Time Magazine Shows 3-Year-Old Boy Breastfeeding On New Cover
Time Magazine stirred up some controversy today as it debuted its new cover. The cover photo, which shows an attractive young mom breastfeeding her three-year-old child next to the words “Are You Mom Enough,” is the first photo for the cover story about attachment parenting.
Dr. Bill Sears, author of “The Baby Book,” promotes attachment parenting in the magazine. Sears encourages parents to breastfeed their children longer, to allow their kids to sleep in their beds, and to wear clothing that literally attaches them to your body.
“He wants you to spend every waking moment, and pretty much every sleeping moment, with your baby.”
The Washington Post reports that Dr. Bill has authored more than 30 books about childcare. Sears believes that caregivers need to be more “emotionally available” and “immediately responsive” to the biological needs of their children. Sears says that attachment parenting leads to greater socio-emotional development.
Some people may not agree with Sears’ philosophy but he isn’t preaching anything too shocking. But that’s the reason why the Time photo has caused some controversy. Financial Times columnist Gillian Tett said that the photo was placed on the cover for shock photo and really has nothing to do with Bill Sears.
“I looked at this and my first thought was, it’s a really cheap shot. It’s a piece about Bill Sears, it’s not about an attractive blonde woman breast feeding… This is at least making us think about out approach toward parenting and our approach toward breast feeding. But it still makes me wince when I look at it.”
Rick Stengel added:
“It’s certainly an arresting image. It’s an image to get people’s attention about a serious subject. Judging by the reaction on Twitter this morning, some people think it’s great, and some people are revolted by it. That’s what you want. You want people talking…Do I expect some people to be outraged? Sure.”
Here’s the full cover shot from this week’s issue of Time Magazine. (You can see more photos here.)
The woman in the photo is Jamie Lynne Grumet. Grumet, according to the Washington Post, is a 26-year-old mother of two. She is an advocate of Sears’ work and frequently blogs about parenting issues.
Grumet, who says that she was breastfed until she was 6-years-old, said:
“There are people who tell me they’re going to call social services on me or that it’s child molestation. People have to realize this is biologically normal. It’s not socially normal. The more people see it, the more it’ll become normal in our culture.”
The boy in the photo, Grumet’s son Aram, will turn 4 next month.
What do you think of Time Magazine’s cover photo? Do you think 3-years-old is too old for a child to still be breastfeeding?