body talk

So apparently Kim Kardashian has been saying – or, rather, tweeting – some silly things about breastfeeding. You know,the usual stuff: ew, some woman has her boobies out, she should cover up, yuck, blech, ugh, etc. This, of course, begs a very simple – I would, and will, argue, too simple – response: HYPOCRITE AHOY! Who is Kim Kardashian, she who has profited from her oft-exposed bosoms, to demand that a nursing mother cover herself while nursing? Does Kim Kardashian not show more booby on one page in Us Magazine than the average nursing mom does in a year? Let us all point our fingers! BOO, KIM KARDASHIAN! BOO! You cover up!

This makes us feel better, of course. It’s gratifying when the biases and hypocrisies of cultural discourse come neatly packaged in such transparent wrapping. All we have to do is point at them and shout LOOK! Kim Kardashian recoils from a nursing boob as crumbs from the cake that she has and is eating spill ironically into her own exposed bosom! It’s so much easier to point at such an example of cultural hypocrisy in action – or to the 140 character tweet that describes it – than it is to lower one’s voice to a serious register and intone: hark ye listeners and note well the dissonance! Society accepts – nay, celebrates and rewards! – the exposing of boobies as sexually desirable subjects of the cultural gaze, but rejects exposure of boobies when such exposure denies or precludes titillation! Oppressed wymmins of the world, unite and revolt! I personally find that no one really listens to me when I do that.

But here’s the thing: it’s too easy (it also veers dangerously into slut-shaming territory, but I’ll come back to that). It reduces the argument to HA! Just that – HA! – with a footnote stating TOLD YOU SO! Which doesn’t really get us anywhere, because – as anyone who has ever argued with a four year old will tell you – neither HA! nor TOLD YOU SO! resolve questions or controversies. Keep reading…

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What A Girl Wants

January 27, 2010

My husband had a vasectomy last year. There was a lot of discussion around it – another baby would not have been unwelcome, and so I wasn’t eager to close off the possibility – but we both knew that it would be madness for me to risk repeating the more or less pretty awfully terrible [...]

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Requiem For A Boob

May 28, 2009

When I was a kid, my mom used to joke about her boobs. “They’re tube socks!” she’d hoot. “I have to roll them up to get them in my bra.” I would cringe and recoil. “Mom,” I’d hiss. “You’re embarrassing me.” “Why are you so red, honey?” “Because you’re embarrassing me.” “I’m just talking about [...]

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Truthiness In Muffin-Top Portraiture

March 4, 2009

You’re going to have to see my previous post for context – or to comment, if you have anything to say, anything at all, about the Glory Of The Previously Only Seen In Soft-Focus Muffin Top – because I’m only going to say this, and I want it to stand alone as my affirmation – [...]

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What Does A Body Good

March 3, 2009

This is me, nine and half months post-partum: In which I reveal my muffin-top, my inability to properly clean mirrors, and the fact that my personal trainer is a Siamese cat. I’m okay with how I look. Sort of. I think. Some days are better than others. Some days, I look down at the plush [...]

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