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Friday, 11 May 2012


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What's REALLY interesting is to compare the covers of the various Time editions. The USA edition has a hot blonde with her boob out. The editions for the middle east, europe, africa, asia, and the south pacific actually have a portrait of the new French PM, or a portrait of Sachin Tendulkar the cricketer. You know, covers suitable to a serious news magazine, not some sleazy gossip rag. Apparently this happens pretty often.

Many of us have trodden this editorial path at the behest of sales ravenous editors. I did a nude pregnant model cover back at about the time of the infamous Demi Moore cover.

We age and change, I guess. Frankly, I am keen to read about the 'God of Cricket'; but then, I am an Aussie and we do play cricket here.


"Plus, when contemplating the cover image, even mature adult males can't help but feel just a tad jealous of the lucky little bastard."

I find this comment says more about this blog (and its male perspective) than anything else.

Breastfeeding 2 years and over is not a problem medically and is practiced worldwide.

The fact this might even be controversial or "shocking" in the United States says a lot about its society and culture.

I think she will stop once his beard comes out. My experience anyway.

It's an arresting image, certainly, but hardly shocking. Arresting because there are many components to observe and take in: the slenderness of her body, (versus) the size of the child, her power stance (hand on hip), her casualness (bent leg) and that slight, Mona Lisa-like smile that conveys the notion that she knows she's being just a little provocative, a little titillating. Yes, and certainly sexy. So she represents the hip, young, empowered (western) woman of today. And then questions come up, such as: For how long can she keep producing milk? Just how much milk is the child actually getting, anyway? All that thinking and wondering takes time and makes us look more closely than usual (for a colour photograph, anyway).

Mike, I don't feel soiled, or used. I am interested in learning more by reading the article.

Isn't that kid about 6 or 7? Can't say I've seen anything but babies nursing. Anyway brave, interesting shots.

"I find this comment says more about this blog (and its male perspective)"

Have I somehow failed to mention? I'm male.


Looks like it's great for for the Mother's body, they all look pretty healthy and happy.

I'm not going to waste money or time on buying and reading the magazine, but I am willing to bet that the simple question "Why attachment parenting drives some mothers to extremes" that is on the front cover is not even remotely answered in the article itself. That's a pet hatred of mine, lazy journalism, and lazy editing. It should be a capital offence for the editor, IMO (or if that is too extreme, statistically measured and counted in measures of GDP as "totally wasted time").

This will be just another cod-article to justify putting a pretty woman on the cover with a slightly arresting image.

This cover begs to be ignored.

If you've seen two you've seen 'em all.

Great photo! Love the composition and the props. Having him stand on the little chair, and glancing back at the camera are the things that make the shot work for me.

BTW Martin Schoeller is one of my heroes. Anyone still shooting film today is one of the good guys!

Am I only guy here who thinks the mom in red resembles Alanis Morissette?

Well, as someone noted, at least the discussion is about the photograph and its meaning, context etc., not about the camera used for taking the photograph. Or maybe there is somewhere a discussion dissecting the photo at pixel level.

As the father of two girls who weren't breastfed much beyond the age of one it is strange to see it happening to three year olds and I personally find it unsettling even though I accept it does happen a bit here in the UK. Of all the mothers I know now from school I can only think of one instance of breastfeeding beyond the age of two and I think she was generally regarded as a bit odd for doing so.

Anecdotally I have observed the breastfeeding in general is viewed with a fair bit more squeamishness in the USA than even in the UK where we traditionally think of ourselves as being overly reserved in most regards. Time moves on clearly.

Joey from "Friends" was pretty upset when Ross' first wife was breast feeding in front of everyone. Ross said, "C'mon, Joey, it's the most beautiful thing to see in the world." Joey responded, "Yeah, but there's a baby suckin' on it!"


This series looks very similar to one I saw pasted all over the side of a building in downtown Reykjavik. I don't know if Mr. Schoeller was responsible for that series; if not, I wonder whether attribution to that photographer has been given or would be appropriate. You might have another topic.

Here's a photograph of the building: http://blacksilverpress.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Reykjavik_Breastfeeding_1024.jpg.

