The Attachment Parenting Time Scandal
Modern Attachment Parenting has almost always been a source of controversy among parents. However, when a recent issue of TIME magazine hit the newsstands, this controversial issue seemed to explode overnight.
So, what was the big deal?
Well, a May 2012 issue of TIME magazine featured a cover shot of an attractive woman breastfeeding her son. Of course, this in itself is not unusual or likely to spark much of a controversy today. The catch? The boy was a toddler standing on a chair to reach his mother’s breast. The woman and boy in the controversial TIME magazine image really are mother and son, though.
Jamie Lynne Gromet, a model from Los Angeles, practices extended breastfeeding with her three year old son. According to her, she is the product of Attached Parents herself, claiming that her mother breastfed her until she was around six years old. She believes that the practice is nothing but natural, healthy and acceptable, and can’t fathom any other way to raise her children.
To add to the controversial picture, the headline on the cover – in bright bold letters – asks the question “Are You Mom Enough?” Yikes! If that’s not adding insult to injury, I don’t know what is. Many mothers have taken offense at this headline, interpreting it to mean that they are not good mothers if they don’t breastfeed their children.
As expected, the reaction to the TIME magazine breastfeeding cover has ranged from applause to outrage.
Parents who are in favor of the cover, and defending TIME magazine and Gromet, insist that extended breastfeeding is perfectly natural and healthy. They also insist that parents and children in many countries across the world breastfeed their children well into toddlerhood.
As one woman puts it
“I have no problem with her breastfeeding her 3 year old. Other cultures do it, and it’s meant to give a toddler good nourishment.” (http://www.eonline.com/news/time_magazines_breastfeeding_cover/315338)
The individuals against the TIME magazine cover, however, also feel strongly about this issue, as they see no real benefit to extended breastfeeding in developed countries. Some are shocked, some are offended, and some are disgusted. More than a few individuals have stated that they are concerned for the welfare of the child, and some have even likened it to child abuse.
Here’s what was on the minds of one of these naysayers…
There is no reason in the world for a woman to continue to breast feed over the age of two unless there is no other food available. This is America and there is healthy nutritious food available. We are not a 3rd world impoverished country. This is absolutely ridiculous in my opinion. If you must give your child breast milk, he should be drinking from a cup, if he can walk, talk and eat on his own, then there is no reason for continuing to nurse.
There are also more than a few people that didn’t necessarily argue that this type of breastfeeding was wrong, but that TIME magazine just went a little too far.
“Breastfeeding is natural and beautiful, just like sex. Neither belongs on the cover of a magazine. Both are private acts and both are, arguably, vital to human life. The story is great. The photos are inappropriate.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Charity_Ford/time-magazine_b_1507799_158987938.html)
Regardless of all the opinions flying around the ‘net, what does it all boil down to? What’s the real deal with TIME magazine’s controversial cover photo?
Haven’t you figured it out yet…? I have! It all boils down to one thing.
I’m sure that TIME magazine editors do care about Attachment Parenting and extended breastfeeding issues to some degree. But, I’m also positive about one other thing. TIME magazine knew exactly what they were doing when they planned that issue and planned that cover photo. They knew that it would spark a heated debate. They knew that non-subscribers would rush to the newsstands just to get their hands on those glossy pages with that shocking cover.
Because, at the end of the day, it all boils down to selling magazines.