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Sesame Street Breastfeeding Controversy

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by LinkiePie<3, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. LinkiePie<3

    LinkiePie<3 Well-Known Member

  2. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    I think they should discuss breast feeding on the show again. For people to compare it to pornography is the height of immaturity.
    LinkiePie<3, miss kermie and Cindy like this.
  3. Puckrox

    Puckrox Well-Known Member

    I think it's totally valid for Sesame Street to teach about breastfeeding on the show. It's a natural thing that happens in life, and kids should learn about it at a young age.
    Katzi428 likes this.
  4. Cindy

    Cindy Moderator Staff Member

    What exactly do kids need to learn? It's been my experience that children don't tend to have questions about breastfeeding, they just accept it. Unlike adults whose views have been skewed, children already see it as a natural thing. I don't think the point of having breastfeeding on Sesame Street is for the kids, it's really about making breastfeeding a more acceptable practice in our society.

    Understand I'm a strong supporter of breastfeeding in public. I've done it, it's no big deal. And I'll always support a mother if she chooses to feed her baby in public by breast or bottle (they get critized too). If Sesame Street wants to mention it, cool. If not, that's ok too. Making breastfeeding a more mainstream topic is always a good thing, I just don't know if Sesame Street is the best venue. It's not as though I sit down with my kids on a regular basis on go over the benefits of breastfeeding as if I were reinforcing their ABC's. Now showing a mom breastfeeding on American Idol that might get people's attention.

    Perhaps Sesame Street should focus on a greater appreciation for the human body in general. Let's stop little girls from thinking that the women they see in magazines are real. That it's not all about having the perfect body, the perfect hair, etc.
    The Count likes this.
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Exactly my thoughts. It isn't about it being acceptable or natural... it's completely unnecessary to teach that on Sesame Street, especially with the way the show is now. Most of the Demographic just got off the stuff. it's just something they did once back when it was all about realistic street stories that weren't forcibly trying to teach engineering or nature.

    I'm loving that little Muppet Girl that sings about her hair and that women can be anything. They're clearly going to use her for more things down the line, so Sesame Street is teaching that as we speak... not quite as much as bird calls or deciduous trees.
  6. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Maybe most, but I was bottle fed. And when I saw breast feeding in public as a kid I was shocked. So there certainly are kids who would be educated by having this explained.

    And come on, Sesame Street talked about things kids likely already knew about all the time. But they're kids, they need a frame of reference and explanation; that's what Sesame Street was good at.

    Well another reason I can think of is showing kids this body part's true purpose before kids are exposed to our tasteless pop culture which reduces a women's body to a sexual object. Just saying...
  7. a_Mickey_Muppet

    a_Mickey_Muppet Well-Known Member

    its a natural, part of life....some people just NEED to grow the H3LL up!!!
    miss kermie likes this.
  8. Pepe'sgal90

    Pepe'sgal90 Member

    Well I think it would be a perfectly acceptable topic fit for children. As an RN I know ways to teach perfectly and how people are with the whole subject and yes I have had to teach families about breastfeeding and they encourage in the hospital that the kids should know due to the unfamiliarity with it. Kids are normally very acceptable with the subject as a way of nutrition towards babies. I am pro-breastfeeding advocate even though I am not a mother myself and it would lead Sesame Street kids to a greater understanding , in the past they taught us about death and HIV why not breastfeeding.
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member


    Well, my comment is more directed at the fact that the audience is so young now... like a large number of the show were just weened or something. It feels like the only problem with Sesame Street doing more complicated subject matter is that it's got to be lost on the younger audience members... heck, I'd be surprised if the older 3 year olds understand all this engineering stuff. I just think there's a HUGE gap in their logic when 10 minutes of the show's story has to focus on scientific method and inventions when the last 15 minutes of the show is entirely focused on what those nobby little bits at the end of your feet are called. ;) Seriously, that's why I don't get Elmo's World...it's like an entirely different show.

    But I agree... Sesame Street wouldn't need to talk about breast feeding, not just because of the audience not picking up on it, but it's playing to the wrong audience. Something for parents would be the better place for education about it. Kids usually either completely don't understand things or completely accept them.
  10. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    You can't limit kid's programming just because "they won't understand." You might as well not educate children at all if that's the case. They don't need to understand every little detail, the point is they're learning in their own way and being exposed to new things.

    When I was 3 years old I was watching Pirates of Penzance! Did I get everything that was going on? No obviously not. But I loved it! And I grew up with a love of art and not just the flavor of the moment teeny bopper nonesense.

