Shame On You, Facebook!

Jan 10, 2009

A few years back, down in Franklin, Tennessee, the local YMCA banned all breastfeeding from their lobby and work-out facility because it was making their customers uncomfortable. Imagine being one of the young mothers who had to make other arrangements for their infants in order to walk on a treadmill next to a 21-year old wearing tight bikini-style shorts with a barely-clad pair of enhancements bouncing to rhythm of the piped-in music.

What is going on in our culture where breastfeeding makes people uncomfortable but five inches of manufactured cleavage is just fine? Come on people! Like any red-blooded male, it is hard to oppose the exposure, but please, let’s all work toward getting our priorities straight.

Let me insert a caveat here:

It is difficult to make my point in this article without photos. I apologize to anyone who feels offended by either of the two images below.

In the past few days, China has begun blocking MSN and Google because of the vulgar images available. True, they also cited the propaganda being spread by those sites, but the first reason listed by China was the vulgarity of the images. I’m siding with China here.

This week Facebook removed 80,000 photos of mothers breastfeeding because too much of the breast was exposed. Here is one of the photos reportedly removed:

What does Facebook think is appropriate? I went to my Facebook site and on the right side of the screen was a paid advertisement entitled “Hwy W Club.” (Facebook knows the location of all their users so targeting local advertisements is easy for them). To see if I could prove my point, I clicked on the ad which lead me to Hwy W Club’s Facebook site. I clicked on one of the Hwy W Club’s photo albums (a basic Facebook feature). Here is a photo from that album:

Let me get this straight…the above photo of a wet t-shirt contestant is fine but a mother feeding her infant is offensive.

Shame on you, Facebook!

  1. Susan

    Oh COME ON! WHERE ARE YOUR MORALS? Neither type of picture should be shown online…this is the type of stupid arguments that people get worried about -ahem- “offending” others and then it’s ok to show inappropriate photos of women. OH IT’S OK B/C THEY’RE A MOTHER…NOT! NOR DO I WANT TO SEE A NUDE PHOTO OF A WOMAN!!! Guess what i’m not gay or a lesbien, but i am a female and don’t want to see anyjunk like that!

  2. Dennis Hanes

    Thanks, Brian. Well said, and a good recap of our current social climate.

  3. Josh Phelps

    Honestly, who wants to see some woman (even if that “some woman” is a friend of yours) breastfeeding a kid on their facebook? I understand it’s part of the “miracle of life” or whatever, but it’s not really necessary to put on display for the world to see.

    Maybe the particular image in question that is STILL displayed is just as “offensive”, but maybe that’s the next step in facebook’s effort to keep such things off their site. The image in question is there strictly to advertise and attract males to their venue. This doesn’t make it any more right, but I come more likely understanding that it’s left based off marketing (which you know quite a bit about, Brian) rather than showing the “miracle of life” to be seen for the masses.

    The bottom line is, if you want to have a picture of your kid sucking on your breast — that’s cool…congratulations on your abilities, but keep it in your photo album along with the other pics that are just as effective for people to know you gave birth to a human such as pics of you in the hospital room holding your kid for the first time. If you absolutely MUST display it, keep it somewhere like Flickr or Photobucket so if someone DOES want to see it, you can conveniently send them a link. I do agree that there however, shouldn’t be a double standard.

    Maybe I just have a different view on this, but in a PR way…it makes sense.

  4. Joe Graffi

    “Two Thumbs Up!” Brian. One thing about either “Face Book”, which I do NOT use, and “My Space”, on which I have a page, is their blatantly seductive ads that open on every page. I’m embarrassed when my wife has to be bombarded with these just to check up on the grand kids! I wouldn’t even use My Space except that my kids and grand kids do and I can get a quicker response from them through My Space than regular E mail.
    I can block ‘pop-ups’ anywhere on the net EXCEPT places like these two. There should be a way to block this type of garbage (“Young women seeking older men”) on these sites.
    If I choose to go to a site like “, etc., I deserve what I get! But when I use a public site, what splashes in my face should be MY choice!
    As said, I use them to a minimum.

  5. DeeDee

    I totally agree about the breastfeeding issue. Breastfeeding is a natural thing from God, to feed a child and bond with the mother. I really do not comprehend how someone could say that is offensive. If there were no formula in the world , all babies would be breastfed. The ones who remove those precious pictures of warmth and love between a mother and a child should probably look deep within themselves about what caring and compassion really are.

  6. rodney

    i agree with your logic.
    my question is why does a women decide to put pictures of breast feeding out for the world to look at anyway. i had a boss 35 years ago who taught me ‘that fools names like fools faces always found in public places’. why is the world determined to follow in the footsteps of the Hiltons, Spears, Lohans of the world. putting personel pictures and info for the world to look at

  7. shannonchildress

    You are soooo right! I wish the perverts would quit ruling what’s what. Breast with baby. But boob shot…oohhh baby baby! yuck!

  8. Donna

    I am not upset by either picture. But I do find it sad that in this day and age, a child being breastfed is considered offensive.

  9. Ranee

    I agree 100%! Breastfeeding is natural. That is the way babies are supposed to be fed otherwise women would not produce milk. I breastfed both of my children, not because I wanted to expose myself, but for the well being of each child. Quite frankly, it hurt quite a bit in the beginning. It would have been real easy to give up and feed them some chemical type formula made in a lab/factory. Doctors told me that the nutrients that babies get during the first few months of breastfeeding helps boost their immune system. I was also advised that there is a lower risk of SIDS for breastfed babies. That is why I did it and if it offended anyone then too bad. Our society does need to take a look at where it’s priorities lie. I would much rather see a mother breastfeeding than to see a young woman exposing herself for the mere purpose of getting ooos and aaahs from a bunch of tipsy men. Not once did I wake up the next morning after breastfeeding and say “Crap, did I really do that? I won’t be able to show my face there for a long time!”