So, apparently the Earth is about to spin off its rotational axis and the sun is two seconds from stopping its shine now that the innanets got wind of The Breastmilk Baby, a doll that lets little girls simulate—gasp!—breastfeeding.
How it works: your kid puts on a “magic top” with flowers on the chest, and when she holds the doll baby next to the flowers, it totally slurps like it’s breastfeeding. When the baby finishes eating, your kid puts the doll on her shoulder and pats its back to help it burp.
That’s all, folks. The baby eats. It burps. And your kid goes on about her business in her little play world.
Of course, as with anything that has to do with feeding babies at the breast, folk are up in arms over the thought of a little girl pretending to breastfeed. The doll manufacturer, the Spain-based Berjuan Toys, says it’s having a helluva time getting the dolls into U.S. toy stores because of a public backlash from adults who think the dolls are “creepy” and “too sexual.” Conservative trashmouth, er, talking head Bill O’Reilly even weighed in, proclaiming on his show “this kind of stuff, we don’t need this” because it stops kids from being kids.
Um, I beg to differ. You know what stops kids from being kids? Adults projecting their sexual thoughts on little ones and their toys (and mothers and their babies). I mean, it’s been made more than plain that all-too-many Americans still think breasts are fun bags for boys; this much is for sure whenever breastfeeding mothers are booted out of stores and restaurants and other public spaces for simply feeding their kids, or politicians try to make it harder to approve legislation that would make it easier for working moms who breastfeed to comfortably gather food for their babies while on the job. It’s true especially when there are ignoramuses who proclaim loudly and with great disgust that giving a baby “ninny” is nasty.
But around these parts? My daughters, both of whom were breastfed for a year and 10 months, respectively, know breastfeeding is just as natural as rain. Mari was three when she watched me breastfeed her little sister and you best believe that when she wasn’t trying to “help” me feed Lila, she was cuddling and “breastfeeding” her own doll baby. Both my daughters also know that if/when they become moms, they will at the very least try to breastfeed their children because it’s perfectly natural to do so and every medical indication out there suggests that their bodies produce the most perfect form of food a human can feed to another human. And yes, this is a conversation we have regularly, (even though neither of them will be making me a grandmother anytime soon!) because it’s a part of our everyday conversation about their beautiful, growing, changing bodies—bodies that they deserve to feel comfortable in and know intimately. They are being taught that, yes, there is power in them rolling hills (shout out to Jill Scott), and that power isn’t the kind rappers like 2 Chainz, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj will have you think it is.
Please believe, if they were still into dolls, my girls would most definitely have The Breastmilk Baby in their collection, alongside the baby dolls that poop, pee, burp, grow hair, cry, giggle and, yeah, feed from a bottle. After all, what could be more beautiful than a little human being learning how to nurture, nourish and love another human being? Better this than, oh, I don’t know, a big boobed, flat-butt, no waist, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Barbie wrapped around Ken. Just sayin’.
1. Dear Michele Bachmann: Shut Up About Black Moms and Breastfeeding
2. Nipples and Ninny: An African-American Mom’s Breastfeeding Journey
3. Beyonce Breastfeeds Blue Ivy: Can White Advocates Give Black Moms Our Breastfeeding Victory?
4. Black Breastfeeding 360°: Celebrating A New Resource For African American Moms