Friday, May 18, 2012

Attachment parenting awareness, or publicity stunt?

The issue here is not whether or not an almost 4 year old child should still be nursing, but what I will discuss is the impact the cover photo of Time magazine had on the media, print and television; social media, twitter and Facebook; and moms all around the nation and world. The cover was revealed on Thursday May 10, 2012 and has since been talked about on Ragan's PR Daily, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, all the way to the New Zealand Herald, just to name a few. The magazine will hit newsstands on May 21.
Perhaps the headline might have been too harsh?! Are you MOM enough? According to the article featured on, the cover has been Photoshopped, criticized, and applauded. "Due to the provocative nature of the image and its widespread popularity, some feel that the cover is hurting the boy’s reputation in the future. Some feel that it’s exploiting mothers. Others have found humor in the cover, manipulating the image and the topic by referencing other bits of pop culture" , writes journalist Christine Erickson.
All this, just in time for mother's day.

The 'model', a 26 year old mother, who said she knew was she was getting into when she agreed to do the photo. Her son , a four year old, still nursing at his age is feared to be ridiculed later in life. (according to comments in the article)

Question is... Why would Time magazine release such a controversial cover photo for their magazine? One can only assume, because no statements from the magazine have been released, none that I have found anyways, that it must have to do with a desire to increase sales for the magazine.
Let's consider Time magazine's current sales. A New York Times article, published on February 7, 2012, states that Time magazine lost 3.4 percent of newsstand sales and paid circulation decreased 0.5 percent to 3.3 million. With that being said, perhaps Time magazine's editors purposely published a controversial magazine cover which would ultimately get the media talking and would result in increased sales.

The media handled the release of the cover in different ways, many just discussing the actual articles, others, such as bloggers, discussed their own views on the subject of attachment parenting. Ridiculed photos are also all over Pinterest and was featured on SNL. I'm certain this won't be the end of this talk.
Regardless if this was meant to be a publicity stunt or not, Time magazine has successfully made the world talk about their magazine.

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