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Erica Voll Headshot

Stop Sexualizing My Grocery Shopping

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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated

This morning, like so many other moms, dads and caregivers, I took my kids to the grocery store.

It was a nice little trip. My kids enjoyed the ginormous kiddie "car" cart they insisted I push around the store. We talked about healthy foods as we picked up bananas in the produce section. We talked about "sometimes" foods when I picked up cookies in the packaged goods.

And then we talked about boobs and naked ladies.

WHY was I talking about boobs with my 4-year-old daughter in the grocery store? Oh, because this magazine cover was in plain view of my kids as we checked out.

2013-03-04-sportsillustratedcover.jpg

"Mommy, why are that girl's boobies showing?" she said to me.

Err....

"Mommy, she's in PANTIES!"

Um....

"Mommy, that girl doesn't have any clothes on!!"

Well....

Okay, I am so not a prude when it comes to certain things. I listen to Howard Stern daily. I read Fifty Shades of Grey. I am all for freedom of speech and expression, but why do I need to have boobs in my face and the face of my kids at the GROCERY STORE?

Really, this is not a conversation I felt like having at the grocery store. Not only do I need to find a way to explain to my daughter why this woman is freezing her boobs off on an apparent Alaskan cruise, I need to find a way to tell her -- SOMEHOW -- that no woman looks like this. This was an airbrushed to hell photo that is in no way representative of what real women look like.

I mean, Kate Upton may be a supermodel, but I am going to bet she has at least a few flaws that were airbrushed, no?

Well, I did what any social media savvy mom would do, I contacted the store through a private message on Facebook.

2013-02-27-2013StoreConversation.jpg

I also posted it to my own Facebook page, which prompted a rather lively discussion not so much about the over-sexualization of women, but about the lack of common sense various media use when placing these types of images in places where children can see them.

Don't Bite the Hand That Feeds You

When will stores and brands realize that MOMS (women) do most if not all the shopping for their families? And, I would argue, that most moms may find images like this offensive -- especially when placed in plain view at the grocery store.

Call me crazy, but I am more likely to shop at stores that DON'T offend me.

Really though, it is just a sad commentary on the way women are portrayed in the media. And while images like this will never go by the wayside, it's important to teach our children that it is not OK for women to be portrayed like this, and these images are not representative of what real women look like.

But thankfully, us moms can make a difference. Just ask Kelly Brown who blogs at The Turnip Farmer. She graciously "fixed" the magazine cover in question JUST FOR ME.

And to quote Kelly, "I put them in stripes to make them look fat."

2013-02-27-newandimprovedsportsillustrated.png

Courtesy of Kelly Brown

I think it's an amazing improvement, don't you agree?

This post originally appeared on No Sleep 'Til College.