PUBLIC OPINION > Time's Breastfeeding Cover Went Too Far

Living 2012/05/11 13:00:00
Anyone who got a glimpse of the cover of the latest issue of Time magazine will have that image forever emblazoned in their fragile memory banks. It depicts Jamie Lynne Grumet, an attractive blonde mother, with her 3-year-old son standing on a chair in front of her, mouth latched onto her left breast. The caption is, "Are You Mom Enough?: Why attachment parenting drives some mothers to extremes." Regardless of the article's intent, the image is striking and, some feel, a little bit... provocative. We asked the public if the cover went too far.

Well, it didn't top Google trends because it was "perfectly acceptable." First of all, the kid's almost four. That alone is awkward to the max. What is he going to think when he gets a little bit older? Second of all, the photographer who took that also took pictures of three other mothers who are breastfeeding their older children. Must they use the attractive blonde for the cover? Some said it looks like an act of pedophilia at first glance. Defenders argued that the public has no right to dictate how she should raise her child.

Christians Can't Stand It

Typically, when religion and politics play a dividing role, politics has the stronger pull. This time, it was religion. Christians were 33% more likely to say the magazine went too far, presumably because of the image's borderline inappropriateness. Atheists, however, were pretty split.

Men Don't Mind as Much

Both genders sided against the cover, but men were significantly less likely to point fingers. It's tough to say exactly why that is, but some of the comments -- "I'm jealous!" "Can I take the 4-year-old's place?" "Crazy mom doesn't look half bad" -- offered a clue. Awkward? Certainly, for most. But for some guys, the kid is just an inconvenient obstruction.

Married Mind It a Lot

Age didn't seem to correlate, nor did parenthood, but relationship status had a big impact. Married voters were 11% more likely than singles to disapprove, and 20% more likely than unmarried voters in a relationship.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about Time's breastfeeding cover. We'd love to hear from you!
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  • MlssCue =Go Blue= 2012/06/14 05:30:39
    MlssCue =Go Blue=
    Absolutely too far!
  • Sperry23 2012/06/13 21:52:03
    Has anyone else noticed that the kid looks like a remora stuck on a shark?
  • loribird29 2012/05/24 21:49:55
    i find it offensive people are so upset about breastfeeding. put a few guns on the cover, that's fine. but a mom breast feeding her child a little too late in his life and people get in an uproar. anyone else see this contradiction? does it bother anyone that violence is so accepted, but this is "going too far?" priorities are all messed up.
  • ValorNET loribird29 2012/06/13 04:12:40
    I fully agree. Murder and dismemberment and the morbid are allowed on any kind of media medium, yet sex and affection are banished. Are people ashamed of how truely 'defenseless' and 'fragile' being a human being is and can be?
  • aicha.b... loribird29 2012/06/24 05:28:51 (edited)
    I agree a 100%. no wonder there is so much hate around. A mother breastfeeding her child should be viewed as nothing more than the bond between mother and child. But because everything is put in a sexual context these days, when people say 'breast' even monks start thinking 'sex'. That's just plain wrong. The female breasts' primary function is to feed the young, not the other way around.
  • M Mostayen Billah Al Faysal 2012/05/24 16:12:53
    M Mostayen Billah Al Faysal
    Yes of course! It is a very disrespectful picture for any mom and any son... So embarrassing.
  • gcpajunen 2012/05/23 00:04:55
    Who cares a liberal publication what do you expect
  • Professor Wizard 2012/05/22 15:57:23
    Professor Wizard
    What is up with Americas obsession against a woman's breasts - - especially the nipples.

    Or nudity in general!

