Will she feel exploited, sexualized?

Conversation Continues read what others have to say about this issue

I blurred this image

This cover/issue concerns me greatly.  It’s not the subject  of the article “attachment parenting”  an approach–outlined by 1992’s “The Baby Book” by Dr. Bill Sears–that recommends extended breast-feeding, co-sleeping and “baby wearing.”   In fact do you even notice that there is an important article in this issue or are you just stunned by the inappropriate cover?  The woman is a mature person, but the child; it feels a very much like exploitation of this child and motherhood.

No, what I wonder is how will this woman feel when the dust settles and she has time to think about how she was portrayed by Time Mag. Inc.  Will she feel exploited, sexualized?  I would find it very hard not to feel that way.

And the boy in the photo, how was he feeling while being put into that position? How will he feel when he looks at this photo as a budding adolescent. A teen. And beyond?  It looks like child pornography.

Rick Stengel, Time managing editor, defends this cover saying that it is not the first time Time had a cover featuring breasts.  He says that he chose this cover art because it represents, a “certain type of woman”.  Of course he did, he is not stupid man, controversy sells magazines!   ‘”I don’t wince when I look at the picture,” he continued. “I think it’s provocative. I think it’s a little whimsical. I think she represents an outlier of women who are breastfeeding beyond one year. The cover is meant to get your attention. It gets your attention. I think this is a legitimate debate. It’s a debate lots and lots of women are having.”‘  With the word “outlier” he wants to pat himself on the back and think of himself as championing women/mother-kind!

Of course he would see it this way and I am sure there will be many who agree with him, but what I see disturbs me:  I see this cover objectifies mothers.  We have now gone from the sit com version of motherhood to the next type of woman to sexualize.  It makes the conversation about breastfeeding and caring for children a joke instead of the serious/supportive issue it should be.   This is not what young women/moms want, or NEED;  there is a wonderful YouTube channel called momversation that tries to do what Time is “thinking” they are doing, giving moms/women a voice

How many people are going to the magazine because of the subject or for the cover?

Is a spiritual director working helping moms find God in the everyday. She has been a spiritual director since 1998: worked as a Director of Religious Education for Holy Cross Parish(2000-2005), was Director of Project Rachel, a healing ministry for Post Abortive women(1999-2000). Patty worked a social worker for Catholic Social Services (1988 - 1995) Then studied for spiritual direction at the Dominican Center of Religious Studies, DeWitt Michigan

She is married 20 years and has four children

She has a BS/BA in social work from Aquinas College, CSD Certified Spiritual Director


  1. Melanie

    I think it’s sick that you could see a woman breastfeeding her child and have sexuality come into your mind at all. THAT is shocking.
    The only thing shocking about the cover, to me, is that boy is only 3. That is a big boy for 3, before reading, I pegged him for 5.

  2. Melanie, think about this, why would Time magazine want to have this imagine on its cover, to sell magazines and what sells sex. This is not about the important issues that mothers face, it is about getting magazines in hands of consumers

  3. I think it’s just awful. She is only concerned about flaunting herself at the expense of her child. MOST nursing mothers are only concerned with LOVING their child, and do not bring attention to themselves. It takes a beautiful thing and mocks it, twists it and defiles it….UGH!!!!

  4. There are so many other ways, tasteful, artful beautiful ways of showing a breasting mother. Did you see my second post the responses I got about the cover? One of the commenters is an editor of a British mag and what she says is interesting

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