Danielle Bean, a wife and mother of eight, is editorial director of Faith & Family magazine and author of My Cup of Tea, Mom to Mom, Day to Day, and most recently Small Steps for Catholic Moms. Read more of her blogging at Faith & Family Live and DanielleBean.com.
At least that’s how I am choosing to interpret the recent news about Kim Kardashian’s recently tweeted complaint about a woman breastfeeding at a restaurant where she was having lunch.
Last Friday, Ms. Kardashian posted the following to her twitter account:
“EWW Im at lunch, the woman at the table next 2 me is breast feeding her baby w no coverup then puts baby on the table and changes her diaper”
Of course, outrage ensued.
The diaper changing part, I can certainly understand. A restaurant table is not an appropriate place for cleaning up babies’ behinds.
But I am intrigued and confused by the idea of Ms. Kardashian being disgusted by a woman who was breastfeeding “with no cover.”
As she clarified with later tweets, she is not at all opposed to breastfeeding. Her sister does it! It’s natural! It’s beautiful! The problem, she says, is that the woman at the restaurant was too exposed.
I did not see the nursing mother in question, so I don’t know exactly how “covered” or “uncovered” she was. I do know, however, that it doesn’t take many clicks on the internet to find photos of Kim Kardashian and her siblings wearing less clothing than I consider appropriate. The idea of this young woman, who does not hesitate to use her own cleavage for the purpose of promoting her career and making money, being disgusted by a mother showing “too much” while feeding her infant is not making a whole lot of sense to me.
Public displays of female body parts are acceptable—as long your purpose is to tantalize and inspire lust?
Throw a baby in the mix and it all becomes just plain gross?
I see this as yet another symptom of our culture’s unhealthy and unbalanced understanding of the meaning of sex and God’s plan for our bodies. We have tried so hard and come so far in our attempt to separate sex from babies that we wind up in a very confusing place. This is where John Paul II’s teachings on human sexuality and God’s plan for marriage would help us to make sense of society’s sexual confusion.
The human body is not gross. But neither is it an object to be exploited.