(This one was written while I was multi-tasking and fairly quickly. Please excuse anything that doesn’t make sense. I wanted to go ahead and publish it anyway)
Last night I wrote a blog entry about breastfeeding my kidlet. To be more specific, I wrote an entry about how much I’m exposed throughout the day.
I included one of my favorite pictures with this blog entry and decided to post it to Facebook. I knew it showed a lot of my breast, but I hoped nobody would care and would just enjoy the post.
Nevertheless, I included a disclaimer within my post and in the section above the Facebook post, just in case someone couldn’t handle a breast in its natural state.
Which brings me to the point of this post…
Can YOU handle a breast in its natural state or does it need to be covered by a bit of sexy lingerie? How many times have you walked past Victoria’s Secret and not batted an eye? Did you hide your kid’s eyes? What about your partner’s? What about when you see someone breastfeeding? Do you hide anyone’s eyes? Avert your own? Or have you been so bold as to ask the mother to stop feeding her child or move to a different location?
Last night, luckily, nobody got their panties in a wad over my picture. However, when I posted it to Facebook I realized how large the thumbnail was. It was incredibly large — The width of the newsfeed and at least a couple of inches high. I knew some people may get offended and, despite my better judgement, changed the picture to what you see now (if you were to visit my previous post). I hate I had to do that. Like I said, the picture I deleted is one of my favorite pictures of me and Baby O.
I hate that I had to spare the feelings of someone who probably rarely pays attention to me. Of someone who probably doesn’t care about what I post, but would probably care enough to report me to Facebook. And yes, it’s true that (so far) none of that happened. I guess I just wanted to prevent it from happening. But part of the problem is that I had to worry about this at all. This isn’t how things should be in 2014.
For many, many, MANY years women breastfed. At some point a few decades ago formula was introduced. Now, don’t get me wrong, it helped to pave the way for the working mom and gave feminism the boost it needed. Formula is great for some women. There are women who cannot produce milk or enough milk to provide for their baby. There are women who can’t pump enough, but must return to work, so they have to wean from the breast. There are also women who simply don’t want to breastfeed. All of the above is fine. To each their own.
But at what point did we forget what breasts were made for? At what point did we, as a society, become scared of the breast? That is what we are! We are afraid! We have been made to see cleavage, bras overflowing with breasts, women in push-up bras, low-cut shirts, etc. We have broken away from the mold that breasts are for nourishment! How did this happen!? When did it suddenly become okay to view them in one way and not the other, when that other is completely natural? And why aren’t we correcting it? There are several people in support of bringing back normalcy, but it’s being met with resistance. Resistance shouldn’t be happening!
More often than not, you’d see less exposure from a mother who is breastfeeding than you would in a woman wearing a bra. Did you know that? The baby’s head/face covers a huge portion of the breast. I would wager that half the time you’re completely unaware of a breastfeeding mother, because it is THAT unnoticeable sometimes. Not to mention that some mothers use a cover. Which brings me to another point that I won’t harp on right now: Covers are NOT necessary unless the mother wants one. When in doubt, avert your eyes. Do you like to be stared at and watched while you eat?
Don’t be afraid of the breast. As the saying goes, “If you feel uncomfortable with breastfeeding, then you’ve been staring for too long.” And the next time you see a mother breastfeeding, shoot her a smile of understanding. We like to know we have support. We like to know you remember what breasts are for. We like to know you’re not scared.
(Note: Oh my gosh. I have searched EVERYWHERE for the picture/meme that shows a breast feeding a baby and a breast covered by a bra, and how, as I stated earlier, the baby actually covers more of the breast than the bra. If anyone can find this and link me to it, I’d love to add it to this post while giving proper citation. Thanks!)