In case you haven’t seen it yet: TIME magazine released the cover image of their newest issue (left), on stands tomorrow, featuring a photo of a very traditionally attractive, fit, white, blonde young woman breastfeeding her very rugged, masculine, almost beefy 3-year-old son. It’s controversial to say the least, and has even non-parents interested in the idea of attachment parenting, or at least this photo of what is being heralded as the perfect image of attachment parenting.
This cover has attachment gurus singing its praises and many, many others disgusted at the thought of a big kid being so intimate with his mother. For my part, though, I’m not really interested in fighting about whether or not attachment parenting is the most ideal style of parenting or not. What I’m interested in is the way the text next to this image informs the image itself, and vice versa – and what that says about the sad state of American female personhood. Meet the MAN who advocates a system of parenting for WOMEN that DRIVES some of them to EXTREMES (read: crazy). Is it extreme to breastfeed a 3-year-old? That depends on how you feel about extended breastfeeding, of course. But one thing is for sure: it’s totally, totally hot. Or gross and weird. Or both.
This image and text is so loaded with messages – subtle messages, obvious messages, subversive messages, powerful messages, positive messages and oppressive messages – that we could pick it apart for days. That’s exactly what TIME wants, of course. But, me? I’m more direct. So here are some covers I think TIME could have used to save us all, well, time trying to decode their woman-hating, crazy-making bullshit:
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