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Sep 18 2010

Old Navy Boycott

By at 6:21 am

The mommy blogosphere has its collective bloomers in a bundle over an Old Navy onesie that dares to make light of formula-feeding. The onesie, that seems oddly reminiscent of a sports jersey, features an illustration of a bottle with wings and the words “Formula Powered.”

Let’s just get this out of the way. I know that breast is best.

But c’mon, people. The lactivist community was calling for a boycott of Old Navy. One blogger wrote, “Babies are born to breastfeed. And when this is not possible, they deserve to be provided with human milk from another source.”

Um, really?

I say that  it’s important to remember in all this that empowering mothers means giving them choices. And while breastfeeding is good for baby, so is a happy mama.  For moms who work, not everybody wants to–or can–pump at work. And there are lots of reasons that some women choose formula over breast milk.

And in case you’re interested, Jewish tradition also recognizes that breastfeeding is both a burden and a blessing.

UPDATE: Is it possible that Old Navy was referring to Formula 1 racing?

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2 Responses to Old Navy Boycott

  1. Shoshanna says:

    Interesting post, Debbie. While I certainly agree that the world would be a better place if moms (and dads) cut back on judging each other, what rubs me the wrong way here is the idea of dressing our kids in a way that makes them props for our own identities/beliefs/whatever.

    Rob Walker wrote about this a few months ago in the New York Times magazine, in a column called “Making a Statement With Designer Diapers.”

    Though he pointed out that “the onesie has long been converted into a billboard for parental taste” still he lamented this reality: “One of the few genuinely charming things about infants, in my view, is their indifference to, and indeed ignorance of, the identity projection and status signaling that will soon enough complicate their lives.”

    I think Walker’s point is pretty relevant here. Whatever we moms personally feel about breastfeeding–be it pride in our decisions, indifference, insecurity, you name it–it strikes me as a bit tacky to use the “advertising space” on our kids’ clothes as a way to share our feelings with the world. But hey, there’s a lot of tacky baby stuff out there, right?

    Curious if you saw Rob Walker’s piece and what you think.

  2. Terrific post!

    It’s been my experience that moms are (generally speaking) a judgmental lot. And yes, I know that in-so-saying I am judging other mothers. Which I suppose proves my point.


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