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Hey, Fellow Moms, I Don't Want to See Your Nipples and C-Section Scars

Photograph by Getty Images

Is it too much to ask that moms stop posting pictures showcasing nipples and scars? This is not some sexist rant—this is a deeply personal thought that's been tugging at me for years.

Look, I identify as a feminist: I revere the power of choice to live according to our own beliefs and values. I believe we become stronger and smarter through motherhood. I honor that the more we discuss hot-button issues, the more we understand and empower each other. Breastfeeding is great if you enjoy it—and breastfeeding in public is fine with me (even though I personally opted out).

Having a C-section is a perfectly acceptable way to have a baby if that's the safest option for the mother and child. Strutting around in a bikini if your body is less-than supermodel worthy is absolutely positive and welcomed!

But, there is such a thing as crossing the line.

I don't believe we all really want to see each other's bleeding nipples, freshly stitched staccato scars and closeups of graphic vaginal births posted in as many places online as we can handle, just for the sake of "relating" to each other as mothers.

In my own social media feeds, I've noticed a significant rise in the number of regular moms the exposing most delicate parts of themselves on Facebook and Instagram for ... what? For some stranger to see and suddenly feel a false sense of confidence, thanks to stretch marks in another stranger's inner thighs? C'mon.

I certainly don't need to see any parts of anyone's undercarriage or upper-carriage, for that matter—feminist that I am. Hell, I don't even want to see it if it IS a celebrity!

Sure, I've shared my own body stories: I've gone on solid public record about the personal mental and emotional perks of spending 30 days in underwear post-birth for gaining more body confidence as a brand-new mom with never-before-seen bumps and scars. I still remember my creepy and swollen stitch under my underwear, but I wasn't convinced that snapping a picture for strangers to see would affect the reputations of mothers everywhere. No one needs to see my scar.

We tell our kids to respect others' privacy, yet we keep eroding privacy for what seems like instant attention and manufactured proclamations about instigating change and empathy for others through private, graphic experiences. I personally don't feel empowered by some random person's crotch that just gave birth to a baby I will never meet and seeing boundary-pushing pictures of nursing moms don't do anything for me either.

The value of battle scars doesn't increase if more strangers see it. I'm C-section proud too, but you don't get the privilege to see that part of my body because I don't know you personally.

Call me a prude, but taking a selfie with your nipple exposed and cleverly captioning it "Nip-slip during a milk drip!" is just stupid.

How do we think kids might feel when they get to be about 7 years old and find out their moms shared up-close pictures of private parts for the purpose of starting a conversation online?

We tell our children to honor their bodies and keep their private parts private, yet so many moms don't hesitate to pull down their pants just inches away from a most sacred area, snap a picture and then post it with something so inane as "C-section proud!"

The value of battle scars doesn't increase if more strangers see it. I'm C-section proud too, but you don't get the privilege to see that part of my body because I don't know you personally.

We tell our daughters to not look to others for validation, but that message gets muddled and reversed for every mommy that snaps a bikini selfie in a dressing room alongside her toddler daughter so strangers can see how proud she is of her "real body." Yes, we're all cheering you on, but as you do that, your daughter is learning that the cornerstone of feeling good about one's "real body" is by taking a selfie and seeing how many "Right on, mama!" comments and likes you get.

I appreciate and celebrate women who share power across the internet, but not everything needs to be seen by strangers once we become moms. This isn't about being embarrassed of our bodies or suppressing our real selves in any way—it's about the deeper effects of how what we're sharing will affect our kids' understanding of body confidence and privacy as they grow up.

Because if my now 7-year-old were to stumble across a picture of my C-section scar online, she'd probably freak out with humiliation and simultaneously make a subconscious mental note that it's A-OK to share those most private body parts online because Mommy did it in the name of empowerment.

And, in my prude opinion, that's not good parenting.

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