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26 comments

1 dragonfire1981  Fri, May 11, 2012 7:26:38am

I have differing opinions on this:

- On one hand I can see how the cover could be seen as disturbing and inappropriate.

- On the other hand, I can see how they are going for the "shock value" to draw attention to themselves and (hopefully) sell more magazines. I get the business approach behind this.

I do agree the subject is a worthy one to cover, but I have to think this wasn't necessarily the best way to do it.

2 Simply Sarah  Fri, May 11, 2012 7:30:16am

My biggest issue with the cover is that, to be blunt, the whole setup looks kind of silly. Isn't there a better way to do that?

3 sagehen  Fri, May 11, 2012 7:34:15am

A kid old enough to be capable of chewing solid food is too old for breast-feeding. End of story.

4 nines09  Fri, May 11, 2012 7:54:52am

re: #3 sagehen

A kid old enough to be capable of chewing solid food is too old for breast-feeding. End of story.

He looks old enough to drive a two wheel bike off a garage roof. Successfully.

5 Obdicut  Fri, May 11, 2012 8:26:04am

There are some cultures where breast-feeding up to and beyond that age are perfectly normal. Often, this is because of a paucity of food available in the environment. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, or inherently great about the time that we stop breast-feeding-- which varies widely. Babies 'can' eat solid food at anywhere from six months to a little over a year, but there's benefits to breastfeeding far beyond that time.

6 Sheila Broflovski  Fri, May 11, 2012 8:38:17am

re: #5 Obdicut

There are some cultures where breast-feeding up to and beyond that age are perfectly normal. Often, this is because of a paucity of food available in the environment. There's nothing inherently wrong with it, or inherently great about the time that we stop breast-feeding-- which varies widely. Babies 'can' eat solid food at anywhere from six months to a little over a year, but there's benefits to breastfeeding far beyond that time.

Nobody is arguing that breastfeeding is beneficial, or that extended breastfeeding is weird. My one and only issue is the photo chosen by Time magazine. It's just WRONG.

Alternative cover text suggested by the Time photo.

Are You MILF Enough? Why 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 looking hot even as you care for small children.

Do You Wish This Hot Chick Would Ditch the Kid and Pose Naked on a Car? You should subscribe to Maxim.

Are You Thin Enough? Why 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!

7 Obdicut  Fri, May 11, 2012 8:48:27am

re: #6 Learned Mother of Zion

Well, other people in the thread were. But I agree that photo is just purposefully provocative, and works against the interests of those who want breast-feeding to be seen as normal.

8 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Fri, May 11, 2012 9:19:20am

Breast feeding IS normal. Also, stopping at two was the normal result of a normal, no-contraceptives birth cycle, which put kids at around two years apart.

Also, not having your kids sleep in the bed is a normal result of wanting to get a normal amount of sleep without getting a little sharp elbow in your side at 2 am.

*Full disclosure* I breast fed my kids for the first year, then weaned them to a cup. Milk allergies run in the family, and breast feeding them while going off of milk myself was the best way to handle it. I never bought formula or bought a bottle.

9 Obdicut  Fri, May 11, 2012 9:20:42am

re: #8 Mostly sane, most of the time.

Breast feeding IS normal. Also, stopping at two was the normal result of a normal, no-contraceptives birth cycle, which put kids at around two years apart.

In our culture. In other cultures, they continue breast-feeding, including breast-feeding kids who aren't theirs, for a lot longer. They also breast-feed in a different fashion, often-- small meals spread throughout the day, rather than large ones.

10 Randall Gross  Fri, May 11, 2012 9:30:37am

I have no opinion about it, not being a mom. I know my wife comments when she sees kids she considers "too old" breastfeeding.

11 Mostly sane, most of the time.  Fri, May 11, 2012 9:35:06am

re: #9 Obdicut

In our culture. In other cultures, they continue breast-feeding, including breast-feeding kids who aren't theirs, for a lot longer. They also breast-feed in a different fashion, often-- small meals spread throughout the day, rather than large ones.

In a world that could not guarantee safe water, juice, or cow's milk for children, longer breast-feeding would have made sense.

12 dragonfire1981  Fri, May 11, 2012 9:37:01am

re: #6 Learned Mother of Zion

Nobody is arguing that breastfeeding is beneficial, or that extended breastfeeding is weird. My one and only issue is the photo chosen by Time magazine. It's just WRONG.

Alternative cover text suggested by the Time photo.

Not for the goal they had in mind. They WANTED the publicity. They WANTED the controversy. They WANTED the attention. They wanted to put TIME magazine front and center and they did.

Think about it: When's the last time you heard anything about a time magazine cover?

This was a calculated business move by TIME and it worked.

13 Lidane  Fri, May 11, 2012 10:30:29am

If someone wants to breastfeed their kid for years on end, that's their business. Not my kid, not my body, not my choice. I just really hate the implication that if a woman doesn't do this sort of extended nursing, that attachment parenting, or the other latest holier than thou trend with their kids, that she's somehow less of a mother than someone else. Fuck that. Each family and each kid is an individual.

