Archive | November 2014

Breastfeeding. Soapbox Edition by Yours Truly.

For research purposes, I did in fact, seek out the photo of Alyssa Milano breast feeding her baby. I didn’t have to actively seek out anything regarding KimK because she’s plastered her body all over the internet. All one needs to do is open up a browser. Go figure.

My opinions in this post are my own and based on my own history of breast feeding and bottle feeding in private and public.

Anywhoo, let’s begin, shall we?

 So KimK is out there for the world to see…Okay. Not for everybody but if she feels that her body is everybody else’s business and it’s clear that her self worth is measured by how many views/likes/faves she gets, Fine. It’s the Internet. We’ve come to expect nothing less, and how sad is that?

Alyssa Milano brought up a point when she said that her breast feeding photos were more offensive than KimK’s full frontal assault. The sad truth is that nobody wants to see the breasts intended purpose. Breasts have been sexualized for decades now and before the internet, women have had their breastfeeding photos (Don’t kid yourself, they existed way before the internet) safely tucked away and brought out only to those whom they felt comfortable sharing with…Or so it’s been with me, anyway. I have some of my own and no, you can’t see them. To reveal to the world that a breast’s purpose is to actually nourish babies’ bodies and minds is an offense only to those doing the sexualization.

Obviously, women are becoming quite comfortable with posting nursing pictures of themselves on the internet for all to see. Everyone should be all in favour of breastfeeding. It serves a purpose; to nourish a child, and the act of feeding your baby, whether it’s by bottle or breast, is an intimate bond between Mother and Baby. This is what you teach your children and it’s a no-brainer in my opinion. How dare anyone even attempt to take away your choice, force you to feed elsewhere or have you removed from any public place. It’s ludicrous and stupid and piss on anyone who thinks that it’s okay to ostracize a nursing mother.  Feeding your baby should not be offensive. Unfortunately, it is for many people and they are just going to have to get over it.

Now, here is where it gets a little skewed…

Ms. Milano’s pictures are quite tasteful and sweet, in my opinion. She is obviously nursing her baby and the rest of her is covered, leaving quite alot left to the imagination. She is obviously totally enthralled and in love with her baby and her face is glowing. If she were nursing in a public place, I would have no trouble defending her to some idiot who thought that she should be put into a bathroom stall, her car or sent home to nurse. Though she is nursing in a photograph, I don’t feel that she deserves any negative attention whatsoever. She hasn’t done a damn thing to warrant any of those nasty comments.

There are numerous other pictures on the internet of women who choose to display their nursing photos. In those photos, their breasts are out and proud and in full view, quite like KimK’s breasts. Obviously, these women are completely comfortable with letting it all hang out while breastfeeding. However, when you exhibit your full frontal in a public place, such as a restaurant or mall, you must accept that people will be offended and will say as much right to your face. You literally invite those comments in without actually saying a word.

Here come the whiny bits now…

When you display everything in public, even though you are doing something completely natural as nursing a baby, it’s one more thing that I have to explain to my mentally challenged son, and most of the time, there is no stopping the intrusive questions that he will definitely ask you in that public forum. I am responsible to a point but I have no idea why you are showing every thing off in public so it’s up to you to explain that, not me. I spend many days explaining other peoples’ public decisions to my son. He’s really okay with nursing and understands that babies need to be fed. And let’s be clear on this, he’s mentally a child of 10 (give or take) in a 22 year old’s body. I really shouldn’t have to explain why you are half naked in public. I will only go so far as to explain that you are feeding the baby so don’t be surprised if I pass off the rest of his inquisition to you. You might say to him that you are feeding your baby, and he will respond with,
“But why are you naked?”and the 20 question session begins.

I’m sorry, and good luck with that.

 

Let’s also be clear on this point; Public nudity is not offensive to everyone BUT, it is offensive to quite a few folks. It’s easy to turn off the computer and TV screens. It’s easy to change the channel. It’s not so easy to distract a child in a public place while there are lovely “boobies” hanging out for him to ogle at, thereby embarrassing you and me. Yeah, that’s fun. (that was sarcasm)

I’ll defend myself by saying that I am not a prude. Really. Your nudity, as well as KimK’s, doesn’t exactly bother me. There is something to appreciate in the artistry of the human form and it shouldn’t be offensive. In fact, I might be a bit jealous of the fact that your breasts are perkier, prettier and all around better than my own saggy, stretch marked, sad sacks, and forgive me for staring at them briefly before coming to my senses.

As Jacob’s parent, though, I really don’t relish the thought of explaining why mine look different than yours. He isn’t capable of comprehending the naturalness of the human body and that it changes over time. He doesn’t get it. He never will. Well, he might but after 10 years of living with a “horny pubescent”, I doubt it’ll happen any time soon. It’s one thing for me to be comfortable at home but quite another to be comfortable in public.

I am asking politely that you realize there are parents out there who are not ready to have these conversations with their kids. Not everyone is as comfortable as I am with explaining nursing to their kids, let alone full frontal nudity of any part of your “naughty bits”. Please realize that not everybody is comfortable with other peoples bodies, let alone their own bodies. Hell, to a certain point, I’m not exactly comfortable with my flabby tummy and excess fat so it’s not exactly my cup of tea to post any nude pictures of myself anywhere, no matter how tasteful they might be presented. I do believe that parents need to get comfortable with explaining nursing because it’s here to stay and it’s not something to be ashamed of either doing or seeing, but no parent should be forced into explaining why a woman is naked (partially or not) in public.

I am speaking from experience when I tell you that nobody will question you feeding your baby when you do it tastefully. Though I nursed Jacob for a very short time (he was lactose intolerant), I had plenty of public nursing experience; nearly a year each with my oldest and youngest. I did it tastefully and there were even times when a waitress or someone else was surprised to find out that I was actually nursing my son while eating my own food. I was not completely covered in every situation. Sometimes, it was far too hot to have a blanket over us but for the most part, the baby’s head covered what needed to be covered. Not one person had anything negative to say to me about it. Ever.

By letting it all hang out, it becomes difficult to defend your choice of nursing in public. I’m not saying that I will not defend you. I’ll defend your choice to nurse until I am blue in the face and pass out. I am saying that not everyone will feel the need to defend your breast feeding because in reality, you are not helping your own situation. As a supporter of breast feeding, it’s much easier for me to defend you when you leave everything else to the imagination. It also makes it easier on you, the nursing mother, to be left in peace as you bond with your baby anytime and anywhere. Because let’s be real here, that is the ultimate goal.

Have a little dignity and self respect. If you want the negative attention, by all means, take a cue from KimK and keep doing what you are doing. It’ll happen and I honestly don’t know how much more dear Kim can take of the negative attention. If she and you enjoy the negativity because any attention is good attention, well she has a problem, and so do you. If you want to avoid the negative attention, you know exactly what needs to be done and it’s so easy to do.

Have a little respect for others who aren’t as comfortable with nudity as you are. Give other people the dignity of not having to explain to their children (special needs or not) the reason for your public nudity. If you want the world to know that you are breast feeding your baby, take a picture and post it on the internet. It’ll get around faster than nursing in a mall.

Off my soapbox now. Thanks, y’all!