Supermodels Natalia Vodianova and Jaime King recently created some controversy when they shared selfies online of themselves breastfeeding their respective children.
Most people responded very positively, applauding the women for baring (almost) all; and showing the true beauty of breastfeeding and the intimate connection between mother and child. Yet, others were very sceptical, accusing the mothers of being inappropriate.
When I first spotted these selfies, I was surprised. Probably because it showed an act, which is seen as very private, in a very public way. Now the question must be: why do we consider it to be a private act? It is private because of the nudity and the way in which women’s bodies are viewed nowadays. Women are constantly corrected for showing flesh, mainly because our misogynistic society has taught men and women to see nudity as equal to sex- thus viewing a mother naked with her son/daughter inappropriate.
These photos, however, are more like works of art. Not only because the women seen in these images are unbelievably stunning (they are supermodels afterall), but because breastfeeding is such a beautiful and above all natural part of many mothers’ lives.
I think those who found these images offensive, probably sexualized these women or believed that the act of breastfeeding should be done behind closed doors. All a symptom of the way we’ve come to view women’s bodies; and especially the bodies of famous women. What do you think?