Friday, November 30, 2012

Food Fight

I have followed without interest the debate over the censure on Facebook of photos depicting a new mother breast feeding her child.  This natural act of feeding an infant was deemed too salacious by the Facebook police and taken down, then reinstated in a fit of common sense, and then removed again.  That’s what I gather from not following the story at all.  In modern America, seeing Dennis Frantz’ bare buttocks on NYPD Blue during prime time hours on network television was an expression of artistic freedom.  Some lady sharing a moment of non-sexual intimacy with her newborn is porn.

I understand the corporate concern.  Allowing a woman to share her digital breast with her circle of friends on the family website Facebook could cause involuntary arousal across the world.  When you glorify breastfeeding in this manner, you are encouraging a weakening of the moral fiber of the unsuspecting viewer.  Kids will think breastfeeding is cool, and this will lead to promiscuity and unprotected relations.  When mommy’s boob is on Facebook, how can sexting be wrong?  In this context, the banning of breastfeeding photos makes perfect sense.  It’s for our own good.

Of course, functional privacy settings would solve this problem, but that’s for another day. 
I think we should ban these pictures from Facebook.  My rationale for the ban goes beyond some momentary perverse turn on (for others, not me).  I think there is a larger issue.  These lactation photos offer tactic approval of the posting of even more photos of people’s food, and frankly, I’m full.

Facebook is clearly conflicted about its own policies regarding the posting of food products on the timeline and associated eating imagery in general.  I find this odd.  If breastfeeding is inappropriate for the squeaky clean social media site, then perhaps all images of food should be banned.  I believe this would be less controversial than attacking a proud lactating mother with an itchy camera finger.  I mean, would we miss the action shots of Uncle Jimmy’s latest baking creation or the artistic photo of your high school prom date’s sushi platter (at least I hope that’s sushi, but with Photoshop, we’ll never really be sure)?

Ban food photos and breastfeeding pictures will go away.  Problem solved.

The proliferation of food pictures on Facebook should be alarming to anyone who has spent valuable time on the Internet looking at your cousin’s dinner table on Thanksgiving, or the round of drinks served at your neighbor’s friend’s in-law’s after work happy hour, or the 3 alarm chili at your former work associate’s Redskins’ tailgate party.  It’s hard enough keeping up with your friend’s friend’s work out status and your sister’s bottomless pile of weekend laundry.   Time spent looking at someone else’s food and eating habits could be better devoted to telling others about the cute thing your kid said in the bathtub and the summary diagnosis of your chronic thyroid condition that makes you a bit jittery in the mornings.  You know, the big stuff.

So Facebook, save us all from the potential of accidental titillation from looking at a mother suckling her baby.  And while you’re at it, save us from all the other food and food related postings that show food we cannot smell or taste or fondle.  It clutters our minds and distracts us from what really matters.

The video of that Korean guy who dances and raps. 

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