Are You Mom Enough? Decoding the Messages on TIME Magazine's Breastfeeding CoverCarolyn Castiglia
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:
Are You MILF Enough? 1 of 10Why magazine covers like this make women feel inadequate no matter what parenting choices they make because it isn't about parenting it's about sex and being hot even as you care for small children.
Do You Wish This Hot Chick Would Ditch the Kid and Pose Naked on a Car? 2 of 10You should subscribe to Maxim.
Are You Awkward Enough? 3 of 10Why does this boy look like a mini soldier on leave who climbed up on a bar stool to take a pull off the waitress' teet? Her tank top + his sneakers + camo pants + "whatchu lookin' at" side eye = AWKWARD.
Are You Stuck? 4 of 10They're super close.
Are You Thin Enough? 5 of 10Why we still live in a society that simultaneously worships and reviles the thin, white, blonde female. Plus - where to buy this season's tightest jeggings!
Are You Polarizing Enough? 6 of 10Why we have to use images like this to get people to care about issues that are really personal and no one else's business. Plus - finding the best bra to maximize those A cups!
Are You Selfless Enough? 7 of 10Why you should be willing to breastfeed at all costs until your children are 6. OR ELSE THEY'LL BE STUPID AND SICK. Plus - how to make organic nipple salve!
Are You Young Enough? 8 of 10You're looking a little too old to have kids, aren't you? Plus - flats are in again if you're tall!
Are You Bored Enough? 9 of 10Why the boring-ass topic of attachment parenting - vs. what? horrible parenting? - keeps getting brought up. Because it gives us an excuse to SEE BOOBS!
Are You … Enough? 10 of 10Why it's still okay to ask women to pit themselves against one another, plus why we tolerate people determining our worth for us. EXTRA: how to win at blow jobs!
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