Meet the new doll causing a storm in the UK, the Breast Milk Baby. Designed to encourage little girls to learn about breastfeeding, it has been branded repulsive and disgusting, but what does that say about our true feelings towards breastfeeding?
Why would little girls replicating what Mother Nature designed us to do be seen as gross and uncomfortable to watch? Perhaps it's because as a nation we live in a society where breasts are seen on the whole as sexual objects. Do we fear that by letting our little girls imitate breastfeeding with a doll, especially out in public will put them in the eyes of people who may get a perverse kick out of it? What a shame we can't see beyond this obsession with sex.
If we are to encourage the next generation to breastfeed, surely this toy is essential. How will young girls ever accept that breastfeeding is the norm when they grow up constantly giving their dolly a bottle. If education is the key to changing attitudes towards breastfeeding then surely this doll does just that. By exposing children to biological norms from a young age it should help dispel any taboo from the past generation.
In reality how is it any different to a child imitating their mum feeding her baby at home in a role play scenario? When I breastfed my youngest, my toddler would take his monkey, lift up his t-shirt and pretend to give him his milk too.
I can certainly see why people are uncomfortable with the breastfeeding doll. I myself, a fan of breastfeeding find it slightly weird and a little uncomfortable. That is why I think it's actually a great idea. It gets us thinking, discussing and really looking at our own true feelings towards breastfeeding.
Anything which can help dispel awkwardness around breastfeeding in my eyes is actually a good thing.
Interested in another perspective? Read Victoria Wright's piece 'Breastfeeding dolls for little girls? They're both creepy and sexist'