    And I'm also thinking of the Katy Perry situation. She was banned from Sesame Street for supposedly showing too much cleavage. So right then we've taught kids that showing breasts is evil. That is why so many people get so annoyed about breast feeding in public, because we've learned to associate the image purely with pop culture sex. Which again, shows that adults are the immature ones, not the children.
  11. Borples

    Borples Active Member

    Actually, it would be helpful. Kids are curious. If they don't have younger siblings nursing at home, they don't understand the process at all. Last year, at a big family gathering in a small house, I was breastfeeding my youngest in the upstairs area where the little kids were playing. It was the most privacy I could find. :) A little guy, five years old, wanted to know what I was doing. I said I was feeding the baby. He looked at me, kind of confused, and asked if I was feeding her with my shirt. I wasn't quite up to explaining breastfeeding to somebody else's little boy right then, so I chickened out and basically said, "Oh hey! Is that a Power Ranger over there?" I think it would be nice if Sesame Street brought it up. It wouldn't have to be graphic or detailed--just something like the two clips in the article. It might make some grownups feel awkward--like Mr. "It is gross" quoted in the article. But it woudn't bother the kids and it might answer some of their questions.
    heralde likes this.
  12. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Exactly. :)

    That "gross" comment makes me wonder if it's really the children that need the education, heh. ;)
  13. Pepe'sgal90

    Pepe'sgal90 Member

    completely agree, children learn the most at a younger age and remember more of it even if they don't understand.

    Some Parents now are normally making tv a babysitter and not sitting and talking with their kids. Also society has such a bad reputation about the whole subject that parents shy away from it and talking to their kids about it. And yes they may not all completely accept or understand it but most will know the prime lesson of it is for nutritional purposes. :)
    heralde likes this.
  14. Cindy

    Cindy Moderator Staff Member

    *bold was mine

    I don't think kids were paying any particular attention to the Katy Perry situation, so I don't believe they were taught anything by her not being on the show. But that's an entirely different topic.

    That's my point. I'm not saying that Sesame Street should avoid or ban breast feeding scenes. Or that showing a mom breastfeeding would be wasted on little kids. I wish they would show the old original Raposo "You're My Baby".

    Kids might ask if they see someone breastfeeding for the first time but generally that's all they want to know. Simple honest answers will generally appease a child and as a previous poster's example, go off and play with Power Rangers. The human body is just a natural thing to them. Unlike adults it's not twisted around a sexual undertone that society and the general media push at us. It's just that a children's show is the wrong audience for a pro-breastfeeding movement. It's the adults that say it's "gross" or whatever that need to be educated. That being said, I would be thrilled if I saw a breastfeeding mom on Sesame Street. I'm just not on the side of, "Sesame Street needs to show it so kids will know what it is." Educating adults - more specifically moms about the benefits of breastfeeding - and the rights of breastfeeding in public is where these efforts should be focused on. Sesame Street is not going to turn an entire society to be more tolerant to breastfeeding moms.
  15. mr3urious

    mr3urious Well-Known Member

  16. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    It shouldn't, but...

    The problem I see is all about initiatives. When they force one concept about all others, and reading and math concepts take a backseat to everything else. Sesame used to be a well rounded show, now it ironically teaches more complex ideals than it did in the past, and more frequently. And like I said before, you have Elmo going on the last 15 minutes about noses... it's like.. pick one lane! Either young kids can grasp complex scientific/biologic concepts OR they need to be re-educated in simplistic things slowly.

    It doesn't mesh right is my concern. A little Birdy tells me EW is about to go the way of JTE next season, though only a shred of evidence in an interview backs that up.

    I do indeed think Sesame should teach semi-complex concepts slowly to kids, and I desperately want it to go back to being an ages 3-5 (maybe 6) show... but EW makes it feel like something parents watch with toddlers who just learned to speak.

    As for the breastfeeding thing, I have no problem with them referencing it on the show, but there are 4 things I realized that get in the way

    1. The reason why it was mentioned back in the 70's with Buffy is because it would come up organically. That's the nature of the show back then. We had the luxury of a curious Big Bird going around asking what adults were doing in organic situations. Now a game show host pops up and tells Elmo and Abby to look for 5 fruits or amphibious animals. The Super Maria and Flood episodes this season were as close to classic street stories as it's going to get, but we're not going to have any Muppets ask grown ups what they're doing unless it ties in with the curriculum based plot.
    2. I've noticed that they're dealing more with growing up. Breastfeeding could work in the context of "that's what mommy used to do for you." But they're all about letting go of pacifiers and inappropriate toys now. Actually, they were like that for some time.
    3. Most importantly, for this to even be explored as an option, we'd need a new human adult character that already has a baby of their own. We have younger single males and couples old enough to be grandparents, but with children too young to be mothers/fathers themselves... and Gina adopted and her little Marco's past that age anyway...
    4. I'd HATE to see the movie/TV show/song parody they'd use to discuss it. :sigh:
  17. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    OK does anyone else find that prospect hilarious? LOL
  18. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    But I would argue that that adult was once a child who clearly got the wrong message early in life. And frankly it's hard to mature an immature adult. Almost impossible in fact! Sometimes you do have to start early.
  19. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Don't laugh! It's the only way they can address anything anymore. :news:

    Seriously... we need a new human adult female character for this to happen anyway. The prospect of using Muppet characters to talk about Breastfeeding... there's something off about that.
    heralde likes this.
  20. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well wait, if Muppet characters can be gay, then I think they should be able to talk about breastfeeding. ;)

    But anyway, maybe they could redesign one of the older songs. Like "I've Got a New Way to Eat" or something. Lol jk. ;D
    Pepe'sgal90 likes this.


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