Not the photo in question.As all parents know, kids love to mimic what we do. And nursing moms know this includes breastfeeding. Both my son and my daughter have given "milkies" and put a doll to their chest in moments that I thought were inexplicably adorable. Naturally I grabbed my camera and took some photos. Mom Lauren Ferrari did just that ... only the photo was of her 5-year-old "breastfeeding" her 2-year-old and she posted it on Facebook.
This turned into another tirade against Facebook for deleting a photo they deemed obscene and violated their community guidelines. Breastfeeding photos are NOT obscene. I have posted some of me nursing my kids on my own Facebook page so I don't think they should be lumping these pics in with truly R-rated images of naked people. As a mom, though, I personally wouldn't have shared the image Ferrari did. I think she had every right to do so and shouldn't have had her photo deleted and then banned from Facebook for a week.
The police agree with me. Yes, Komo News 4 interviewed Stefanie Thomas of the Seattle Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children and she noted that because the mom has little control over where the photo will end up, it was "poor parenting." There wasn't any police intervention beyond that.
That right there is what strikes fear in me. The thought of any image I share on Facebook, Instagram, or a blog could be used for something sinister, disgusting, or illegal. Showing a photo of your daughter with her shirt up and her sister "breastfeeding" from her chest is just too much for me. (Click to see image.) I do not think the photo is obscene -- I do think it's adorable and would take a snap if my kids did the same. But I wouldn't post it anywhere because I fear what people could do with that image of my children. I'm not judging Ferrari for doing so -- that's her call as a parent. I'm just saying I wouldn't do it. I also don't think she should be that shocked that Facebook deleted it. And I really don't think she should have taken her story to the news, blasting that photo in very public websites and even shown on her local news. But that's just me.
The same me who loves Breast Milk Baby. The same me who rallied to help people understand all the good that is coming from Latch On NYC. The same me who breastfed my twins in public whenever they were hungry.
I agree with Ferrari when she said that the photo was "not sexual" because they were just pretending. Most people won't see it as sexual. But some will and that's why I don't agree with her decision to share it on her Facebook, and then with the local news, so essentially with the world. I love that she wants to make a statement about how breastfeeding is not obscene -- I agree with her all the way there. But using that photo isn't the way to do it.
Would you share a photo of your child breastfeeding another? What do you think of the photo? Should it have been removed from Facebook? Was it a bad decision to post?
Image via Nico Nelson/Flickr