Last year, Elle Australia made a bold statement by carrying the photo of 30-year-old model Nicole Trunfio breastfeeding her four-month-old son, Zion, in its June issue. It was one of the first mainstream magazines to feature something so powerful to de-stigmatise the issue of breastfeeding in public and supporting the movement #normalizebreastfeeding.
The new mom was unapologetic about it and posted a photo of herself on Instagram saying: “There is nothing more powerful and beautiful than motherhood. The last thing I want to do is be controversial, so please take this for what it is, let us #normalizebreastfeeding there is nothing worse than a mother that is judged for feeding her hungry child in public. #weareonlyhuman I’m so proud of this cover and for what it’s stands for. I obviously don’t look like this while I am breastfeeding but this stands for all women out there, whether you breastfeed or not, we gave birth, we are women, we are mothers. Thank you to ELLE for being so bold and making such an encouraging, positive and healthy statement. #womenunite”
In a world that over-sexualises women’s breast and considers breastfeeding in public an inappropriate act, Elle’s cover was considered revolutionary. Only nursing mothers know what’s best for the baby and when a child is hungry, you feed it – it’s as simple as that. Celebs have made efforts on their part to #normalizebreastfeeding and the latest one to join the bandwagon is Mila Kunis. Last month at the Bad Moms New York premiere, the actress spoke to Vanity Fair, saying: “In the States and in our culture, we sexualise the breast so much that there’s an aspect of it that people just don’t know how to wrap their head around the idea of showing your breast in public… But I respect the opinions on both sides. If it’s not for you, don’t look.”
Kunis stood by her choice to breastfeed her daughter, “Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She’s hungry.” Makes sense right? But not to all.
Breastfeeding shamers are everywhere and it will be a while before they see the logical side of it but not everything is bad. There are those who advocate the practice and are completely okay with their wife, daughter or sister doing so. Take the example of this dad whose funny video about the absurdity of shaming breastfeeding moms was posted by Breastfeeding Mama Talk on Facebook.
Brock Smith said, “For people to be ignorant enough to harass a mother trying to have a normal life while breastfeeding a child just infuriates us.” He and his wife are fed up with people who make new moms feel as though nursing a child in public is something deserving of a backlash. Initially, he shared the video on his personal Facebook page that included sarcastic hashtags like #lactatingnipplesareoffensive and #eatingunderablanketiscooliguess.
A wonderful effort on his part but it’s just disheartening to see women across the world face the stigma, making the simple act a difficult one. We are glad that #NormalizeBreastfeeding, a extension of the feminist #FreeTheNipple movement is so popular. To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, we take a look at some memorable photos of moms trying to normalise it
1) Liv Tyler
3) Gisele Bundchen
4) Blake Lively
5) Gwen Stefani
6) Miranda Kerr
What is your opinion about breastfeeding in public? Tell us in the comments below.