    We are socially - one messed up group of people.
  • MlssCue... Profess... 2012/06/14 05:31:55
    MlssCue =Go Blue=
    Maybe you overlooked the kid hanging on her boob? This isn't about flashing a boob, at all, in the least bit.
  • lilliannanicole 2012/05/21 23:37:56
    whoa man thats not cool to far man too far
  • Darling 2012/05/20 05:48:58
    who cares what people think, its about whats best for the baby or did everyone forget about that?? about the person its going to benefit???? People should get over themselves... who cares if your offended from seeing a titi in a four year old's mouth. The mother benefits her child in so many ways through breastfeeding up until whatever age, and if you don't like it, don't look. What do the public want? They are against child abuse and child slave labour and child porn, and then when a mother wants to do something so healthy and natural for her child she is punished and growled at for it. Scolding a mother for breastfeeding her child has got to be the most preposterous thing I have ever heard of!!! Unbelievable!
  • MlssCue... Darling 2012/06/14 05:30:10
    MlssCue =Go Blue=
    I don't see a big deal w/breastfeeding a "baby" however this kid is no baby! So what, should he still be latching on to her when he's 10, 15, 20? Because he's her "baby"?
  • aicha.b... Darling 2012/06/24 05:34:43
    I take my hat off to you. Well said. Very well said. Today's society have got the wrong ducks in a row. Breasts were made for breastfeeding first and foremost. whatever else they represent now, that is nothing but secondary to breastfeeding.
  • sade4 2012/05/19 03:07:32
    Yes they did ' who's the ass hole that thought about this cover ! That boy is to damn big ' he need to get a plate of sum real food if his ass hungry lol ' dis pic look disgusting !
  • marianellys<3 2012/05/19 03:05:44
    way too farr!!
  • unseen 2012/05/17 23:37:24
  • serena moon 2012/05/16 00:53:57
    serena moon
    Breast feeding its a natural thing, but if you doit for that much time the theet are going to fall out or dont be strong enough or damage ,and some people may think this is all right
  • gaylehelen 2012/05/15 18:38:43
    Way too far. Years ago we knew a mother who breastfed her son until he was 7!
    He's in prison now. 2 counts of sexual assault on a minor.
    Yeah, that worked out well. Isolated incident, but too creepy for me.
    The majority of pediatricians state 2 years old as the cut off. I'll trust them over some author of "attachment" parenting any day. I don't give a rats a** what her credentials are, she's a nutjob.
  • AskZilla 2012/05/15 05:32:19
    Uh, isn't that kid just a little too old to be sucking on mom's titties? Looks more like incest to me
  • Lone Wolf 2012/05/15 00:01:40
    Lone Wolf
    I think it was a strong message but it gets the point through.
  • Levi48 Lone Wolf 2012/05/16 06:14:01
    Which point would that be? The one about the incestual mom or the sexually deviant son?
  • Lone Wolf Levi48 2012/05/20 05:55:59
    Lone Wolf
    That Breast feeding is good and must continue on but as for the age ya the kid is a little bit too old to be doing that.
  • susan 2012/05/14 21:18:48
    If she wants to nurse her son til he is ten that is her business. But it needs to stay her business. Give him a little privacy even if she doesn't desire it. When a kid is old enough to ask for it, it is most certainly time to make it private. Not to mention she is exposing him to all of the sickos out there that do say the things stated above.
  • wes 2012/05/14 20:47:42
    I am nothing but jealous, she looks kind of hot, but I've never and will never now buy that magazine subscription, really?
  • May 2012/05/14 19:11:51
    Just noticed the title which is absolutely stupid. No wonder, it is Time magazine!
    It should be, "Are you stupid enough?!" I agree with the one man who said it is close to kiddy porn. No need for a 4 year old to nurse when he should be able to eat and drink on his/her own by that age. There are just so many levels of embarrassment on this.
  • May 2012/05/14 19:08:44
    There is nothing wrong with "normal" breast feeding. It is more difficult in public because you do have people with varied comfort levels regarding the topic. I have seen women who very tastefully covered the child and their breast with a lightweight receiving blanket while feeding in public. I have no problem with that, very classy. They are being modest, and it spares those who are uncomfortable. I do have a problem with them whipping it out for all to see. You would not normally do that, so to me, they are an exhibitionist using that as an excuse to show their wares. I do not want to see your breast! And for a child this old, I think it is embarrassing, humiliating and damaging to the child. Normal breast feeding is fine but there is a "normal" cutoff time as well. Talk about extreme! You can try and justify it all you want but it is pathetic!
  • JOMO 2012/05/14 17:18:31 (edited)
    Let me see..., How can I say this delicately...? HELL TO THE YEAH....! This does not border line child molestation.., this is flat out child molestation. Not just physically, but mentally as well. I think if this woman could have left the umbilical cord connected she would have done that as well.

    There is absolutely no productive reason for this woman to still have this 4 year old child hanging on her tits. I am of the opinion that this behavior is more to her benefit than it is for the child. What will this child do when and if she decide to wean him and he still feel a need to snuggle up to his human teddy bear and tug on her nipples all while he is in school?

    This is just wrong at every level.., nothing good can come from this, this child self identity is being stifled and child protective services should have the right to step in under the child endangerment act. If the father was allowing this little boy to play with his penis so he could become more familiar with his own.., he would be whist off to jail.

