Hip Mama breastfeeding cover censored

Issue #55 of Hip Mama magazine was on the verge of going to press when editor/publisher, Ariel Gore, posted the issue’s cover to her Facebook page. It pictures a woman in partial superhero costume breastfeeding her child and the tag line “No Supermoms Here.”

Social media users cheered the stunning self-portrait by Barcelona-based artist Ana Alvarez-Erreclade. The cover, designed by Hip Mama art director Maia Swift, was shared over a hundred times in less than 24 hours. But when some vendors got wind of the planned cover, they said they wouldn’t carry the image on their newsstands. Facebook censors soon joined in and began pulling the image from timelines. Complaints ranged from “nudity” to “open breastfeeding” to concerns about the age of the breastfeeding child (he’s four).

Photographer and subject Ana Alvarez-Erreclade suggested adding a red censorship dot to the cover, ironically drawing even more attention to the offending breasts.

Editor/publisher Ariel Gore refused to pull the cover or add the censor dot to all editions of the magazine, but contributors and editors agreed that a separate “newsstand edition” with the dot was better than suppression of the issue.

At press time, we have no idea whether vendors will carry the “newsstand edition” of Hip Mama.

In the updated issue of Hip Mama, Ana Alvarez-Errecalde responds to the controversy saying, in part, “Violence towards women begins with the repression of sexuality, the appropriation of childbirth, the interference with all vital cycles and the creation of manipulative roles. A negated mother will also negate her body and her presence to her children, so they will all ultimately conform to our unattended, unloved, and unnourished society.”

As Ana points out in the updated interview, right now this is about an image of an artist breastfeeding on the cover of a magazine, but moms face this everyday when we try to feed our children in restaurants or on airplanes or in other public places–we are asked to go into seclusion to feed our kids. This, while truly offensive sexist images are in our face daily in the name of “sex sells” and deeply disturbing and exploitative images of violence go unchecked in news media, marketing campaigns, and on social media.

To support Hip Mama and the uncensored artistic image we chose for the cover, subscribe to the magazine or order a single uncensored copy online: http://hipmamazine.com/subscribe

The magazine will be released on Mother’s Day.

SUBSCRIBE – $20 for 4 issues beginning with the Spidey Mama Mother’s Day issue



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33 Comments on “Hip Mama breastfeeding cover censored
  1. Is it possible to get a poster of this cover? It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve seen; I’d love to have it on my walls at home.

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  3. I agree with the magazine’s editor that the censorship of the breastfeeding image on the cover was wrong. But I also disagree somewhat with the visual rhetoric implication that ‘only breastfeeding moms are hip’–what about moms who choose not to, or who are not physically able (via breast-cancer or other issue) to breastfeed? What about adoptive moms who adopt older children past breastfeeding age — can adoptive moms, who never got the chance to experience that idealized La-Leche-League wondrous experience, not be seen as hip mamas, too? The cover also shows an idealized, slim, sexy mom breastfeeding–why not show a fat mom, a mom of color, or a mom who had had a breast removed? That might have been more inclusive of all kinds of bodies and mamas.

    • This Mom is the artist and a Mom. This is what she looks like, this is the photo she took. It is there for ‘inclusive’. So she isn’t a big Mom, or a Mom of color or missing a breast, but she is a Mom and she is representing her views. It drives me crazy that it’s almost not allowed to look like this without being accused (or it being pointed out) of trying to exclude other, different looking Moms. Being a Mom is the common denominator, not looks.

      • She is an awesome mom. And I love what she stands for no matter what she looks like. That’s so judgmental to say its not inclusive and say she is a thin mom. That’s prejudice if you ask me. Ana is brave and making a great point about how ludicrous it is that its ok to publish images of violence and and sex but not a mother breastfeeding. What about that Carl’s Jr commercial with a porno looking hot babe making love to a burger. What a sick society we live in, really. And someone complains that this magazine cover is not inclusive enough. Give me a break!

      • Amen Ilia! Being inclusive means including everybody, even the naturally thin, women with their two breasts, and women who breastfeed preschoolers! This particular issue was about this particular artist, who happens to be a mom who choses to practice extended breastfeeding with her kids. As it is not a widespread practice and society still has a hard time accepting it as something normal, I applaud the choice made to show this woman breastfeeding her 4yo on the front covert of their magazine. It’s a message worth spreading. Thank you!

    • Saludos Ellen,

      It’s one of Hip Mama’s goals to make a space for the underrepresented voices, and I think the questions you raise are important. Many mothers, as you mention, are not physically able to breastfeed, and are also most definitely Hip Mamas. As one of the contributors to Issue #55, I can say whole heartedly that I don’t believe it was the intention of Ana’s or the editors to exclude or imply that mothers who aren’t breastfeeding aren’t any less rad or amazing moms. Also I just want to mention that although Ana lives in Barcelona, she is a woman of color — she’s from Argentina. Inside, you will also find a write up I did on Yasmin Hernandez, a Brooklyn based Puerto Rican artist, who paints images of very full bodied women of color; one painting featured was of the Taino Goddess, Atebex. I believe, if I’m not mistaken, that there was also an article written by a mom who wrote about breast milk banks, exploring some of the important issues you raise. I hope you were able to find a copy, and read the other stories inside.


  4. I really do love and appreciate all women that can breastfeed their children in front of others comfortably, and for more than a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Due to genetics, I wished that my body could’ve been able to breastfeed my 3 children longer.

  5. I saw a page on Facebook where the profile pic was a woman spreading her legs and showing her vagina. I reported the page to Facebook since it was an open page all about nude girls. I was told there was nothing wrong with the page or the photos. So, how can Facebook censor breastfeeding? There is something seriously wrong with our society.

  6. Love the strength presented in this photo, physical, emotional, methaphorical.

    The thing that jazzes me up about this photo is that the subject’s character shines brightly *despite* the fact that you cannot see her face.

    Now *that’s* an artist.

  7. Pingback: In Brief: magazine cover featuring a breastfeeding mum is banned from newsstands | lip magazine

  8. Just love pic ,I beastfeed my last child till 4 years 8 m .I am slim ,y do people always say about fat mums ,there are a lot of slim mums out there just because we chose to eat healthy and stay at a good weight

  9. This beautiful issue of the magazine also includes an article on the radical politics of milksharing — breastmilk for babies even when mamas don’t produce milk themselves.

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