Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I don't normally advocate consumer products--ok, except for books--here on the Cabinet. But I just can't let the chance go by to sing the praises of the nursing tops made by the Swedish company Boob. They first came to my attention when Joanna Goddard talked about them over on Cup of Jo. She has also written very cogently about breastfeeding in public (image below is from her piece on the subject).
And I wholeheartedly agree with her assessment that it is a lovely, freeing, and empowering thing to be able to do. Further, I have grown to really hate all those elaborate apron- and cape-like garments that American women are encouraged to drape about themselves for the purpose--they just draw more attention while at the same time being oddly shaming. And the fact that, in the twenty-first century, there is still any shame or embarrassment around this most natural of activities just makes me see red.
Which, I suppose, is why we must look to Europe for this oh-so-simple yet ingeniously designed shirt with the two simple pieces, one that lifts up and one that lifts down. Making everything easy while preserving virtually 100% modesty. Why? Why must we pay top dollar for these imported garments at the wonderfully friendly yet often-sold-out tiny web store Stockholm Objects? Why are these shirts, or something very much like them not available at every Target in the land?
Because breasts in this country are way way over-sexualized? Because we still have weird Puritan hang-ups 392 years after the Mayflower? At the risk of falling into the old oh-America-is-neurotic-and-Europe-is-awesome-and-have-you-been-to-the-topless-beaches-in-the-south-of-France? cliche, well, um, yes. Pretty much.
So I guess its rather fitting that the photos I dug up of myself, and Mabel, making use of a Boob shirt happen to be on the steps of St. Peters in Rome. Actually, wait, make that in The Vatican City--not exactly a place known for its social liberalism, and yet did anyone flinch? Did anyone even notice? Nope.