May 10, 2012
An image by Martin Schoeller on the front cover of the recent issue of Time magazine features Jamie Lynne Grumet, a slim, blond 26-year-old Los Angeles mother of two, breastfeeding her younger son Aram, who turns four next month. Aram stands on a chair to reach his mother’s chest and casts a sidelong glance at the camera as he feeds. He is at an age most kids have been weaned by. As part of that shoot, Schoeller also photographed members of three other families from across the country
It is attention grabbing--look at me. Is it what Americans call link-bait, given the huge drops in circulation experienced by Time? "The words "are you mom enough" suggests this, given that the cover refers to the magazine’s feature story on “attachment parenting”.
"Attachment parenting” is designed to foster a secure bond to the child. It promotes practices such as baby wearing (carrying a baby close in a slinglike cloth carrier), co-sleeping, or the “family bed,” and and extended breast-feeding ie., well past babyhood are sometimes the hallmarks of attachment parenting.
Martin Scholler Time magazine shoot, 2012.
I personally don't find the cover picture shocking or inappropriate. However, the image's reference is to the mommy wars in the US, conservative Americans' puritanical discomfort with the body and the conservatives cultural taboo over breast-feeding in public.
Schoeller worked as an assistant to Annie Leibovitz from 1993 to 1996 and is known for his portraits of people. His close-up style emphasizes, in equal measure, the facial features, both studied and unstudied, of his subjects and he works in a series that build a platform that then allows you to compare.