Controversy over Time cover photo marginally related to subject of Time cover story

Time | Forbes | Slate

Judging by the discussion about Time's cover photo of a 3-year-old boy breastfeeding, you'd think that was the subject of the cover story. Well, sort of. The cover story is actually about Dr. William Sears and the attachment parenting movement, but you have to be a subscriber to read it. If for some reason you don't subscribe, there is little to detract you from focusing on what they want to focus on: the cover photo.

As Jeff Bercovici notes, Time was ready for the controversy: The magazine published a Q&A with the mom depicted on the cover, a story and slide show about the photo shoot, and a story about how common extended-breastfeeding is. Time magazine editor Rick Stengel tells Bercovici, "the whole point of a magazine cover is to get your attention."

Mission accomplished, writes Slate's Hanna Rosin:

The image is the natural next step in the hot naked-mama photos that have become an obligatory part of a celebrity career path, (Claudia SchifferBritney SpearsJessica Simpson) and makes Angelina Jolie, who allowed herself to be photographed breast-feeding a mere infant, look like a wimp.

Related: Jim Romenesko points out that his former colleague at Milwaukee Magazine wrote about extended breastfeeding in 2006 (Salon)

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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