The Boobie Beanie: Accentuate the Positive?Rebecca Odes
It is no big secret that I am a big fan of both boobs and crafts. Behold the boob beanie, the perfect intersection of the two.
The boob beanie is a hat meant to look like a breast, which is meant to be worn by a baby while breastfeeding. The result is a kind of wooly trompe d’oeil, a cartoon boob where the real one would be. My first exposure to the yarn breast was via Jordana Munk Martin and the creative and charitable Knit-a-Boob project at Oak Knit Studio. These were actually wearable prostheses for breast cancer survivors. But the boob-as baby hat idea has since spread through the hooks and needles of the crafting community, populating the channels of Etsy and Pinterest and the like, bringing joy to some and outrage to others.
There is a seemingly never-ending stream of controversy about the idea- and the reality- of seeing women breastfeed. The boob beanie, um, brings it to a head.
Squeamishness about public breastfeeding is one of my biggest pet peeves about the way the world looks at mothers of babies. It really bums me out that breast exposure is considered totally acceptable for fashion, but not for function. I hate that we are expected to bury our babies under layers of fabric to accomodate the fact that people can’t deal with seeing a baby being fed with a body instead of a bottle. And I love how the beanie bucks this trend, poking fun at the idea of women “whipping their boobs out” in a cute, non-threatening way.
I’m guessing there are a lot of people who think this item is in poor taste, or perhaps even offensive. But to me, it’s a way of being honest and raising awareness about the importance of cultural tolerance for public breastfeeding.
What do you say? Would you put your baby in a boobie beanie?