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How Do We Feel About Olivia Wilde Breast-feeding in Glamour?

Photo: Patrick Demarchelier/Glamour

In Glamour’s September issue, cover star Olivia Wilde is photographed breast-feeding her son Otis in what appears to be a diner. Is this photo beautiful and wonderful (“stunning,” per Us Weekly) or kind of strange? And why is young Otis unclothed?

Below, the Cut discusses these matters.

Stella Bugbee, Editorial Director: I have mixed feelings.

Emily Shornick, Photo Editor: I think she looks great.

Stella: It might be that I am in a super-crabby mood spurred on by “National Underwear Day.”

Allison P. Davis, Writer: What are your mixed feelings?

Isabel Wilkinson, Editor: It’s hard not to see it as baby-as-prop

Emily: No way. It’s her real baby! She’s just mommin’ it up.  Glammy mommy.

Stella: Right, but breast-feeding all retouched and in fancy clothes makes the reality seem … I dunno. Less than.

Emily: Now, if there were a stretch mark on her breast, I’d be more impressed.

Stella: Right, it’s so retouched.

Emily: Well, it’s her way of saying, I may have had a kid, but please still cast me in sexy roles.

Allison: She has nice boobs, though. We can all agree on that. Her boob looks great.

Stella: WHY is that baby NAKED in a diner?

Emily: Okay, nakedness of baby is definitely weird.

Allison: I think all babies are naked in these photo shoots, though.

Emily: Yeah, why is THAT?

Molly Fischer, Editor: Maybe naked babies are just more chic. They have nice skin.

Stella: It’s because these images reinforce IDEAS about breast-feeding, in a classical-art way. Poop on the diner table is all I can think about. Poooooops on that beaded number.

Emily: It’s a pretty dirty diner anyway.

Allison: Is the diner supposed to be like a “working-mom” environment?

Isabel: Not if you’re in beads and finger-waves. Then it’s Dirty Glamour.

Stella: I guess I just feel like it gives us all another unattainable standard, but that’s nothing new.

Molly: Boobs can’t be unsexy, but now they have to be sexy in an additional way

Stella: Right.

Allison: Sexy and nourishing.

Emily: I think what’s troubling about it is that it’s taking all the aspirational airbrushing we accept for fashion and bringing it into a sacred space.

Allison: Here is her quote: “I don’t know, now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast,” she continued. “It felt like we were capturing that multifaceted woman we’ve been discussing — that we know we can be. You can be someone who is at once maternal and professional and sexy and self-possessed. [But] I mean, I certainly don’t really look like that when I’m [typically] breast-feeding. And there’s usually a diaper involved.”

Stella: OH THANK GOD. Then really, let’s place blame where it belongs: Patrick Demarchelier. I guess I do like the picture. Because it’s clear that Olivia is like, I’d rather be with Otis than doing this photo shoot. So, she wins in the end.

How Do We Feel About This Breast-feeding Photo?