“Attachment (with respect to Martin Schoeller)” by Nathaniel Gold. Image via.
One of my favorite things about traps is how easy they make it to follow all sides of, reactions to, and ripples caused by any big story on the internet.
Case in point the breast feeding trap. This trap, usually full of tips for new moms—like how breastfeeding can help you lose extra baby weight—lit up this week after Time Magazine released a controversial cover story (and image) on attachment parenting. Attachment parenting is a style that involves breast feeding children until the child decides to stop, which can be as late as age 5.
The main criticism of the piece was that the image was too calculatingly sexualized, which Rush Limbaugh sees as something to the effect of ugly women complaining loudly (please somebody make a Limbaugh wack-a-mole for me).
While I’ll begrudgingly agree with Rush that the model’s physical attractiveness shouldn’t offend, it is the unnatural posing of the image that most clearly speaks calculated-for-controversy to me and as some feminist bloggers point out, we live in a culture which overly sexualizes women’s bodies no matter their context.
Hopefully the controversy will support, not distract, from the fact that breastfeeding is healthy and generally considered to be under practiced and prematurely ended in the USA. But don’t take my word for it, check out Eric Michael Johnson’s blog post “Extended breastfeeding is the norm in most human and primate societies. So why are we the weird ones?” from Scientific American.