I'm not a mom. Probably never will be. I've chosen not to have kids, especially now that I'm 39 and the older I get, the greater the chance for complications in pregnancy. If I ever decide to be a parent, I'll adopt. But I really, really get angry when I see shit like this, because women have enough pressure to try and balance family and work lives, or to be full-time stay at home moms or whatever. No one needs this sort of garbage where if you don't breastfeed your kid until they're toddlers or whatever that you're a failure of a woman or a mother. It's bullshit.

14 Sheila Broflovski  Fri, May 11, 2012 11:06:36am

My daughters breastfed their babies (my oldest daughter nursed each of her kids for 2 years, and she has home births!) but my daughters-in-law chose to give formula. That's their choice, as long as their kids grow up OK, who cares?

This choice of a photo, which drips condescending judgment, is just guaranteed to make 99.9% of the mothers who see it feel they are not living up to the standards of perfection and thinness.

15 Simply Sarah  Fri, May 11, 2012 11:07:55am

re: #14 Learned Mother of Zion

My daughters breastfed their babies (my oldest daughter nursed each of her kids for 2 years, and she has home births!) but my daughters-in-law chose to give formula. That's their choice, as long as their kids grow up OK, who cares?

This choice of a photo, which drips condescending judgment, is just guaranteed to make 99.9% of the mothers who see it feel they are not living up to the standards of perfection and thinness.

Also, at the very least, couldn't they have skipped the chair? That kind of position doesn't seem to be doing much to foster closeness between parent and child. Also seems kind of dangerous.

16 calochortus  Fri, May 11, 2012 11:11:43am

I think the bottom line here is is trying to sell magazines through competitive parenting. That is wrong. This is a totally unnatural pose meant to cause controversy, not advance a discussion of what is best for kids.

Parenting practices vary. Children are (fortunately) remarkably resilient. How they turn out is a mixture of genes, parenting and the society they are raised in. Great parents can raise psychopaths, crappy parents can turn out fabulous kids.

17 Sheila Broflovski  Fri, May 11, 2012 11:38:28am

re: #15 Simply Sarah

Also, at the very least, couldn't they have skipped the chair? That kind of position doesn't seem to be doing much to foster closeness between parent and child. Also seems kind of dangerous.

They could have done without the hand-on-hip, without the mother staring at the camera instead of at her child, without the picture altogether.

But now we're all agreed, the purpose of the photo was ATTENTION! BUY TIME MAGAZINE! TALK ABOUT IT!

18 Simply Sarah  Fri, May 11, 2012 11:39:54am

re: #17 Learned Mother of Zion

They could have done without the hand-on-hip, without the mother staring at the camera instead of at her child, without the picture altogether.

But now we're all agreed, the purpose of the photo was ATTENTION! BUY TIME MAGAZINE! TALK ABOUT IT!

Yep. Without question.

19 lawhawk  Fri, May 11, 2012 12:33:03pm

I don't have kids, haven't raised them, or don't exactly go to Time Magazine to figure out how to do it.

The cover is definitely provocative and if it's meant to stir debate, then it's been successful.

I just wonder what effect it will have on the child down the road (re: bullying, the availability of information/photos on the 'net, etc.)

20 sliv_the_eli  Fri, May 11, 2012 12:41:57pm

TIME magazine, in my opinion, long ago gave up making any real effort to be a serious news magazine in favor of trying to sell more magazines by pandering, shock value (just one example here: [Link: www.time.com...] or otherwise. This latest effort is no different. It is about selling magazines, not informing the public. The only real difference is that this time TIME is abusing a different group of readers in order to boost sales.

21 calochortus  Fri, May 11, 2012 1:17:38pm

re: #19 lawhawk

I don't have kids, haven't raised them, or don't exactly go to Time Magazine to figure out how to do it.

I just wonder what effect it will have on the child down the road (re: bullying, the availability of information/photos on the 'net, etc.)

This.

It is a good thing the child will be properly attached to his parents, because he's going to need a lot of support when his 5th grade classmates find this on the internet.

22 Bob Levin  Fri, May 11, 2012 1:25:54pm

re: #3 sagehen

The kid is old enough to be chewing tobacco. ;-)

23 philosophus invidius  Fri, May 11, 2012 1:51:36pm

re: #3 sagehen

A kid old enough to be capable of chewing solid food is too old for breast-feeding. End of story.

Says who? Your gut feeling that it just "doesn't seem right"?

24 freetoken  Fri, May 11, 2012 1:56:46pm

re: #12 dragonfire1981

Recently I've noticed Time running more and more provocative stories, and little tidbits. Eventually on one of the newsfeeds I check I put Time magazine on the headline block list simply because I got irritated with their idiotic blurbs.

25 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, May 11, 2012 5:20:29pm

What annoys me about this is that it's not news. It's a hot trend among a few, highly privileged women.

I'm trying to start a family now. When my children arrive, they ain't gonna get 'attachment parenting', because I'm going to need to go back to work.

How many of me are there, and how many of Mayim Bialik?

26 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, May 11, 2012 5:21:20pm

I don't care how long anyone breast-feeds, or doesn't. I just don't want to be told about it as though it's a serious new development.


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