My 3-Year-Old's Take on a Controversial Breastfeeding Photo
A three-year-old comments on the censored breastfeeding cover of Hip Mama magazine.
“Mama, go back up!”
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed while my son was nursing. My daughter was cuddled up next to me on the couch watching television. Or, so I thought. In my feed was a story about yet another controversial breastfeeding photo. Once again it was on the cover of a magazine. I clicked through to read the story, scrolling past the “offending” cover when my daughter looked at my computer screen.
I scrolled up, the cover photo filling my screen. “Is this what you were looking at?”
“Mama, what is that Daddy wearing a mask for?”
“Hun, that’s not a daddy. That’s a mommy.”
My daughter is no stranger to breastfeeding. She’s seen me nurse her brother and other moms nurse their little ones. On occasion, she will request to nurse, as well. I took no offense to the picture. I wasn’t worried about letting her look at it. In fact, I was curious what she thought of it. This image of a mom nursing her child bothered some so much they refused to sell it unless the cover was changed or censored. Facebook even banned the original photo when Ariel Gore, editor of Hip Mama, posted it on her wall as a preview of the next issue.
“What is that Mommy wearing a mask for? Hmm? Hey! He’s wearing Spider-Man pajamas.”
I smiled. “Yep, he’s wearing Spider-Man pajamas and his mommy is wearing the mask. What are they doing?”
“He’s hugging her. He loves his mommy.”
“Mm-hmm, he does love his mommy. He’s also nursing.”
“Aww, I love my mommy and baby brother. Hey! Take that mask off. What’s she in costume for?” She was completely fixated on the mask.
While grown men and women are up in arms over this image, my daughter’s only concern was about the mask. The rest of it didn’t seem odd to her. It didn’t seem wrong or bad. When pressing her further about the photograph she eventually said the woman was missing her shirt. Even then, her reaction was more in the vain of “That’s silly, where’d her shirt go?” rather than viewing it as a problem.
I hope one day more people will look at breastfeeding pictures the way my 3-year-old daughter does and view them as normal. Masks and costumes optional.
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