Controversial Cover

Saturday, July 29, 2006 21 Comments A+ a-

Ok, I'm genuinely curious, what was your initial reaction to seeing this magazine cover? Did you want to stand up and applaud the decision to publish it? Did you want to gasp in horror and click far, far away? Honestly, when this magazine arrived in my mailbox last week, I didn't even think twice about the cover; I may have thought what a gorgeous baby but that's it. It wasn't until I read an article in our local paper about the controversy surrounding this magazine cover and I admit I was surprised. So, I'm curious to read about your reaction.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

21 comments

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Susie
AUTHOR
5:51 PM delete

I'm much more (MUCH more!) offended by the trashy covers of magazines such as Maxim and FHM. That's what people should be offended about, not the natural process of feeding a child.

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pedro
AUTHOR
6:04 PM delete

Personally, I think that this cover is eloquent and poignant. What more intimate connection is there between child and mother than when a child suckles a his or her mother's breast and gazes into her eyes? In fact it reminds me of Renaissance paintings I have seen of the Virgin Mary with an exposed breast and baby Jesus in her lap.

A friend who has several years' missionary experience in sub-Sarahan Africa told me about his initial shock at seeing bare-cheasted women in the tribal villages and people regularly stopping the bus he was on to urinate at the side of the road, in sight of the other passengers. We have come to accept pictures of scantily-clad native peoples in National Geographic; do we condescendingly accept that the "rustic natives" are more simple than us or are less morally advanced? I do not advocate licentiousness, but modesty need not tend toward prudishness.

I have often thought that sexual sin is so prevalent in our nation not because of a proliferation of overt sensuality but because we refuse to treat sexuality with respect. Rather than teach our kids about the beauty of sexuality as God created it (and as wonderfully expressed in the Song of Solomon), we either awakwardly tell them not to have sex until they are married, or we just don't talk about it at all. Personally, I would prefer that my children gain a healthy respect for (rather than shame of) their bodies, and that they learn a biblical view of sexuality from me and my wife rather than a public school sex-ed teacher.

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Sheri
AUTHOR
6:36 PM delete

I think it's lovely! There is no shame in breastfeeding a baby.

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O Mama Mia
AUTHOR
6:39 PM delete

Oh for the love! I get so thoroughly disgusted when people cry "foul" over a nursing bare breast, but Playboy & the likes of those mags are "perfectly acceptable". Only in perverse America has the breast turned in to such a "sexual" body part. I stand & applaud these mags, and usually go outta my way to say a nice word to a mommy who nurses in public. BRAVISSIMO!!

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dr_bristow
AUTHOR
8:18 PM delete

That's funny, I didn't think twice about the cover when I received the magazine last week either, until you brought it up just now. Now that you mention it, I think it's a beautiful picture and a lovely expression of a relationship between a mother and her baby. My mother never thought twice about nursing my younger sister and brother in public. I even remember walking through the grocery store with my mom nursing my baby sister! I never thought it was inappropriate or awkward...it just seemed like the natural thing to do when the baby was hungry.

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Sarah
AUTHOR
8:52 PM delete

Beautiful cover! It's about time a breast was depicted in it's most beautiful and meaningful role. So Victoria's Secret can show countless breasts with the nipple covered by lace, but when it's covered by a baby's mouth, we're offended? What's wrong with this picture? I hope that article gets some wise responses in the editorial section.
Sarah

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Portlairge
AUTHOR
11:07 PM delete

I agree with you and your commenters. That is a beautiful picture. It says a lot about our world that people cry foul over that.

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Overwhelmed!
AUTHOR
12:17 AM delete

I like it. It's done in good taste and it's a beautiful part of being a mother. It's too bad that it has to be considered contraversial.

By the way, do me a favor. Stop by my blog and link your 100th post to my "Hooray for 100!" link exchange. :) I'm having a lot of fun reading those that have linked thus far. :)

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Jill Davis
AUTHOR
8:38 AM delete

It's funny that you ask! My roommate's husband asked if the baby was kissing another baby's head when he saw it! I said that you don't want to know! That was my first reaction because I haven't been blessed with the feeling of nursing, but I definitely don't see it as an offensive thing when women nurse in front of people.

