Does Olivia Wilde’s breastfeeding picture make you uncomfortable?

The hyper-sexualisation of breasts, and especially the female nipple has left many uncomfortable around breastfeeding mothers.

Recently, a photo was released of new mom Olivia Wilde breastfeeding her son Otis (in head-to-toe Prada couture, nogal) during a Glamour magazine cover shoot. The picture quickly went viral – with some deeming her public display of naked breast inappropriate, while others (like me) saw it as a beautiful act of motherhood.
Models like Miranda Kerr, Jaime King and Gisele Bündchen have also caught heat, in the last year, for posting pictures on social media of themselves breastfeeding. On the one hand they got flak for doing something with their breasts that wasn’t solely for viewing pleasure, and on the other hand a lot of new mothers complained of the pressure they feel to look perfectly groomed while taking care of their youngsters. Others purely said that they were ‘over-sharing’.

Image source: Instagram

In my opinion we need to consider the fact that these women are supermodels, seen by many the world over as genetically-gifted super humans. Of course they are going to look better when breastfeeding than most, yet that doesn’t mean they’re not great mothers. But is it perhaps more about the fact that modelling and motherhood doesn’t quite go together in people’s minds?

Wilde told Glamour: “Being shot with Otis is so perfect because any portrait of me right now isn’t complete without my identity as a mother being a part of that. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing.”

Yes it is. That is in fact the primary purpose of the breast, is it not? Then why is this picture of Wilde or those shared by supermodels making so many men and women uncomfortable?

Is it because the breast has become so hyper-sexualised in modern society, that breastfeeding is no longer seen as something that is inextricably linked to it?

Surely that needs to change. Otherwise we are advocating that feeding your baby should be a slightly shameful act to be performed by less attractive women in dark rooms.


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