I'm sure that you've heard by now that Facebook temporarily banned Lauren Ferrari, a blogger and Facebook user, for uploading a picture of her oldest daughter pretending to breastfeed her youngest daughter. I think it's the most crazy thing that I've heard. A child pretending to breastfed is sexual? It's child pornography? Unfortunately I'm not surprised. If in some people's eyes a mom breastfeeding is sexual, then what is a child pretending to breastfeed?
Western society has already over-sexualized young children. Manufacturers are making push up bras for young infants. Children now have bikinis instead of the one-piece swim suits that I wore as a young child. Granted I'm not sure if this is meant to sexualize a child or make the child feel grown up like their parental counterparts.
Not too long ago, the Obama administration got into hot water about its use of language. The Health and Human Services site used the word “masturbation” to describe normal healthy self-exploration. The language offended so many people that the HHS took the wording down.
It begs the question of whatever happened to enjoying cute huggable kissable children? Have we moved so far that now even a child imitating what he/she sees is considered pornography? Or is the real issue that our mothers pasting a “in the tub” photo in our family album is different than posting a photo of a child pretending to breastfeed on Facebook?
Child pornography laws stipulate that in order for a naked baby photo to be considered pornography there has to be something sexual about it. However, for pedophiles anything about an under-dressed child is fodder. I don't think that Facebook should have banned the photograph because of it's content. However, I think that all parents should be cautious about what they post to protect their children. Maybe I'm a bit extreme, but the only pictures I post are old ones or ones where my children's faces are covered. I realize that once the picture is out there anyone can see it. Facebook, despite being a community, is still very public.
Don't misunderstand me. While I think the picture is perfectly fine, my concern is with anyone who thinks it's something more. This includes Facebook's interpretation of picture as well as any pedophiles. A child pretending to breastfeed is not child pornography.
I suppose my point is that it's important to protect children from predators and from making them into sexual beings on par with adults/teens, but it also makes a parent's job harder and more restrictive. Children are cute cuddly beings. If a woman's breast shows on a breastfeeding photo or a topless man mows the lawn, what's wrong with a little kid standing in a picture in just their diaper or pretending to breastfeed their sister? None of those things are sexual.
Latest posts by Laura Weirich (see all)
- Centers for Disease Control Breastfeeding Report Card and What It Tells Us - August 18, 2012
- Mayor Bloomberg's Latch On, New York - August 11, 2012
- Pretend Breastfeeding: The Over-Sexualizing of Young Children - July 29, 2012