View Full Version : Eyeful of breast-feeding mom sparks outrage

07-28-2006, 07:02 AM
NEW YORK - "I was SHOCKED to see a giant breast on the cover of your magazine," one person wrote. "I immediately turned the magazine face down," wrote another. "Gross," said a third.

These readers weren't complaining about a sexually explicit cover, but rather one of a baby nursing, on a wholesome parenting magazine — yet another sign that Americans are squeamish over the sight of a nursing breast, even as breast-feeding itself gains greater support from the government and medical community.

Babytalk is a free magazine whose readership is overwhelmingly mothers of babies. Yet in a poll of more than 4,000 readers, a quarter of responses to the cover were negative, calling the photo — a baby and part of a woman's breast, in profile — inappropriate.
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One mother who didn't like the cover explains she was concerned about her 13-year-old son seeing it.

"I shredded it," said Gayle Ash, of Belton, Texas, in a telephone interview. "A breast is a breast — it's a sexual thing. He didn't need to see that."

It's the same reason that Ash, 41, who nursed all three of her children, is cautious about breast-feeding in public — a subject of enormous debate among women, which has even spawned a new term: "lactivists," meaning those who advocate for a woman's right to nurse wherever she needs to.

"I'm totally supportive of it — I just don't like the flashing," she says. "I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

Another mother, Kelly Wheatley, wrote Babytalk to applaud the cover, precisely because, she says, it helps educate people that breasts are more than sex objects. And yet Wheatley, 40, who's still nursing her 3-year-old daughter, rarely breast-feeds in public, partly because it's more comfortable in the car, and partly because her husband is uncomfortable with other men seeing her breast.

"Men are very visual," says Wheatley, 40, of Amarillo, Texas. "When they see a woman's breast, they see a breast — regardless of what it's being used for."

Babytalk editor Susan Kane says the mixed response to the cover clearly echoes the larger debate over breast-feeding in public. "There's a huge Puritanical streak in Americans," she says, "and there's a squeamishness about seeing a body part — even part of a body part."

"It's not like women are whipping them out with tassels on them!" she adds. "Mostly, they are trying to be discreet."

‘It's not like women are whipping them out with tassels on them!’

— Susan Kane
Babytalk editor

Kane says that since the August issue came out last week, the magazine has received more than 700 letters — more than for any article in years.

"Gross, I am sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob," wrote Lauren, a mother of a 4-month-old.

The evidence of public discomfort isn't just anecdotal. In a survey published in 2004 by the American Dietetic Association, less than half — 43 percent — of 3,719 respondents said women should have the right to breast-feed in public places.

The debate rages at a time when the celebrity-mom phenomenon has made breast-feeding perhaps more public than ever. Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Kate Hudson and Kate Beckinsale are only a few of the stars who've talked openly about their nursing experiences.

The celeb factor has even brought a measure of chic to that unsexiest of garments: the nursing bra. Gwen Stefani can be seen on babyrazzi.com — a site with a self-explanatory name — sporting a leopard-print version from lingerie line Agent Provocateur. And none other than Angelina Jolie wore one proudly on the cover of People. (Katie Holmes, meanwhile, suffered a maternity wardrobe malfunction when cameras caught her, nursing bra open and peeking out of her shirt, while on the town with husband Tom Cruise.)

More seriously, the social and medical debate has intensified. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently concluded a two-year breast-feeding awareness campaign including a TV ad — criticized as over-the-top even by some breast-feeding advocates — in which NOT breast-feeding was equated with the recklessness of a pregnant woman riding a mechanical bull.

There have been other measures to promote breast-feeding: in December, for example, Massachusetts banned hospitals from giving new mothers gift bags with free infant formula, a practice opponents said swayed some women away from nursing.
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Most states now have laws guaranteeing the right to breast-feed where one chooses, and when a store or restaurant employee denies a woman that right, it has often resulted in public protests known as "nurse-ins": at a Starbucks in Miami, at Victoria's Secret stores in Racine, Wis. and Boston, and, last year, outside ABC headquarters in New York, when Barbara Walters made comments on "The View" seen by some women to denigrate breast-feeding in public.


web page (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14065706/)

07-28-2006, 07:37 AM
"I don't want my son or husband to accidentally see a breast they didn't want to see."

Oh yea, none of us pool hall guys want to see THOSE! You poll a hundred males and get their honest answer, and I believe there'd be some way the "yes" vote would be 101...sid~~~thinks the paranoia over this is more feminist oriented...get a life!

07-28-2006, 07:45 AM
Bizzare. I don't understand that mentality.
Anyway, don't they know that every 13 year old boy has seen a breast and a lot more! The web, MTV, the Superbowl, /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif MySpace ,etc.

Q....those whacky Desperate Housewives /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif Who cares what they think anyway!
[ actually I have never watched a single episode of that drivel! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif]

07-28-2006, 07:52 AM
If you look at the photo,
..that baby could just be innocently kissing his mother's really cute tush! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Q.. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

07-28-2006, 08:12 AM
"Now, THAT's what I'M talkin' bout!" This topic beats the heck out of politics and, especially that satellite image of Dee's belly ;-) sid

07-28-2006, 10:26 AM
Well, I for one, hope that they are punished by the SEC or NRA or whichever Party agency is in charge of overseeing these things....maybe O'Brian (1984)


It's so, so, unnatural, and morally offensive

07-28-2006, 10:28 AM
what a devious mind you have.....does look like the kid is enjoying himself though

07-28-2006, 01:53 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> Well, I for one, hope that they are punished by the SEC or NRA or whichever Party agency is in charge of overseeing these things<hr /></blockquote>

That would be Department of Nursing In Public...also known as NIP! /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

07-28-2006, 03:12 PM
lol /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Isn't it unreal, that people are so put out by the most natural thing in human nature? I wonder if they ever subscribed to National Geographic, or let their kids watch it on TV?

07-28-2006, 04:47 PM
Wolfdancer the Albany Times Union ran an editorial this week about a bill before Congress which would prevent Police Departments from passing information to other police departments about what states/cities the illegal guns are coming from.####

07-28-2006, 06:30 PM
I had my wife take a look at the picture and she thought the baby was kissing the stomach. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

I don't particularly like seeing people breastfeed in the wide open, but if there is no law against it, then what can you do. I totally don't mind if the mother is covering up the area while the baby is feeding. I guess I just don't want to look at another woman's breast while there is a baby attached to it. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif


07-28-2006, 07:36 PM
Well that explains why ya didn't fit in here in Texas Edgar. A free shot is a free shot ;-) sid

9 Ball Girl
07-28-2006, 08:49 PM
I think the cover of the magazine is just another ploy to distract us from what's really going on in this country. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

07-28-2006, 09:20 PM
A bit of "taste" though, if you know what I mean /ccboard/images/graemlins/blush.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif sid~~~mama-mama,,,I mean moma, moma...hell I don't know, I'm brain-washed by righties AND as we all know, IT'S BILL CLINTON'S FAULT!