Promoting Empathy With Your Teen

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What if the Mother Featured on the TIME Cover Looked More Maternally Ubiquitous?

Do models make bad mothers?

Would there have been such a controversy? I don't think so, there are always going to be proponents and opponents of attachment parenting. However, I believe that the controversy was about the image of a woman who fits into the mainstream psyche of sexiness, breast feeding a male toddler.

We live in a very contradictory and hyper sexual  society, and most of us are in denial about it. I see parents during family therapy blush about the idea of talking to their sons and daughters about sex, even though their child is just a click away from a porn site on the smart phone, or tablet the parent purchased.

We live in a world where our eyes and ears are constantly under attack from sexual images.
Don't believe me? Just pay a visit to your local magazine stand, your local store, look up at bill boards in your neighborhood, watch television, and don't forget the Internet. Every day we are exposed to scantily clad people, particular very slender women with descriptors that insist that these human beings are to be objectified sexually and lured with assets that signify wealth.

People who claim to be offended by the image of a mother nursing her child, are actually reacting to their difficulty in adjusting to the reality that women with a certain body type that has been by hyper sexualized by mass media actually are human beings with maternal instincts. That's really what all the fuss is about.

I am offended, not by the cover of Time, but by the editors' decision to use the model they did to bring up the topic of attachment parenting. I believe It was a calculated move, and going by the spirit of capitalism, the editors were looking to maximize profits by selling their magazine with not so subtle cues that would prove controversial. It has taken away from meaningful debate on attachment style parenting.

However there is a good side to this issue, it has provided an opportunity for people like myself to address a problem in our society's view of sexuality. Not everyone is supposed to look the same, attractiveness is really a matter of personal opinion and never the same standard across the board. I routinely share this with adolescents who express a desire to artificially alter the biology of their physical appearances. Be it, getting breast implants, altering skin color, using steroids or chasing that ever elusive six pack effect on the stomach.

The more people become more conscientious about the true diversity of beauty, sexuality and attractiveness, the less merchants and marketers will resort to sexualizing the products and services they pitch.

So what are your thoughts? Do you agree with my argument or would you like to express a dissenting opinion? Either way, your appropriate comments are always welcome.

Ugo Uche is a psychotherapist based in Tucson Arizona who specializes in anger management. He is also the author of Anger Management 101 - Taming the Beast Within.


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Ugo Uche is a Licensed Professional Counselor who specializes in adolescents and young adults.

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