    This behavior on this mom part is the equal of letting the child get promoted to the next grade in school, but allow him to continue to use his first grade books. Just as this would stunt this child's learning ability.., I feel this moms behavior is stunting this child's mental growth..This one truly disturbs me....JOMO
  • AskZilla JOMO 2012/05/17 06:42:07
    I totally agree, and can't even believe Time was able to print this cover.
  • JOMO AskZilla 2012/05/17 16:42:26
    AskZilla..., this reminds me of a song wrote long ago entitled.., " Where do we go from here?'"....This is absolutely crazy....JOMO
  • AskZilla JOMO 2012/05/19 14:03:14
    All this craziness gives me chuckles though. ;)
  • Darling JOMO 2012/05/20 05:54:54
    do you know what child molestation is? If you think breastfeeding is child molestation then you must have had a terrible upbringing. How do you think mothers fed their children before baby milk was formulated? You should look up what child molestation means
  • JOMO Darling 2012/05/21 06:08:26
    Hey Darling..., maybe you need to learn to read and when you are finished learning to read.., learn to interpret what you just learned to read. I know very well what child molestation is.., I also know that before baby formula it was mom's breast milk or animal's milk. In fact I am older than the original baby's formula, I have never had a problem with mothers breast feeding their "INFANTS" .

    At the point That "NATURE" have provided that child the "ABILITY" to process their food with the "TEETH" that 99 & 9/10 of children grow. Nature is giving the mother a hint that she can put her tits up now. Teeth are not for smiling or opening bottles..., they are for chewing ( breaking down food) making it easier to digest chewed food.

    You are acting as though you are looking for a good argument, no one is try to attack women or her right to breast feed. But at the point that a child can say the word tit.., they are to old to breast feed. Now you can call it whatever you choose or whatever makes you feel comfortable, but at the point the child is to old for breast feeding it serves no productive purpose for the child. So, haven said that, since it serves no productive purpose for the child, the only thing left..., CHILD MOLESTATION....!JOMO
  • larry s... JOMO 2012/05/28 19:01:29
    larry stewart
    hell to the yea ?
  • Pat 2012/05/14 17:00:20
    I don't think that most people would have objected to it so much if the magazine hadn't staged or posed the mother and son in such a startling position. If the mother had been seated and maybe holding the child or some other less shocking position I don't think people would have been so turned off by it. And someone from Time said on TV that they deliberately wanted to shock people and that's what they did. I mean, it really does look wrong the way it was staged.
  • JOMO Pat 2012/05/14 19:27:58
    Pat.., I respectfully disagree.., I think the depiction was exactly the way it should have been, because this is a case where a picture is truly worth a thousand words. The thought that a woman would feel the need to nurture a 4 year old child in a fashion that is fitting for a child that cannot process their own food is absolutely absurd...

    The only kind of people that would not see where this is wrong is women that feel they have the rights to do whatever they choose with their children with no regards to the end result. Even with what we humans call dumb animals in the wild.., prepare their young in a way as to wean them from parental dependency in a time sensitive manor.

    At the very least this child Independence is being stunted and replaced with a need to suck on something or someone in order to feel complete. You can argue the point until cows fly..., but common sense rules the day here, this is just wrong at every level.., and the mom's rights as the mom.., does not make this behavior right....JOMO
  • susan JOMO 2012/05/14 21:33:43
    I have nursed 3 children. When they were infants and we were out and I had to feed them I either went somewhere private or covered them with a blanket so no one knew what was happening unless they removed the blanket to look. It would of been embarrassing to me when they were that age for people to actually see my body although I was not embarrassed with the act of nursing. For people to see me when my child was 4 years old is something I can not even imagine. I agree it is damaging to the child. He should start school next year if he has not already done so. Can you imagine what other kids are gonna say to him? What about when the kids get to talking about their favorite foods and their parents and all the other things they discuss between themselves? What is he gonna say when they laugh at him? What is she gonna say when one of his friends repeats it to his parents or his teacher and child services are called? Wanting to give your child the best head start is wonderful. But sometimes that head start can backfire and hurt more than help And there comes a time to say ok I have done my best here you go. Yes her mom may have nursed her til she was six. But things are different now. And he is the one that is gonna pay the price.
  • JOMO susan 2012/05/14 22:28:17
    Susan you are so on point.....I just do not understand how it is legal for this kind of behavior....JOMO
  • larry s... JOMO 2012/05/28 19:03:17
    larry stewart
    what in the heck is JOMO ?
  • JOMO larry s... 2012/05/28 21:32:31
    That is the acronym for "Just One Man's Opinion" (JOMO) So to keep from having to type it out at the end of each post I abbreviate...
  • AskZilla Pat 2012/05/19 14:04:06
    No, has nothing to do with it. 14 year olds shouldn't be sucking on mom's titties! That's incest!
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