Breast-feeding doll shocks Americans
After a successful run overseas, Spain-based Berjuan Toys is bringing their Breast Milk Baby to the United States. The realistic play-thing aimed at kids two and up is trying to teach the youth of America that breast-feeding is a healthy, natural way to feed a baby — and this is something that can be taught with a $90 piece of plastic complete with a realistic suckling mechanism.
“As an American, I find it hard to believe that we are letting a silly misconception about something as wholesome as breast-feeding be turned into a taboo subject,” says spokesperson Dennis Lewis to Forbes. Lewis adds that international organizations across the globe have endorsed the doll before it recently came stateside, and after such a positive reaction he is aiming to teach toddlers that breast-feeding is natural in a way that won’t sexualize anyone.
And yes, Lewis means both boys and girls when he says anyone. Think little Billy needs a GI Joe for Christmas? Think again. “Although we usually only think about little girls playing with dolls, the truth is that boys need to acquire healthy nurturing skills as well,” Lewis tells Forbes.
"My take is that anything which reminds young girls that their bodies are something other, and more, than sex objects, is a very good thing," Dr. Ronald Cohen, medical director of the Mothers' Milk Bank in San Jose, California, says to ABC News.
The doll is extremely interactive, requiring the child to wear a colorful smock over their torso in order for the doll to fully utilize its suckling system. Over the general nipple region are two brightly-hued flowers, which the doll — whether you opt for the Jeremiah, Tony or Lilyang model — clasps on to and goes to town.
The Breast Milk Baby is available in six different models of varying gender and skin-tone, all priced at around $100 after shipping and handling.
"There have been people who have called us pedophiles, they've called us perverts, they've said we're endangering little girls," Lewis tells ABC, but adds that "breast-feeding was a normal part of life before a few greedy pharmaceutical companies tried to make it rich selling artificial milk."
"A girl who plays with a breast-feeding baby now will think this is the normal way to feed a baby."
Small, faux humans with realistic emissions are nothing new for US toy shops. Baby Alive first hit shelves nearly 40 years ago and taught children the majesty of diaper changing after each item produced droppings and puke after being spoon-fed a meal. The Breast Milk Baby, however, is believed to be the first of its kind in America, though, as far as breast-feeding dolls go.
“We just believe breast-feeding is normal, and that’s exactly what our beautiful dolls promote,” Lewis says to Forbes. “Children learn by playing, and if they learn that the best way to feed a baby is by breast-feeding, it will be an easy, natural choice for them when they grow up. What could possibly be wrong about a child learning this from an early age?”
American reception of the Breast Milk Baby has been understandably mixed so far, but statements on the doll’s website and Facebook page link to praising testimonials and even notes on one page, “God supports The Breast Milk Baby.” After all, if former Pope John Paul II was for breastfeeding, how can you be against teaching your children with an $100 doll which may or may not be extremely creepy?