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