Positive Change Strikes Up Negative Reactions
Did you know the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Fashion Show was focused around celebrating women? From motherhood to military. Did you know the entire crew that put together this year’s Sports Illustrated campaign was comprised of solely women? They wanted their models to be participants in change, instead of solely being objects to be gawked at. The editor wanted to celebrate all different kinds of beauty, did you know that? Or, did you only know that there was a woman who fed her child while walking the runway?
Don’t feel bad that you didn’t know, because no one did. No one gave them the chance or the platform that should have risen from this incredible, empowering runway. Pictures, contrary to popular belief do not speak volumes and very rarely speak for themselves. There is a whole lot going on behind this photo that the internet decided to take upon themselves and destroy. The internet assumed Mara Martin (model) chose this moment to be a show off, to expose herself, to be selfish. When in reality, farthest thing from being a selfish exhibitionist, it was a political campaign, hoping for change in normalizing breastfeeding and beauty standards.
What exactly is she showing off? By the looks of it I see less skin than the rest of the models because her child is covering most of her body. She should be praised for her confidence in her postpartum body, she should be given some sort of award for the perfect latch, the fact that she can strut her beauty with a calm 5 month old on her body. Or, better yet, nothing. Reactions aren’t necessary, when she is giving a necessity to her child.
This runway show needed a lot more recognition than the negativity for celebrating motherhood. It was meant to be a move towards a positive change, rather, as always, people took it upon themselves to prove why this movement is needed, in 2018.
Comment after comment was negative, demeaning and hurtful. Empowerment, encouragement and support were few and far between the masses of hostility. “This is her job, women don’t take their babies to work so they can feed them, figure it out. It’s a 5 minute walk, she didn’t NEED to bring her baby out there.” Actually, some women do get their caretakers to bring their child to their workplace to continue their breastfeeding journey. BUT, it shouldn't matter if she did walk the runway with a political stance or simply to walk and breastfeed. This should have been celebrated as a working mom able to nurture her child, while continuing her career. That’s pretty powerful. Obviously, there is a long way to go for breastfeeding to become a normal part of life.
It shouldn’t be surprising, as I’ve heard many similar comments on my own Instagram photos of nursing my baby, however, some of the comments were asinine and downright diabolical: “You are sick. There is something wrong with you. Way to go, you are just putting your child out there for pedophiles to get off on”. Wow… The mom feeding her child is the sick one, though right? Okay, well, maybe reevaluate your definition of “sick”. I’ll just say this, it is deranged for you to even insinuate that this woman, or any woman, is trying to lure pedophiles while FEEDING her baby.
Not only were they degrading and disturbing some were just dumb.“The baby could have waited 5 minutes” Oh, really? Have you ever been around a hungry baby? Do you like to wait when you’re hungry? Didn't think so. Do you think a 5 month old who can only communicate through cries wants to wait for her mom to finish being an object for your eyes to feast on her swollen engorged ready to nurse breasts, when she actually needs them to survive?
Breastfeeding is far from sexy. It is beautiful, because of the bond, the nutrients, the experience & the fact that women are continuously sacrificing and willing to give their bodies to their children for as long as permits or needed to nurture. Never is it for selfish reasons to show off these "sexy" breasts - that are probably lopsided, stretch marked & purposefully made for milk; far from society's sexy standards.
Unless someone is trying to breastfeed YOU or YOUR child against your will, it is a non issue. If it makes you uncomfortable, that's on you. The way society reacts to breastfeeding is the issue. Breastfeeding is natural, biologically purposeful & ultimately NORMAL. 🤱🤷