My apologies -- the link in my prior comment does not work. This one will: http://blacksilverpress.com/2012/05/reykjavik_breastfeeding_1024/

Heck, I even blogged it. But I didn't have the brass bollocks to put in the picture!
If only Ms. Grumet wasn't so gold-durned, brain-numbingly attractive! And maybe if the equally durned Oedipus had never been written.

@Andrew "You know, covers suitable to a serious news magazine, not some sleazy gossip rag. Apparently this happens pretty often."

Yea, it happens often, but TIME is still TIME no matter the cover. The content, at least for the last 10 years or so does not come close to that of a serious news magazine. Assuming there is such a thing anymore.

It seems to be written by boobs, so what's wrong with a few more on the cover?

Just in time for Mother's Day!!!

"The cover subject is Jamie Lynne Grumet, 26, of Los Angeles, and her now nearly 4-year-old son, who (just taking a wild guess) is going to be hearing about this when he's older."
ya think?

I don't know Mike...I think they are pretty beautiful as far as photographs go. I kinda wish the kid's eyes on the cover didn't have the "gotcha" look to them. But all of them, particularly the woman in red, seem to recall and virgin and child kind of thing. Perhaps I'm wrong but I kinda doubt it. The lighting is perfect, as usual.

If they are shocking, it's the good kind. The fact that a photograph that doesn't have a dead person or really anything other than wholesome in it can still shock is pretty good news I think.

It's interesting to me, that the image selected seems to have more "titillation", as everyone seems to be joking, with the trim, hard "hot" blond milf, than the far more benevolent, sweet "earth mother" type that they could have selected in the red top...it seems to be an ink blot test for the psyche of the art director more than anything...

Those Interested can go to Jim Romenesko's website and read the recent reblog (on the publication of this TIME story) of the article published years ago on another website (possibly Salon), about "old age nursing" by a media person we all used to work with at Milwaukee magazine, for another viewpoint.

BTW Mike, passed this on to Jim, as he might find these out-takes and this story of interest for reblog on his journalism web-site, I found it muy interesting!

How is the kid going to feel in, say, Junior HS when his buddies see this photo? Then there will be stories about bullying, probably.

"I wonder whether attribution to that photographer has been given or would be appropriate."

Those pictures don't look similar to me at all--beyond the common subject matter. And even the subject matter isn't very close, because it doesn't look like the Reykjavik wall features older children (tough for me to tell for sure because the images are so small). To answer your question, I don't think attribution in that case would even make sense. Pictures need to be FAR more alike than those for any question of influence or plagiarism to arise. A common subject matter alone doesn't imply any debt.


A storm in a C cup.

A yummy mummy.

You know, it almost would work as well for the "French rejection" headline which I gather is about the recent elections in France "rejecting" austerity.

The Mom is hot.....but right, she's not!

Either Ms. Grumet is very petite or that's a BIG four-year-old.
I don't think bullying will be a problem.

The most natural thing in the world! Only a prude would object! We are a serious magazine! etc. etc.

Of course the whole point of the pretty women and bogus controversy is to generate attention and ad revenue. If it works, expect a cover photo of a topless hottie flying an F-16 with their next "women in the military" story.

But remember, Time is a serious magazine.

"Isn't that kid about 6 or 7?"

Thank you! To me he looks huge, not a "toddler".

"...I personally don't think the cover picture is even the slightest bit shocking or inappropriate." I couldn't agree more with Mr. Johnston; in the day of the internet and social networking this gives people with nothing better to do something to Tweet about!

This picture has caused quite a buzz in the UK media as well. Must be a very slow news day.

I think it's mildly amusing but really quite inoffensive. Living in London now means breast feeding in Starbucks has become so commonplace is it practically a new menu option (grande triple-nipple naturale?).

Hardly shocking then, except perhaps that the "right to feed in public" lobby claim it is dis-empowering because of the association of public breast feeding and late weaning. Hey ho.

I think it will be quickly forgotten.

How is the kid going to feel in, say, Junior HS when his buddies see this photo? Then there will be stories about bullying, probably.

