Breastfeeding: It's the natural thing to do
The world seemed to be up in arms this week, debating over a breast. Namely, the breast of Nicole Trunfio, which was partly exposed as she breastfed her son on the front page of the June edition of ELLE Australia.
Some found the photo to be inappropriate, while others thought it was inspiring. Despite the controversy, there's no denying that this photo is important, especially as the roles and rights of women are transitioning to adapt to this generation's expectations.
"There is nothing more powerful and beautiful than motherhood. The last thing I want to do is be controversial, so please take this for what it is, let us #normalizebreastfeeding, there is nothing worse than a mother that is judged for feeding her hungry child in public," wrote the 29-year-old model in a Facebook post.
Trunfio's move has garnered some backlash, especially from those who would have preferred some discretion on the magazine's part. The image, which has been posted and reposted online, will not be on the cover of the print edition. Instead, it will be featured in the subscriber's edition online and to basically anyone who has access to the Internet.
Breastfeeding is a natural thing. It's pretty much the main reason why women have breasts in the first place. And when a baby is hungry in public, there's not usually an unlimited amount of time for a mother to drop everything and drive all the way back home to feed her child.
There has been a sexualization of female chests for almost all of civilization. If the sun gets too hot to bear, a man can take off his shirt without anyone batting an eye. If a woman were to do the same, all hell would break loose. Parents would be shielding their kids' eyes while giving that woman dirty looks.
This ridiculous double standard has caused a great stigma against breastfeeding in the public eye. What if a woman didn't just want to beat the heat, but actually feed her hungry child?
I think the issue of discretion should be up to the mother herself and how comfortable she feels with breastfeeding in public. It shouldn't be demonized for how other children, men and women might see it.
Florida statute 383.015 reads, "A mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple of the mother's breast is uncovered during or incidental to the breastfeeding."
Breastfeeding in public doesn't necessarily mean a woman is going to go wild and take off her shirt in the middle of a busy street. There are specifically designed clothes and wraps to wear if she so chooses. She also has the option to do it in private, if that is what makes her feel at peace.
However, if a woman who is comfortable enough to breastfeed in public offends you, turn away. It's not the end of the world and it's certainly not against the law, at least in this state. A child's health is more important than preserving your peace of mind.
Noelle Campbell is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @Noellecampz or email her at NoelleC@CentralFloridaFuture.com.