• Tue, Feb 4 - 2:00 pm ET

There Are Pictures Of Boobs All Over My House And I’m Okay With It

In my past life, I was a photographer. Okay, I’m still a photographer, but my subject matter has shifted a little. What used to be high-grain images of women floating around stages in various stages of undress, has moved to predominantly iPhone photos of kids doing what kids do – being adorable.

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Subject matter, circa 2001.

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Subject matter, circa 2014.

In addition to my own work on the walls, I have a large collection of art books from some of my favorite photographers. There are a lot of boobs in these books. There are a lot of boobs on our walls. It’s safe to say that my house is pretty much littered with boobs.

I’ve never thought about it as being something my children shouldn’t be exposed to – because I’m a lover of art and I plan on introducing the concept of it to my children early. My three-year-old has recently started actually noticing these images – should I be disturbed by this?

I was working at my desk last week, and my son ran up to me with one of my photography books in hand, Ellen Von Unwerth’s Girls. It seems to be his favorite one lately – something I had mentally attributed to the bright, saturated colors her images contain. I think I may have been wrong about that. He stood in front of me, dropped the book to the floor open to one of the two page spreads and said, Boobies! There it was – a picture of two models flashing the camera.

The book is filled with tons of images of women – only about 20% of them contain any nudity at all. But for the past week, he keeps returning to that image and saying Boobies! Is there a problem with this? I happen to be of the opinion that we are oddly puritanical about nudity in this country, even though we use seductive images to sell everything. Something about nipples puts it over the edge for all of us it seems. I think that is pretty stupid.

I don’t want my son or daughter to have hang-ups when it comes to nudity. I want them to understand that the naked body is totally normal. I don’t want to make a big deal about it – I’ve always known that. I just didn’t think I would have to deal with any of these parenting decisions yet. Is it okay that I let my three-year-old run around the house looking at pictures of “boobies?”

I’m going to go with yes. I think as long as I also start introducing the concept of privacy, modesty and explaining why people don’t walk around naked all day long – it will all be okay. We’ll see.

(feature photo: Getty Images)

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  • pixie

    I don’t think it’s any problem for him to run around the house saying “boobies!” Like you said, as long as you introduce the concept of privacy, everything should be ok.
    And the concept of personal boundaries. When I was about 14 I was at a pool party for martial arts camp and one of the campers’ mom and little brother was there. I think the little boy was three or four at the time. Unfortunately, by that time I was already well endowed and very conscious about my body, so while I was pretty covered up, the little boy ran over to where I was sitting, grabbed my chest and yelled “you got big boobies!” I think the mom was more mortified than me. Of course I understood he was a very young child, but it was still very embarrassing. Not that your kid would do that. ;)

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      OH holy shit, creepy kid LOL

    • pixie

      lol just a bit. He was a wee bit of a handful, but as far as I know he’s grown out of it.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I will hope so

    • Rachel Sea

      I totally had to have that conversation with my friend’s son. He walked up to me one day when he was about 3 and said, “Wow! You have nice boobies!” and copped a feel. We had to revisit the conversation, including explaining the time-out consequences of touching boobies without permission. It took a minute, but he got it.

    • Maria Guido

      Yes – that is sort of my nightmare- haha. I definitely don’t want my kid doing that.

  • Jen

    I don’t really see a problem with this. It’s not as if they haven’t seen boobies before. Yours weren’t weird for them, so I doubt it’d be weird to them to see other boobies. Eh. I’m of the “Boobies never hurt anyone” opinion anyway.
    BTW – your babies are gorgeous!

  • Kay_Sue

    Your kids are adorable.

    It sounds like you have this figured out already. Go with your gut and trust your instincts. It never hurts to start a conversation about the human body, lol.

  • Megan Zander

    I will go back and read this, but real quick first- how cute is your little girl!

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I am interrupting to say that Maria’s kids are ridic gorg

    • Bethany Ramos

      Why are her kids so cute?!?!

    • Julia Sonenshein

      It’s actually appalling.

    • Gangle

      I suspect that Maria had some extra cute surgically implanted in her children. It is the only explanation.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      You are one to talk, cute kid haver #HDY

    • Bethany Ramos

      #BLESSED

  • Tea

    They’ll get used to it, and if it’s in your own home, no harm done. It’s a new thing, or just a temporary fascination, and kids move on like hummingbirds.

    I once, evidently loudly and gleefully declared to my mom, ” This place is full of naked ladies!” At the art museum, and II grew up to be a perfectly happy… artist and bisexual nudist and may be a bad example for this anecdote.

    • Gangle

      But!!!! Perfectly happy! Better to be a happy nudist than a sad prude.

    • Tea

      Hell yeah! It actually helped me become a lot more comfortable with my body, and helped me see nudity as no longer sexual, but natural.

      It’s also a great source for free art models.

    • Gangle

      I concur. I grew up with nudity around. I do not, and probably have never, considered nudity to be inherently sexual in itself. Bodies are awesome. Bodies are different, but they don’t have ‘flaws’, nor are they dirty or rude.

  • CW

    I’m fine with artistic nudity in paintings (we’ve got lots of art books with paintings of nudes in them), but photographs I think I’d feel a bit differently because they are more realistic-looking. Seems less like art and more like p*rn, KWIM?

    • Tea

      I think it depends on the photos, I have a book of old masters art that is not for polite company or minors, and I have stacks of art photography and anatomy books that I would feel comfortable leaving out around kids who are old enough to not eat them.

    • Gangle

      Lol, you should see my books on erotic art by all of the old and modern masters! Photographs are fine. I was exposed to nude art, both paintings and photography, early on. Neither turned me into a sex pervert or nympho.

  • pineapplegrasss

    My son is 2.5 and I’m completely positive that if he had a book of boobies it would be his favorite too. I can actually picture that little guy sighing and caressing pages. Except we still call boobies ‘milk’ in my house :)

  • Dmiller

    First…the kids….BEAUTIFUL!!! This is the first pic I have seen of your daughter

  • Robotic Arms Dealer

    So Maria, are you going to be having an open house soon? So, you know we can appreciate the art?

  • Sara

    When my younger sister was about two she was obsessed with boobs. She also referred to bras as “boobs.” One day we happened to be in the bra section of a store and she put both hands in the air like she had just found salvation and shouted, “ALL OF THE BOOBS FOR MEEEEEEE!”

  • Kashmir1988

    I think that’s perfectly normal! Or at least I hope because my son has the same hang up with “bubbs” as he calls them lol I’ve taken baths with him or gotten changed while he is running about in the same room and only lately has he noticed them. He’s 2 and a little bit. I don’t think it’s abnormal, and I agree with you that I don’t want my son to be weird about a human body being naked.

  • SusannahJoy

    Yeah, there’s a big difference between artwork that includes nude women and porn (well, usually there is anyway). I think artwork is perfectly ok.

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