First, I’m not a prude. Growing up in the ’50s and ’60s I got to see my share of Hugh Hefner‘s Playboy magazine and later on Bob Guccione‘s even racier Penthouse. Even with my vast experience reading “men’s” magazines I find myself uncomfortable today as I look down on my coffee table and see a newly arrived copy of the much discussed May, 21st edition of Time Magazine. Its cover features a young attractive blond with a large boy firmly attached to her left breast. The caption under the photo reads,” Jamie Lynne Grumet, 26 and her 3-year-old son.” It should be noted that the actual cover wasn’t blurred out like my version here.
I haven’t even opened the magazine yet, but I’m sure, if I can just get by the cover, I’ll eventually read the article “Are You Mom Enough?”
“Where should I hide it?” was the first thing that came to mind when I spotted the magazine on the table. While my wife and I are empty nesters, we still have frequent and sometimes unannounced visits from our very young great nieces and nephews. How will I explain this to some of our favorite 10-12 years olds I thought? I didn’t even want to consider going there.
Somewhere in my mind growing up, I came to understand that pretty much everything in the world had its time and place. The universe as I knew it was aligned. We had karma. Playboy, Penthouse and all the others like them certainly had their place in society and serious print media had theirs. While the actual printed periodicals produced by the giant mega media magazine/newspaper business would sometimes blur the line; even Playboy and Penthouse quite often had well written serious articles from top writers, main stream media still stayed where they belonged; in the main stream.
It now appears that we, like Caesar in 49BC, have crossed the Rubicon. There’s no turning back now. When respected main stream media like Time Magazine feels that it has to titillate the masses (no pun intended) with a racy, controversial cover just to sell their rag, all is lost. Breast feeding our young, how long and where it should be done, has long been a subject of debate. Let’s further the discussion without the sensationalism. The May 21st cover of Time, at best, was unnecessary and largely an insult to most people’s intelligence.
I was a long time proponent and subscriber of the magazine. Not anymore. I’m cancelling tomorrow.
- Jamie Lynne Grumet defends weird TIME magazine cover (bazaardaily.com)