02 June 2009

Cover your mammaries with a breastfeeding hat...*gag*

Well folks. I've said it once, I think I'll say it a thousand times:

I have seen the future... and it is not good.

Case in point: MoBoleez 'breastfeeding hats' (WTF?!).

In case you were wondering, these are also called 'Modern Bonnets for Breastfeeding Babes'.

These are supposed to be 'fun' hats that you are supposed to stick on your baby during feeding. What kills me the most, aside from the fact that the inventor uses the word 'fun' (somewhat inappropriately) in every other word of the product description, is that it is claimed that these hats are not meant to shield a woman's breasts from public view:

"The "stay on head sideways" design means that once the hat is on, it'll stay on, and no more fussing with dropping blankets or awkward, bulky 'nursing covers'. While the big brim gives mom a little privacy, it doesn't cover up the breastfeeding, it celebrates it in a fun sort of way!"

Okay, this description makes breastfeeding sound like a trip to an amusement park.

I don't know about you, but I don't see how a creepy looking oversized baby hat 'celebrates' breastfeeding.

Even more annoying is this:

"MoBoleez hats come with illustrations for the top of baby's head (visible when breastfeeding of course!). The cute pictures on top with their lighthearted messages ("Milky Way", "Bee-licious", etc) all convey the message that the MoBoleez mom is a proud breastfeeding babe, with a sense of humour and style!"

Right, so I'm seeing some contradictions here: 1) In my mind, calling a mother (or any woman, for that fact) a 'babe' invokes sexuality (e.g. a 'hot' or sexy woman). Yet, the product itself completely and utterly desexualises women's breasts by firstly covering them up and secondly by shielding them with a hat that has cartoon figures of teddy bears and kittens and other infantilising statements

2) The outside of the brim of the hat is printed with "YUMMY MUMMY". As we all know, that phrase has very specific, highly sexualised connotations in the media when it comes to mothers and particularly celeb mums. Therefore, to throw this around on a baby hat is weird. The creator says this:

"Is MoBoleez part of the “glamourization of motherhood” that the term ‘yummy
mummy’ signifies? At MoBoleez, we like to think of our products as contributing to the idea that that term needs to be re-appropriated by real mums, not the glamourized perfect bodies, perfect lives, sex-ification that is sometimes implied by the term. At MoBoleez, our products are about the “real meaning of Yummy Mummy”: breastfeeding."

If this product was all about 'reclaiming' the term YM for everyday mums then women wouldn't have to feel like that needed to cover up their boobs when they were feeding their babies. The implicit association of breasts with sex/sexuality is fundamentally why socially, people still think it is inappropriate to see women's breasts outside of sex. Thus, merely stating that by shoving 'yummy mummy' on a breastfeeding shield is going to de-sexify motherhood is absolute rubbish. After all, the creator, Diane Sam goes to great lengths to say that her product 'covers the breast, not breastfeeding'...Well, what's feminist about that?! So women should be proud to breastfeed but still worry about how their boobs look to other people or whether they can get away with it in public.

I don't think so.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a breastfeeding mama needs is here in this comic!!!


I so want my crocheting bff to make one for my little man!

keep up the good work!

:-) Moriah C (and her happily bfing 2yr old, Silas)

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The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.