Is this worth a controversy?

Two posts in one day!  That hasn’t happened in… forever!

I saw this on Good Morning America and it was stuck in my head on my train ride into work.

Basically, the controversy is surrounding the fact that the baby comes with a special nursing tank top to put on, so little girls can pretend to breast feed their baby dolls. From the article:

A Spanish toymaker known as Berjuan has developed a breast-feeding doll that comes with a special halter top its young “mothers” wear as they pretend to breast-feed their “babies.” The halter top has daisies that cover the little girls’ nipples and come undone just as easily as the flaps of a nursing bra would.

The doll — called Bebe Gloton, which translates as “gluttonous baby” — makes sucking noises as it “feeds.”

Like many other dolls, Bebe Gloton can cry, signaling she wants more milk.

Although many health care providers promote the benefits of breast-feeding, parents around the world have criticized Berjuan, saying the idea of breast-feeding is too grown-up for young children — and may even promote early pregnancy.

I think people are only going bananas and saying its controversial because breast feeding is still something that people freak out about when seen in public.  It’s considered something you do only in the privacy of your home, and to put it right there on a child’s toy, is like WHOA NELLY!! (I know that mothers out there breastfeed in public, and most do it discreetly and don’t go whipping their boob out for all to see. This is the generalization I am making about the public perception of breast feeding. Don’t whip me.) I mean, here’s a picture of the nursing tank top that comes with the baby:

To me, the only weird things are the flowers strategically placed where the baby should suck from. Not that girls shouldn’t know where their nipples are, but I just think it’s a little weird on a little girl. Or woman. (Remember when the Real Housewives of OC came out with those dumb shirts with an orange where each breast would be? Yeah I wasn’t a fan of those either.)

But honestly, what are people upset about? I loathe that “…parents around the world have criticized Berjuan, saying the idea of breast-feeding is too grown-up for young children — and may even promote early pregnancy.” Really? Letting kids watch Jersey Shore, or 16 and Pregnant might glamorize early pregnancy. Teaching them about breastfeeding? I don’t think so. While most baby dolls come with a bottle, what of the little girls who have mothers who breast feed? Wouldn’t they think it natural to try and breastfeed their dolls, just as their mom breastfed them or their siblings?  In the end, I think this is just another thing for people to try and make a big fuss about.  If the product was suggesting that little girls whip their shirts off to breast feed their doll, then yes, that would be a problem.

*Please note this is not an opinion for, or against breast feeding in anyway.  It’s merely my opinion about this doll, and the controversy that’s erupted around it.  Your thoughts are welcome in the comments, but let’s not make this a battle ground for a pro/con breast feeding war.

Comments

  1. Granted, this is kind of strange just because it involves the our bodies and the fact that majority of us, Americans, are not comfortable with the human body and it’s processes. However, it’s a highly touted feeding option and kids want to mimic what they see adults do. The more adults do this the more kids will be curious.

    Is this worth a controversy? No. Would I love for my hypothetical daughter to strap on a top that has flowers over nipples to “breastfeed” her baby? No. I’d rather have a conversation about breastfeeding and why women can do it, etc… If a child wants to mimic what they see, they’ll do it without a doll with sounds and a specially made top.

    I think this is just a company taking advantage of a movement that is gaining strength right now. They think they see a market. Is there? Who knows… I’m sure someone will buy it. 🙂

  2. you will get 2 sides on this issue. Breastfeeding moms are chased out of public places when we want to feed. Formula moms get judged by breastfeeding moms. This doll just gets sucked into the middle of a forever mommy war.
    My opinion on the doll? I like it. My daughter shouldn’t think my breastfeeding is weird. It’s natural and I am fortunate enough that my body allows me to do it. Besides girls should be taught to try breastfeeding first and if they can’t then it’s okay to go to pumping/formula (that sentence? Yeah, I’m going to get in trouble for that)
    If the shirt gave the girl boobs I’d understand the freak out.

  3. I dunno… I think the shirt is a bit odd, and I probably wouldn’t buy it for my (hypothetical) kid but then again there’s A LOT of things I wouldn’t buy for kids… they have enough stuff already.

    That being said, at a young age, girls are very comfortable with the fact they’re female and can have babies and breast feed. I mean there’s a ridiculous photo of me as a 3 year old with my top pulled up and a toy horse (YES HORSE) at my nipple. I was pretending to breastfeed my toys… Girls are going to re-inact what they see whether there’s a specific toy for it or not…

  4. kids who’s parents breastfeed and don’t use bottles will nurse their dolls. This has ALWAYS been the case. My only issue with this doll in particular and this is probably due to my mind being warped from working at a rape crisis center is that it *may* promote sticky situtaions between kids when playing house.

    Id hate to see an older child take advantage of a younger child in that way. However and older child, or child of the same age, that is going to take advantage of a nother due to thier being abused will probably do it either way

  5. While I think it is totally weird and I probably wouldn’t buy it for my kids, at least it is promoting a healthy activity, right??? BTW- I think the “weird” factor for me comes with the special flower nipples. That is just strange, whether you love or hate breastfeeding (and honestly, who gives a crap. your body, your baby, do what is best!).

    Meh. Who cares?

  6. I think products like this attempt to legitimize the perfectly normal and natural things that our bodies do, and that’s exactly why it freaks people out. Breasts are sexualized to an insane level and I think threats to that, like women breast feeding in public, or toys like this, make a lot people uncomfortable because it challenges their dominant perception of what breasts are for (i.e. men to ogle).

    And I agree about the flowers being a little weird – I get that they don’t want to put nipples out there on a kids toy, but still.

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