Media Literacy Forum

Breastfeeding v.s. Social Media

I noticed on social media that a lot more mothers are posting breastfeeding pictures on Instagram and even in public places. Many people make rude and negative comments because they think it is not normal and wrong. The media thinks it’s okay to have women half naked on the cover of magazines, and posting almost naked pictures on social media. Yet, it’s not okay to post a picture breastfeeding their child on social media. I understand that people think mothers should feed their child in private places instead of in public, but what happens if the mother can’t? The pictures I see on Instagram or twitter aren’t exposing anything but some skin. So, I decided to look at an article on breastfeeding in public. The article I found is by TIME. The title is called, “Social Media Is Helping Moms Win the War Over Public Breastfeeding.” It pretty much says how mothers are standing up for themselves and trying to spread awareness. Some say it should be normalized and some say it shouldn’t.

The last paragraph is my favorite: “The problem isn’t social media; it’s our cultural fixation on women as objects to titillate and entertain rather than women as human beings with lives and hardships. By using social media to mobilize our efforts to gain the right to breastfeed without being harassed, we are turning the tide, slowly — one picture, one instance, at a time. But until we can affect a deep change in the way society views women in general, and breastfeeding mothers in particular, we will not be able to win the war.”



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  • I follow a lot of moms on Instagram and I have heard many stories of people having their photos taken off of Facebook or Instagram because the picture is of them breastfeeding. I totally agree that they should be able to post pictures like that because it is natural. Like you said, people are perfectly okay with barely covered models on the covers of magazines but are not okay with a mother feeding her child. Another trend I have seen in the last couple of days is the #treeoflife. It features a mother feeding her baby and the picture is edited with an app to have a tree with the roots in the mothers breast and the tree growing into the babies mouth. This was some mothers taking a stand to normalize breastfeeding and show that it is natural.
  • I've never understood the outrage over mothers' breastfeeding in public. And I agree with your claim—we are fine with sexualized depictions of female breasts, but we freak out about the female breast being used in public for what it genetically exists to do. America 2016: Always Finding More Reasons To Be Outraged.
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