We really mean, certain women, don’t we?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled to see a model like Natalia Vodianova Instagramming a photo of herself breastfeeding. We need more images that normalize breastfeeding and show it for what it really is: a woman feeding a baby, not a sexual act.
The real issue, though, is not all women are “welcome” to breastfeed their baby in public, let alone Instagram a photo of it. Here’s why:
We praise a woman breastfeeding her baby in public IF she is beautiful, white, thin. But anything else? A big “no”. “No” for two main reasons:
- The HUGE double standard that exists for women of color that doesn’t for white women, especially women of color who are mothers.
- A “perfect” body (like that of a model) is really the only acceptable body to “display”.
Heck, we know that Facebook and Instagram remove many, many peaceful breastfeeding photos of moms and babies ALL the time. How is Natalia Vodianova’s photo any different?
What is different is how much attention we pay to a single image like this when what’s truly at stake are the rights of all women to breastfeed their baby, in whatever way they choose AND share it however they choose. And that’s something we should all be focussed on.