I love it. A magazine posts a pic of a woman breastfeeding and the net goes gaga like it’s some sort of social campaign that’s gonna change the world. Get real. Elle wasn’t looking to normalize breastfeeding, they were looking for higher than normal sales, because look how well that worked back in 2012 for TIME. It may not be overdone, but it has been done. You really think they just accidentally caught a candid shot of her while feeding her kid? Or they thought, hey, you know what this fashion magazine needs to do? Fight a social stigma. Don’t think so.
No, even as breastfeeding mother of four, I’m not getting behind this one. Even if the message is solid despite the motive. Why? Because this isn’t what normal breastfeeding looks like. I don’t see any stretch marks on those perfectly sculpted boobies. There’s no unsightly armpit boobs. She’s thin as a rail wearing a suede jacket while holding a naked baby in a position I’m not even sure denotes she’s actually feeding that baby—do nipples come that high? Using your baby as a boob-covering prop is not exactly a bonding moment.
Regardless, I’m not saying you have to have any or all of the above to be normal, or even nipples in the right spot, or that there is a right spot. I’m saying that a photo shopped model awkward in clothes and position is not going to normalize breastfeeding. That over 100,000 people have used the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding since Thursday proves that. Normal things are not major news. When you have cake for dessert it isn’t trending on Facebook whether you’re a model on a magazine cover or not, because eating cake is truly normal. People don’t take notice of it. They don’t stop people and debate about it. They don’t wage social campaigns to defend it. They just fucking eat it, and I’m sure it tastes better than this whole ongoing eternal breastfeeding war.
So, if you really want to normalize breastfeeding, just breastfeed and shut up about it. Just make breastfeeding about what it is—feeding your baby, and maybe someday it’ll become as normal as feeding yourself.