Published on May 10th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Time’s Breastfeeding Cover Brings Extended Nursing to Forefront, Creates Controversy
Chances are that by now, you’ve seen TIME magazine’s breastfeeding cover photo, which, if anything, is going to sell some magazines for the first time in ever.
The TIME breastfeeding photo is perhaps the most notably controversial magazine cover in recent memory, and looking at it immediately illustrates the reason why so many people are talking about the arresting image. Ostensibly a story about attachment parenting advocate Dr. Sears, the cover features a young mother unmistakably breastfeeding an older toddler.
And by unmistakably, the woman’s entirely exposed breast is in the nearly 4-year-old boy’s mouth as he stands on a chair and sucks it with the insouciant glare of a teenager vacuuming up a Mountain Dew while playing Call of Duty. While the piece itself focuses upon the school of parenting Dr. Sears promotes, the entire debate has focused on the practice of extended breastfeeding.
TIME breastfeeding cover photographer Martin Schoeller explains the vision behind the image:
“When you think of breast-feeding, you think of mothers holding their children, which was impossible with some of these older kids… I liked the idea of having the kids standing up to underline the point that this was an uncommon situation.”
Extended breastfeeding is considered a good parenting practice by many experts, but the TIME breastfeeding controversy demonstrates that discomfort with the concept is still more common.