We shake our heads in disgust and soothe our conscience with a retweet when we see men urinating in public. But when it comes to breastfeeding, we still need think pieces and multiple incidents of public shaming to realize the importance of normalizing it. When we are ready to accept scenes of graphic violence and over-sexualized imagery perpetuated by cinema under the guise of ‘item numbers’, then why is there a stigma associated with public breastfeeding?
Supermodel and Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel took to Instagram recently to make a case for normalizing breastfeeding in public and point out the obvious double standard in play.
Many women today are shamed for breastfeeding in public, or even kicked out of public places for feeding their children. I have been made to feel the need to cover up and somewhat shy to feed my baby in public places but strangely feel nothing for the topless editorials I've done in the name of art..? The world has been desensitized to the sexualization of the breast and to violence on tv...why should it be different when it comes to breastfeeding? -Breastfeeding is not sexual it's natural- Those who feel it is wrong to feed your child in public need to get educated on the benefits breastfeeding has on mother and child and intern on society as a whole. #mothernature
Candice confessed to being comfortable with nudity for the countless campaigns and photoshoots she has posed for, but now that she is a mother, she feels the need to cover up while feeding her child. "Many women today are shamed for breastfeeding in public, or even kicked out of public places for feeding their children," she wrote, "I have been made to feel the need to cover up and somewhat shy to feed my baby in public places but strangely feel nothing for the topless editorials I've done in the name of art..?"
This is not the first time a celebrity has spoken out against the stigma associated with breastfeeding in public. Actress Mila Kunis spoke to Vanity Fair about being shamed for it. “Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She’s hungry. I need to feed her whether it’s out of a bottle or out of my boob no matter where I am,” she continued, “we were like, ‘Oh my God,’ because it’s so not a sexual act. It didn’t matter to me what other people thought. That’s what I chose to do, but I think it’s unfortunate that people are so hard on women who choose to do it and do it in public.”
Big Bang Theory actress and neuroscientist Mayim Bialik rightly pointed out in an interview with The Huffington Post that people who are offended by the sight of a mother breastfeeding her child is a symptom of our culture’s “very, very bizarre relationship with breasts.”