He'll probably be homeschooled, or unschooled. Many attachment parents teach their kids at home these days.

How exactly do you make a 4 year old attach with studio lights on? And what do you tell him to make him do it? This picture (and the circumstances it was created in) is about as far from a natural feeding situation as one can possibly envisage, methinks. A strange day and an odd experience for the boy, I daresay.

Poor lad. The things moms make you do.

(Yes, yes, I know it is Mother's Day and we must be reverential...)

"Isn't that kid about 6 or 7?" See what breast milk will do for ya?

"I find this comment says more about this blog (and its male perspective)"

Have I somehow failed to mention? I'm male.


As most of youre readers I guess.....judging from the long list of male names I see.



It's difficult to understand what things are shocking in the U.S. or why. I read an article the other day that stated that only 85 bullets were fired by German police last year, but gave two examples of U.S. shoot-outs, one in which 85 shots were fired and another in which 90 shots were fired (http://news.yahoo.com/german-police-used-only-85-bullets-against-people-155155175.html). It's really quite bizarre.

This "breast feed them 'til they're twenty" movement has very little to do with good child rearing and very much to do with the screwed up mind set of parents; fighting tooth and nail at every little possibility that junior might grow up a little more and gain a little more autonomy.

In a society where every one gets a trophy at every sporting event for participation, her kid isn't likely to be the target of bullying when he gets into junior high, he's more likely to be the type that brings a parent on their first job interview, which when I was hiring, was an automatic rejection and no interview!

God save the country...

Time certainly knows how to sell out underrepresented sections of the population to generate outrage. I do appreciate the discussion of these as photographs though, vs the mocking discourse I have seen other places. Their choice of pose is the most in your face aspect to me. As someone who has nursed 2 year olds (in fact my 22mo is nursing as I type.) Anytime they're on a stool its because they hurt themselves and need comfort but I'm elbow deep in cooking and can't head over to a couch! Multitasking as its best. If anyone is interested in educating themselves about nursing past a year, this is a nice write-up. http://m.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%253A%252F%252Fbfmed.wordpress.com%252F2012%252F05%252F11%252Ftime-cover-sells-out-moms-to-sell-magazines%252F&h=dAQHm96uz

Good lord, sorry for the excessive typos. My kindle fire is many things but not good for typing comments.

Mmmmm, I would like to be a baby again.

Brilliant use of photography to discuss age old topic! Loved Robert Roanaldi's comment above bout relative numbers of bullets used by German vs US police , and the lack of attention/ discussion that has drawn.

NOt shocking--but definitely an attempt to sell magazines in a culture which has a boob fixation.

I'm more concerned about this breastfeeding kids beyond what seems to be a reasonable age for doing so. Is this some variation of the "helicopter parent"? Sorta some idea that we don't want to admit our kids are growing up,'cause it might mean we're growing old?

Or is all this a product of a certain kind of narcissism I see in a certain kind of parent, i.e., in which which think their kid is so super-special that they must be cosseted and coddled to a ridiculous degree--because the reason the kid is so super-special is because it's MY kid (and what does that say about me?)....

For me personally, it's "shocking" enough to make me want to read the article (which honestly I never did because it was all over the news via television). I definitely feel Martin and the other creatives kept a level of taste without going overboard. Placing the mother and child in a real life situation (as opposed to a simple background) may have taken it to a very "creepy" level. I would love to see a version shot by David LaChapelle... now that I think would be shocking.

1. The 'correct' age of breast-feeding is not determined by the west, or the western media, or even the rest. In Papua New Guinea (which I know personally), and I believe many other cultures, women breast feed children till school age and beyond. It's healthy.
2. Magazines got to sell themselves. Half the people on here have probably shot, or wanted to shoot, magazine covers. What precisely is wrong with a great image on the cover? It's arresting, bold, absolutely illustrative of content. Most of us on here are male but I don't hear anyone complaining about all the other magazines that try to sell crude sexual images of women with big breasts.
3. The fact that she's lovely is completely beside the point. What would you prefer, that she was plain? Breasts were made for sex, of course, not breast-feeding. How could I have missed that. Silly me.

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