Stop Sexualizing My Grocery Shopping
This morning, like so many other moms, dads and caregivers, I took my kids to the grocery store.
It was a nice little trip. My kids enjoyed the ginormous kiddie "car" cart they insisted I push around the store. We talked about healthy foods as we picked up bananas in the produce section. We talked about "sometimes" foods when I picked up cookies in the packaged goods.
And then we talked about boobs and naked ladies.
WHY was I talking about boobs with my 4-year-old daughter in the grocery store? Oh, because this magazine cover was in plain view of my kids as we checked out.
"Mommy, why are that girl's boobies showing?" she said to me.
"Mommy, she's in PANTIES!"
"Mommy, that girl doesn't have any clothes on!!"
Okay, I am so not a prude when it comes to certain things. I listen to Howard Stern daily. I read Fifty Shades of Grey. I am all for freedom of speech and expression, but why do I need to have boobs in my face and the face of my kids at the GROCERY STORE?
Really, this is not a conversation I felt like having at the grocery store. Not only do I need to find a way to explain to my daughter why this woman is freezing her boobs off on an apparent Alaskan cruise, I need to find a way to tell her -- SOMEHOW -- that no woman looks like this. This was an airbrushed to hell photo that is in no way representative of what real women look like.
I mean, Kate Upton may be a supermodel, but I am going to bet she has at least a few flaws that were airbrushed, no?
Well, I did what any social media savvy mom would do, I contacted the store through a private message on Facebook.
I also posted it to my own Facebook page, which prompted a rather lively discussion not so much about the over-sexualization of women, but about the lack of common sense various media use when placing these types of images in places where children can see them.
Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You
When will stores and brands realize that MOMS (women) do most if not all the shopping for their families? And, I would argue, that most moms may find images like this offensive -- especially when placed in plain view at the grocery store.
Call me crazy, but I am more likely to shop at stores that DON'T offend me.
Really though, it is just a sad commentary on the way women are portrayed in the media. And while images like this will never go by the wayside, it's important to teach our children that it is not OK for women to be portrayed like this, and these images are not representative of what real women look like.
But thankfully, us moms can make a difference. Just ask Kelly Brown who blogs at The Turnip Farmer. She graciously "fixed" the magazine cover in question JUST FOR ME.
And to quote Kelly, "I put them in stripes to make them look fat."
Courtesy of Kelly BrownI think it's an amazing improvement, don't you agree?
This post originally appeared on No Sleep 'Til College.
Read here to see comments: Erica Voll: Stop Sexualizing My Grocery Shopping
I feel like this one combines the "fat shaming" thread with the "talking to kids about sex" thread, a little. As with most articles these days, I found the comments section to be as interesting as the article itself ~ there were plenty of "Way to go Mom, she looks so much prettier in the sweater!" To: "Oh poor you you had to be a Mom for a second and have a discussion with your kids" sort of comments. What do you think, and did any comments jump out to you in particular as being especially right (or wrong?)?Do the magazine covers at stores bother you?
My kids have been going to the store with me since birth, and there have been magazines like that since birth. If my girls see and ask me about it, I tell them that is how some people dress but that is not how we dress.
Haha, I admit, that was my first reaction too, like "Oh noes, you had to talk to your kid?!? At the GROCERY STORE?!? Saints preserve us..." LOL"Oh poor you you had to be a Mom for a second and have a discussion with your kids" sort of comments.
I don't know. Magazine covers like that don't really bother me. I think she has a point about talking to her daughter about how not all ladies look like that, or need to look like that, because I do think that the media plays a big roll in the way that women look at their own bodies. But the "sexy" peice of it doesn't bother me. You could see about that much skin at the beach too, and it wouldn't be my place to insist that the sexy ladies cover themselves, but to talk to my kids about whether or not I think it's okay to dress that way.
I think Claire might be more puzzled by the juxtaposition of the bikini and icebergs. KWIM? And if she asked me why the lady wasn't wearing a top (she doesn't really get what 'sexy' means) maybe I'd tell her it was warmer to wear a parka than a bikini top, being in Antarctica and all. As to how I feel about it, I don't really care all that much about these magazine covers but if DD asks me seriously one day about why there are lots of girls on magazines who are wearing this or that then we'll talk about it openly and honestly. But I'm not going out of my way to point out this stuff and then intentionally get into a discussion about the oversexualization of women in the media.
I find women's magazines are as bad or worse. DD1 is starting to read things and ask what they mean. I cringe at the day she reads a Cosmo cover while we are in line at the grocery store and asks me to explain those. While having the sex talk with her doesn't bother me, I don't want to explain 7 ways to have mind blowing orgasms while in the grocery store line.
Generally I have no problem with magazine covers that are on display at the grocery store. The other day we were at a news stand at Harvard Square and all the magazines on display at the counter where you normally see Time or Cosmo or People were some form of porn magazine. Those covers wold be inappropriate for children. My husband joked that you could tell the customers were university students!
DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
November 2010 (13 weeks)
DD2 August 2011 (33w5d)
Yeah, Cosmo's and Maxim's covers are just as bad as the SI ones
That's SO not on my list to be worried about.
Laurie, mom to:
Nathaniel ( 9 ) and Juliet ( 5 )
Adventures In Baking (blog)
Maybe where I live stores are more cautious but, I saw this mag in the store but the way it was displayed, there was an opaque plastic sheet built into the display case, effectively covering her bits.
My 4 year old actually saw this cover the other night on CNN, and I didn't really think twice about it. It's everywhere. It's no worse than the huge Victoria's Secret posters you walk by in the mall. Sophia said "Mommy, she's showing her boobs!" and I said "yep, she sure is" That was pretty much our conversation about it. I don't even think at her age I need to get into "not all women look like that". She knows that, because no one she knows looks like that, most certainly not her mommy.
CARRIE and DH 7/14/07
I just dont get the uproar over this cover? I dont love that my 5 year old can read covers, the other day it was "Look Kelly Clarkson found love at last" and then "Brandi cheated first" then "Who is Brandi and what is cheating"
I dont worry to much about them seeing yet one more body that is fairly unattainable, they see it in media. We have been combating that message for years.
There is a dove ad, that shows a woman and what she goes through in hair and makeup and then what they can do with airbrushing, it is an awesome video that all of my girls have seen. Very enlightening
Molly, Morgan, Mia and Carson