Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Breastfeed: be a star

I heard about the British Be a Star Internet breastfeeding campaign through my IBCLC class. I get the concept of it - reframe breastfeeding as glamorous (easier now that there are so many breastfeeding celebrities) - and target it at younger women (at least that's what I'm guessing by the age of the moms picked to profile).

Above is Clare, 20, from Morecambe:

Please explain why you’ve chosen to breastfeed.
Well, it’s convenient, it’s good for baby, helped me get my figure back quickly – there are lots of health benefits for both of us. To be honest I didn’t ‘choose to breastfeed my eldest son, in fact I planned to bottle feed him and I’d bought all the bottles and the steriliser too, but after he was born the midwife in hospital brought him over to me and asked if I’d like to try feeding him myself, and we just went from there: once I’d got going with breastfeeding I realised how easy it was, and that’s when I realised all the good things about breastfeeding! With my second son there was no other way I would have chosen to feed but breastfeeding, for me it was the natural choice.

The text is no-nonsense, simple, and hopefully accessible. Personally, I love the photos and the concept, but I wonder whether the photos are as accessible as the message. If teens moms actually click over to this site, are they weirded out by these pictures of women wearing sometimes weird get-ups and breastfeeding? Are they insulted by the implication that they need to be marketed to with shiny photos and fabulous make-up? Finally, does this just further the impression that to breastfeed you need to be a rich, glamorous woman? Would it have been better to show these moms breastfeeding in their regular lives - at family parties, at the bus stop, before they go out in the evening?

What do you think?

1 comment:

hillary said...

I think this is a great campaign. It may not be a perfect campaign but I'm not sure that's realistic to expect of any series of advertisements. This set of images in particular address a lot of the issues that surround teenage mothers and their choice to breastfeed. I think young mothers are told explicitly and implicitly that they are not good parents, simply because of their age (or their choice to have unprotected sex). They aren't encouraged to bond with their babies by people around them; often they are told to focus on school or getting a job to make money, rather than on their child. They are also presumed to be low class in many cases. These pictures of beautiful, glamorous, nursing mothers lets young mothers see that they can do and be something wonderful when they choose to nurse their babies. So thumbs up for that.