Saturday, July 16, 2016

Pretty-enough photos of some women doing a quotidian thing, albeit in "full" makeup, and why Are some people upset about this, anyway? (NSFW?)

I'm late to this, but I understand that various people have objected to this photo either because Ms. Olivia Cockburn (aka "Wilde"*) is breastfeeding on camera at all, or because she is Glamming Up Motherhood and making women who don't have a fashion-shoot staff working on them just before breastfeeding feel dowdy and sad. I would mostly wonder about the interaction of a diaper-free infant and an expensive gown, but it's not as if I care, and I have to wonder about those who Care Volubly in the first two cited tendencies. (Somehow, I doubt even the most impressionable teen will be moved to intentional pregnancy by actors' photos, even as many as a few dozen...the tipping point would surely occur elsewhere.)

(*Cockburn being a rather bad marquee name.)

Jaime King also among those famously sharing snaps of herself breastfeeding her child...around which is "controversy"...with some pro-lactation people arguing such things as "breastfeeding isn't nudity"...and my reflexive response tends toward, Well, even if a woman is briefly nude at the breast, why do we care? And even if, as some note with alarm or other sorts of consternation, somebody sees a breastfeeding woman as sexy, why should we care about that? (Intensely gawking or visibly salivating need not be indulged, except when that of the feeding infants themselves.) But, y'know, some people get squirrelly real quick when we are reminded of our mammalian-family membership. Perhaps some of the same people can get as upset about the dog on King's bed. 

Then again, in re glam motherhood: 
Comedian mother recreates celebrity motherhood photos


pattinase (abbott) said...

I think a normal mother, not an actress or model, breastfeeding her child is a better advertisement.

Todd Mason said...

can agree there, that the glam artifice leaves this all a bit precious or smug-seeming...the GOOP effect...these women in more actually quotidian/unstaged circumstances would also be less arch. Though the archness is also part of the argument--why shouldn't it be OK to breastfeed in the course of a mother of an infant's daily life, even when that daily life can verge on the ridiculous...if you can see the basic humanity behind the artifice of these situations, maybe one can get over one's discomfort in less-staged circumstances.

But that reaches into a critique of why we pretend such artificial shots are some sort of benchmark we should hold anyone to/expect of anyone.

If it feels like exploitation of the babies, and of insecurity around what women are expected to worry about during their infant care is indeed part df what I wonder about...since otherwise, the hostile response simply seemed like expression of bluenosing into other people's business...and perhaps this seemed rather a more tractable problem to consider compared to political wrangles were varying degrees of serving elites while pretending to serve the whole commonwealth--and the acceptance of that pretense as acceptable enough in one direction or another, even virtuous to delude one's self that one flavor of serving the elites is The Only Ethical Choice because it isn't the Other Flavor, rather than simply the less dire choice...that, or the kind of tantrum we see acted out by more repressive governing sorts and those who react in kind, whether it be recent rioting police or Citizen snipers or truck-driving murderers...dealing for a moment with this bit of ginned-up anger seemed like perhaps something that could be resolved and moved on from...but there are always more triggers, more insensitivities, more connections to harsh practical problems and basic injustice that come up, even when the matter is fashion photography theoretically in the service of tolerance and acceptance.

The continuing crisis of nearly everything mattering too much always, and at least some things not mattering enough, too often, or at least not given their due. The struggle to do what one can to improve anything. And how much one has to worry about how one looks while doing so.

Mathew Paust said...

Add my concurrence to the consensus. And I also agree, Todd, with your comment on the name "Cockburn" for any woman except maybe in an X-rated flick or a satire.

Todd Mason said...

Even given it's pronounced "Coburn." She's journalists and documentarians Leslie and Andrew Cockburn's daughter.

Todd Mason said...

Thus also the late Alexander Cockburn's niece.