29 March 2012

Skewed perceptions


Today I somehow found my way to this article/photo essay about celebrity moms feeding their babies in public, in various forms. What was shocking to me was that many people are "offended" by images of breastfeeding women.

What??

To me this is so skewed and twisted it is hardly comprehensible. Today we live in a culture which has turned women's bodies into sexual objects, and then so normalized this objectified, sexualized image that when we see nearly nude women in magazines and movies and television we hardly think twice. Yet, somehow an image of a woman feeding and nourishing her child in the way nature intended is unsettling. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this situation?

Maybe having spent time in cultures where public breast feeding is completely normal and common place, or knowing the some of the benefits mother and child can receive from breastfeeding, or the impact that breastfeeding can have for children and families in developing nations, or knowing women who would love to breastfeed but are unable to has changed my perspective. In our culture I know it isn't common to see a mother openly breastfeeding. What I don't know is why. I am offended, if we want to talk about offensive things, that we as a society hardly say a word when scantily clad women are posted on every magazine cover and make appearances in practically every film and TV series, often in demeaning and horrifyingly objectified ways, and then turn around and act as though we've never been so shocked when a woman happens to expose her breast in order to feed her child. It's beyond me!

Breastfeeding is awesome. And while not all moms can breastfeed and there are also many other good options for feeding babies today, there is no reason for this weird cultural taboo against a beautiful act of motherhood!

4 comments:

Jess and Richard said...

I agree 100%! What is even more ridiculous is when people are grossed out or feel awkward even when women are covered while breastfeeding, get over it! Yes we are in a restaurant, you are eating your dinner, my baby wants his dinner and I am going to give it to him...deal with it.

DandE LAM said...

love love love. That is one thing I love about Utah...breastfeeding everywhere!!!

bridgetoterrabithia said...

ditto. pisses me off. excuse my french.

Chelsea said...

Yes, yes, yes! It is such a weird taboo.