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3:50 PM delete

I think it's beautiful. I wish I looked like that. :)

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8:40 AM delete

What a beautiful photo! I, too, get this magazine and when I saw the cover, I automatically figured that some people would have a problem with it. But, to me there is nothing more beautiful and more special than this - a mother nursing her baby. After reading the article too, I realized that I am the minority when it comes to breastfeeding your baby beyond six months! Only 10% of mothers continue - thank God I'm part of that 10%. I say bring on more covers like this!

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Joy
AUTHOR
9:50 AM delete

I love how the baby is looking so lovingly at the mama. I love that about nursing. Cuddling together, gazing into the babies eyes, feeling her chubby hand on my face. It's a wonderful, beautiful connection between mommy and baby.

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MamaEscandon
AUTHOR
2:31 PM delete

I also didn't think twice when I saw the photo... it's just a nursing baby. I, personally have not had the opportunity to nurse (sometime in the next 3 weeks, I hope)but I just love to see babes nursing at the breast! It is such a beautiful connection to witness between mama and baby!

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Jennifer
AUTHOR
3:10 PM delete

I LOVE the comments everyone and I really couldn't agree more! I, personally, feel that the reaction should be NO reaction. After all, it should be such a natural thing to see a woman feeding her child that we don't react when it happens. *Sigh* I don't know if our society will ever get there but here's to hoping.

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Dana
AUTHOR
1:21 PM delete

I guess I'm the black sheep but I'm not a huge fan. Maybe it's beacuse I'm not a mom so I don't understand the beauty in all of it, but I think it's a little obtrusive to have someone's breast pulled out in public. I remember a woman did it next to me on the plane, and it was so awkward and not very much appreciated. I know baby's need to eat and it's natural, but it also would have been natural to do it prior to takeoff. Just my thought.

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Wendy
AUTHOR
6:31 PM delete

I love these comments and I agree. It should be that there is no reaction because this is what God intended, but things get so skewed in our society.

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Jennifer
AUTHOR
3:24 PM delete

Dana, Dana! You crack me up, at least I can always count your honesty and frank thoughts. I'm sure its hard for the not-yet-mamas to comprehend the beautiful relationship between a mother and her nursing child. While I'm sorry that you were faced with an uncomfortable situation, the mother may have been saving you from a screaming flight which is no fun. Plus doctor often recommend that babies nurse during take-offs and landings to pop their ears. FYI.

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Dana
AUTHOR
9:30 PM delete

may have preferred the screaming over the tatas--but keep in mind i'm still the girl who has to change in the bathroom stall and can't even handle the thought of a public shower. gross. i guess we'll have to bring this back up in twelve years when i'm finally preggo.

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Theresa
AUTHOR
1:08 PM delete

At first I thought it was a baby kissing a mommy's pregnant belly - but then took a second glance and realized that wasn't the case...either way I think it's a beautiful thing!

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stacey
AUTHOR
2:27 PM delete

I agree with Susie. If people are offended by this magazine cover and want to rip it up or throw it away, then all the Maxims and Sports Illustrateds and Victoria's Secrets catalogs need to be pitched as well. They are much more offensive than seeing a baby nursing, which is a completely natural process. I don't believe women should entirely expose their breasts while nursing in public, but I have to say I've never seen a woman just pop out a breast in public in full view. The women I see have always been discreet--sometimes you can't even tell at first glance what they are doing!
I don't understand why people have such a problem with this. God gave women breasts for the purpose of breast feeding, not for mens' sexual pleasure.

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Erin
AUTHOR
3:37 PM delete

The thing is, Americans are TOO used to seeing babies formula feeding....along with the messages from Nestle et al, like "your baby's best start..." Ugh! Now THAT ought to be causing outrage, *not* pictures like the one on this magazine cover!
I personally see Formula adverts as very offensive and I'd like to see the WHO codes adopted here banning formula advertising. And I'd like to see a WHOLE LOT MORE magazine covers, billboards, adverts promoting and depicting breastfeeding.
At some point Nothern America lost the plot and decided bottlefeeding is normal and breastfeeding should be hidden away. Shameful really.

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