
"Gross, I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob," the mother of a four-month-old said.
I'll assume this woman isn't breastfeeding her baby. Or if she is, she does it without looking.

I realize that we've got a strange and warped set of decency values here in the U.S. today. Movies where someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger climbs up a hill made of the corpses of his enemies in order to finally kill the people who stole his mailbox are acceptible. But as soon as someone shows parts of the body that approximately 50% of humanity wakes up with, that's toeing the line. And what's with the breastfeeding? That's disgusting, I bet babies don't even DO that.

Oh. Wait. Babies do. As a matter of fact, that's probably a big part of what they do. It might even be their job. And you know what else? Those breasts women have? In spite of what "In Style" magazine may say, I'm pretty sure feeding kids is what they're for. Holding up pretty dresses and hooking rich old men are just side effects.

I kind of agree that this picture doesn't belong on the cover of just any magazine. I wouldn't want to see it on, say, Fortune, or Popular Mechanics. But BabyTalk? Yeah, that sounds like a good place for it.

I have nothing against women who don't want to breastfeed. There are medical reasons, convenience reasons, philosophical reasons, religious reasons, etc. But if you're not breastfeeding because you don't want your child to be exposed to "indecency" early, you've got a PROBLEM.


  1. I enjoy the fact that it is a FREE magazine. Perhaps if the disgusted readers, oh I don't know, PAID FOR THEIR SUBSCRIPTION, I could understand their argument... but still probably not.

  2. Good catch, I hadn't noticed the FREE part. Maybe that just makes it worse for the accquirer.

    "It was like a lost puppy. I brought the magazine home and look what filth ended up on my coffee table! Bad publishers! Bad!"