Only 14 percent of women in Mexico breastfeed their children exclusively in the first six months, making the country's breastfeeding rate among the lowest in Latin America. In response, Mexico City recently set out on a mission to encourage women to nurse but ended up disappointing and enraging many instead. The reason: The campaign was a series of sexy posters featuring slender, toned, topless, aaaand braless female celebs. Censoring their breasts is a banner that reads, "No les des la espalda, dale pecho," which translates in English to, "Don't turn your back on them, give them your breast." One of the posters even features a man hanging all over one of the actresses. No babies in sight.
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So not only is the campaign leaning on shame and guilt, but also shameless sex appeal! Fantastic! No wonder the campaign has been taken down from the city's website already.
While it's easy to look at this and wonder, "What in the world were they thinking?!" we can only guess it was something like, "Sex sells, and breasts are sexy, so why not try to make breastfeeding sexy?" But that's exactly the logic that contributes to the stigma around breastfeeding in public.
Breastfeeding is advisable, but it's not HOT. Scantily-clad women posing as they would in a jeans or underwear ad, without a child in sight, have nothing to do with breastfeeding. And they're not doing this or any other breastfeeding campaign any favors.
Thankfully, Mexico City seems to have taken the backlash seriously, because they're currently working on a revised campaign. Here's hoping it has nothing to do with skin -- and a lot more to do with the real benefits of breastfeeding.
What do you think about this campaign?
Images via Corbis & Frederic_Wertham/Twitter