Not only does Yummy Mummies devalue and stigmatise breastfeeding, it portrays the kind of beauty and lifestyle standards that new mums really don’t need.
Race to the bottom
Ugh. Channel 7 has made the kind of vacuous TV show that voyeurs of superficial, uninformed rubbish will love – and the rest of us will want to shake the living daylights out of.
As many free-to-air commercial channels flounder in the wake of on-demand viewing, it’s a race to the bottom/receivership and tabloid TV is the new norm.
It’s in this spirit that the aforementioned Yummy Mummies is set to hit our screens. It’s is airing soon and stars some women… and we’re falling right into the network’s trap of talking about at least some of it in greater detail here – for very good reason.
“Breastfeeding in public is ILLEGAL”
The show’s being promoted on social media with a short, designed-to-shock clip featuring several pregnant women discussing – among other things – how revolting breastfeeding is. Not content to simply devalue what we all know is the best option for new babies, one (falsely) advises that breastfeeding should never be done in public and is in fact illegal. Shut up.
Channel 7 proudly shared a clip of Yummy Mummies on Facebook over the weekend, with the following stupid, since-edited caption (capturing a line uttered by one of the women on the show.)
Um. No. Of course, people got very angry, very quickly – and rightly so.
“Seven does not sanction the views expressed by those depicted in the program,” Channel 7 posted, in response to those concerned by the program’s anti-breastfeeding stance.
It's the show which will set tongues wagging. Yummy Mummies is COMING SOON to Channel 7.
Posted by Channel 7 on Thursday, 15 June 2017
Very excellently, an avalanche of criticism flooded the station’s page:
“You are glorifying these uneducated, ignorant attitudes, and adding to the stigma against breastfeeding. Shame,” Facebook user Claire l’Anson wrote.
“You have no business putting those words into text and using it as bait on the internet. This is shameful. This comment is socially irresponsible. Let these women denigrate themselves to whatever extent they see fit – but Channel 7, you are fuelling a message that is anti-public health. People may not watch the show, but now you’ve seen to it that they see this snippet. It’s a cheap shot,” Vicki Masterton commented.
“Hey Channel 7. How about creating a television show that empowers and highlights women and mother’s strengths instead of joining in the war to tear us down and shame us? This is absolutely disgusting television and a poor excuse to hook more viewers in. In fact, I’ll be boycotting your station for spreading hatred and mocking the everyday mother who works night and day to raise their children. I’m sure you’re aware that breastfeeding is legal. Whoever gave the okay to air this should be fired and then educated some. Shame on you,” Daniela D L Spiteri posted.
The network forged on. They’re surrounding the show’s promos with meme-like captions saying “This show is no joke!” and “I can’t believe this is real!” – perhaps in an effort to set a lighter tone, wriggle out of any accountability and poke fun at their own work.
It’s really not a laughing matter though. In fact it’s reminiscent of when someone makes a sexist or racist jibe and then says they were joking. It’s never, ever okay.
Not only does this show (or the promos we’ve watched, at least) amplify the kind of confusing and discouraging dialogue we don’t need to hear, it openly promotes discrimination against breastfeeding mums and counters all the public health messages currently being shared.
The Australian Breastfeeding Project wholeheartedly agree and have in fact just launched a petition on Change.org that demands the program be banned.
The Australian Breastfeeding Project say that the statement that breastfeeding in public is illegal contravenes Australian Federal Law and that the program is in breach of the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice 2015 (the Code). Their petition calls for the show’s banning on these grounds.
We need you!Here is the petition so many of you have asked us to create in response to the scene in Yummy Mummies that…
Turn off your TV
Yummy Mummies presents a kind of consumerist, fictional lifestyle that most women will see through in 2 seconds flat, but that’s not the point.
The point is that most Australian women are abandoning breastfeeding by the time their babies are 5 months of age, and that postnatal and antenatal depression are affecting epic numbers of women (one in 7 and one in ten respectively).
Many mums are feeling more under pressure and unsupported than ever, we don’t need this kind of ratings-driven destructive piffle on our screen telling mothers and others that breastfeeding is revolting, boobs are for sex and mumming is supposed to be glamorous.
What women need is support, encouragement and brilliant role models they can see themselves in.
Perhaps these dinosaur networks might consider following the wildly successful on-demand leaders and making some intelligent programming that engages and excites mums – rather than diminishing them and their efforts.
You can sign the petition here if you would like to – and just turn off Channel 7 altogether if you’d like another way to protest this show.
What are your thoughts on this show?