Bebe’ Gloton, a new breastfeeding baby doll made by Spanish toymaker Berjuan, is meant to encourage and educate young girls with regard to nursing. But we wonder if some strange design choices for Bebe’ Gloton (literally Glutton Baby) backfire in terms of normalizing breastfeeding and actually have the opposite effect: reinforcing the nursing taboo. The Glutton baby doll is packaged alongside a halter top equipped with red flower shaped pasties meant to portray nipples. Girls ‘breastfeed’ this baby doll by donning the halter top and holding Bebe’ Gloton to their ‘chest’ while the doll makes loud sucking noises followed by a big belch.
No, this is not a joke post, although it would make a good one. Watch the video above to see Bebe’ Gloton in action.
We have no idea why, in this day and age, the act and topic of breastfeeding is so taboo. Pictures of mothers breastfeeding their children are considered “obscene images” by some, and while laws about nursing in public are currently being made more favorable for moms, breastfeeding while out and about is still far from a comfortable endeavor for most. The media buzz over Bebe’ Gloton isn’t helping matters. This doll has been met with harsh criticism across the board, and justifiably so.
There are so many things wrong with Bebe’ Gloton, that it’s hard to know where to begin. Breastfeeding aside, in a world (albeit perhaps slightly varying by cultures) where breasts are so intently regarded as sexual symbols, and girls spend way too much time worrying about their development and sex appeal, especially with regard to their breast size, do we really need to give them a halter top which allows them to slip on breasts at a prepubescent age?
Teaching a young girl about breastfeeding, especially when she has a younger sibling who is nursing, is a wonderful idea… but having her partake in the act herself, by strapping on fake boobs is grossly inappropriate. Senior Editor of Inhabitots, Abigail Doan remarks, “Bebe’ Gloton is so bizarre, and it honestly reminds me, in some odd way, of little girls having to play adult too soon. Sort of like young girls who are dressed up and made up for beauty pageants. This doll exemplifies the mysteries which persist with regard to breasts — still not being properly taught to women coming of age.” In the image shown above, founder of Inhabitots, Jill Fehrenbacher, at age 3, is nursing her teddy bear. She asserts that children are curious about breastfeeding, but can be taught about the act in more natural ways, that don’t include a sucking baby doll and pasties.
We’re fans of this birthing and nursing doll, which demonstrates the act of giving birth and breastfeeding in and of itself. Children may play and interact with the doll, and it may be used as a great teaching tool. These Mini Mama dolls are another option which may teach children about nursing without them having to grow up long before their time.
What do you think? Is Bebe’ Gloton a useful tool in encouraging breastfeeding, or a distasteful doll that only adds to the breastfeeding taboo?