Thursday, September 25, 2008

Rock on, Jamie Lynn!

Often we hear of celebrities because of the bad things they do: drinking and driving, physically abusing their assistants, and cheating on their spouses, to name a few. It’s not very often that celebrities set the good example, and when they do, the good is often overshadowed by the bad.

Back in March, the media jumped at the chance to report Jamie Lynn Spear’s pregnancy. She was subjected to intrusion on her privacy at every level. Becoming unintentionally pregnant as an unwed teen is bad enough; for a celebrity like Spears, it’s even worse. While Spears certainly has more money and resources than most teens, she is also constantly in the public eye. So even though she doesn’t have to worry about having the money to put food on the table and care for her child, she does experience emotional distress stemming from a kind of media attention that few of us can even imagine. Spears was even blamed for “glamorizing teen pregnancy”- a pretty tough judgment for a young girl who made the same mistake thousands of other girls her own age do.

There are many of you out there that will argue that Spears, like all celebrities, pays the price for her fame. The media attention stars endure is simply the sacrifice made for international celebrity and vast amounts of money. To a certain extent I agree with that statement. However, I think what’s lost in the equation here is that Spears is still, despite her motherhood, a young girl.

Recently a story appeared in the news that made me angrier at the media than I’ve been in a long time. According to Fox News, pictures of Jamie Lynn breastfeeding her daughter, Maddie, have been popping up all over the internet. In the photos most of her breast is exposed. For those of you breastfeeding mamas who will argue the majority of the breast is hidden during breastfeeding, I can’t counter that argument because I haven’t seen the picture. I don’t know if Jamie Lynn was preparing to nurse, if Maddie had just finished, etc. Anyways, Maddie’s father took pictures of the scene and took them to be developed. Workers at Wal-Mart kept copies, which they then attempted to sell. Shame on them!

Maddie was born back in June, making her roughly 4 months old. The fact that Jamie Lynn is still nursing her daughter is awesome! Too few women in the US choose to nurse at all, and many quit after a short time. That she continues to do what’s best for Maddie should be praised; Jamie Lynn should not be shamed for making a conscientious choice for her daughter’s health and benefit. While I am greatly bothered by the fact that Jamie Lynn’s privacy was invaded at such an innocent and precious time, I am even more upset by the implication that breastfeeding is being treated as obscene and scandalous in this situation. I wish Jamie Lynn would do an interview and discuss her choice to nurse- I want to see the headline “Jamie Lynn Glamorizes Breastfeeding!”


Jenny said...

Our IT guy at work told us about this. He came to the shop to set up our new POS system and brought it up. I was impressed that he had an opinion about it.

Anyway, I think it's wonderful that she's breastfeeding. I am angry though, because those pictures never should have been stolen. I don't think breastfeeding is anything to be ashamed of, but there are certainly some pics of me nursing Suzi that are just for us. Breastfeeding pride does not necessarily involve plastering one's website with photographs; it's up to the woman and she should've had a choice. (Not to mention, as a famous woman, the picture will be scrutinized on the basis of how her boobs look after the baby. Stupid.) I never expect much from Wal-Mart, though. Best to buy a digital camera and a nice photo printer.

Oh, and about her "glamorizing" teen pregnancy. Why is it that our society doesn't mind glamorizing teen SEX, but they don't want to see pregnant girls? Don't they realize sex is how they get pregnant? I think there are other outcomes of teen sex which are far, far more harmful than an unplanned pregnancy.

Jenny said...

I think that's a great idea about making camo slings for military daddies! Seems like I saw a picture in Mothering Magazine of a military man wearing a baby. I'll let you know if I find it. I think it's time to show ALL men, not just those in the military, that they can be manly without wearing a dorky Baby Bjorn. Thursday is Daddies' Night at babywearing meeting so maybe I'll learn a few new things there. I really wish you lived around here so we could do stuff together! How far from Clemson are you going to be when you come home?