I joke around around that my hobby is embarrassing my kids. But really, that’s all it is. Joking. I may red-light-dance while driving carpool, or jump on the bed for ‘chats’ when they’re chilling with their friends, do underarm checks or even zoom in for a smooch in public. However, shockingly enough, I do understand boundaries and none of my little games carry long-term possibilities for damage.
A while ago, Time Magazine created a furor with their cover showing mommy blogger Jamie Lynne Grumet breastfeeding her 3-year-old son. Amongst the various fall-out commentaries, blog posts, and editorials, emerged a common theme: when this boy is a teenager, how will he feel about the magazine cover? I read an interview with the mother where she indicated that she had indeed thought about this question, and her response was something to the effect of, Oh, he’s a self-confident boy (he’s THREE), and we have a close and warm family, he’ll love it. It won’t bother him at all.
Oh! Come ON!! Give me a break, lady. I have teenagers. I know teenagers. Their embarrassment level rises at the sight of their mom in a low cut top. If there existed a picture of one of them sucking my boob, forever available on the Internet to the entire world, I can guarantee that they would be beyond mortified, notwithstanding how much they love their family. Never mind the potential for bullying, as in Hey guys, you see Billy sucking his mom’s tit on the cover of Time?
Anyway, that particular controversy is long gone, and my outrage has now been replaced with this:
Yes, this is Nadya Suleman, otherwise known as Octomom, otherwise known as Mother of 14, posing for promotional photos for her how-to masturbation videos.
You heard me. Ms. Suleman didn’t receive enough notoriety from having herself inseminated with Octuplets that she couldn’t support, so now she has decided to help the world masturbate.
I have opinions.
First of all, who has Octuplets just to get famous? Those are babies, not gerbils. They are mini-people who need to be raised. I have no problem with folks having lots of kids. My grandfather was about the eighth in a group of 10 or 11 (who can remember…), and if my great-Bubs and Zayde hadn’t gone for the gusto, well, then my father, and hence me and my sibs, wouldn’t exist.
What I do have a problem with is making babies for the wrong reasons, such as fame and notoriety. Which is fucked up. And which was obviously Octomom’s main motivation. As a single mother with no money, and six kids already, what could her reasons possibly have been for having EIGHT more via artificial insemination?
Second of all, once the Octuplets (and the other kids) are on the scene, there’s a responsibility to raise them right. That’s a whole lotta humans to send out into the world. I think it’s a football team, but I’m not up on my sports. I totally get that some people have to do what it takes to feed their children. I understand that there are single mothers who work as strippers to make ends meet and to give their kids a chance at a good life. But I really don’t think that this is Octomom’s motivation.
I think she wants to be famous.
No matter what.
You know what made me mad? I was driving and I heard her on Howard Stern talking about her video project. He asked how she thought her masturbation videos would affect her children when they were teenagers. Her answer?
(giggle) I don’t think about that. (giggle)
Are you kidding me? You have FOURTEEN kids and you don’t think about how your actions will affect them? Or is it that you don’t care…
Picture that you are one of those eight kids who will all turn 14 on the same day. Imagine that you walk into school and everyone is looking at you, laughing, pointing. You walk up to your eight lockers in a row, and spray painted across them are the words: Your mommy masturbates on film.
Some kid found those videos that these eight kids hoped against hope would never be found.
That’s what Octomom’s kids have ahead of them. Thanks to their mom who doesn’t think, doesn’t care, and has said in interviews, doesn’t even want them anymore.
Tack this bottom-of-the barrel attention-seeking video project onto the long list of negative (or in her mind, positive) publicity this woman has gleaned for herself, and what you’ve got is a recipe for screwed up and dysfunctional teenagers.
What is wrong with Nadya Suleman? What was Jamie Lynne Grumet thinking? When did the desire to be infamous overtake our sense of repercussions in the future? Life is more than just this minute. Especially when you have children. Especially when we are trying to teach kids the ethics and best practices of Internet and Facebook sharing.
How would you explain your worst behaviour to your teenagers if it were posted online?