Oh man. Over a week later and people are still talking about the Time Magazine cover story on attachment parenting. That kid nursing looks big enough to ride the bumper cars. He’s gonna get to college and be asked to sign up for a meal plan and he’ll be like, “Naw, I’m cool.”
It’s fun to pretend we have impassioned views on extreme breastfeeding. But the truth is we’re just suckers for boobs. Time was all like, “Made you look!”
If the photo had instead been of attachment cheerleader Dr. Bill Sears, the issue would have been ignored. If the cover had featured some National Geographic, African tribal titty, it would have been reviled.
(We have a black president, but our country is as racist as at any time since the civil rights movement. Witness the appalling outcry to casting black actors in “The Hunger Games.”)
Like every other sentient male, I did not read the article behind the boob. It’s standard practice with Playboy; and it’s a solid strategy with Time Magazine as well.
I did, however, examine the cover to see a) if there was any discernible nipple. (There is not). And b) whether she qualifies as a MILF. (Yes on Time’s cover, but not in real life. And I’m definitely not interested in sloppy seconds after her kid hit that.)
You can always count on Americans to experience mass hysteria when confronted by a national boob. You’ll recall Janet Jackson’s nipple-slip, which lasted less than one second, but so traumatized our country that the FCC levied a $550,000 fine.
We’re like the Taliban. Except instead of wanting to ban breasts, we prefer to stare awhile before loudly proclaiming outrage and emotional distress. (Then we stare some more… more head shaking… and maybe one last peek.)
America has this weird convention where you can openly depict breasts – no matter how suggestive or overt – as long as they aren’t completely bare. Nipple straining against fabric = good. Bare nipple = bad.
This is why we have Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition, the Victoria’s Secret catalog, and a nation of frustrated men. I’m all for a good tease. But we’re drawing an arbitrary line on indecency in the service of creating date rapists.
It’s too bad Time didn’t enlist breasts to spark a national conversation about, say, gun control. Or bullying. Because despite the flurry of controversy, attachment parenting is a non-issue. Ditto for Tiger Mothering, Bringing Up Bébés, and whichever faux parenting doctrine comes next.
Childhood has too many variables for a unified theory of parenting. Good people invariably raise good kids. And incompetent parents will never find salvation in trendy philosophies.