There's an old episode of "Charmed" where Alyssa Milano's character defends public breastfeeding by dressing up as Lady Godiva and riding a horse naked to protest a cafe's policy that doesn't allow her sister to breastfeed in public. Well yesterday, on the "Wendy Williams Show," life was imitating art!
I like Wendy Williams, she's kind of like my crazy friend that I watch in the mornings while feeding my baby. She's open about her miscarriages and speaks her mind, but I couldn't believe how grossed out she was by Milano's breastfeeding pictures. She doesn't think women should breastfeed in public!
She said if she had to feed her baby she would feed him in the car, not on the bench in front of a big box store. Alyssa kept it classy but I had the feeling she wanted to pop Wendy in the face with one of her boobs.
My favorite Charmed One looked sincerely baffled as she asked Wendy if she thought showing Miley Cyrus in her sexy suspenders outfit was more acceptable than a sweet picture of Milano nursing her daughter. And Wendy said YES and then proceeded to call her breasts "fun bags."
Women should be able to feel comfortable feeding their child whenever, wherever and however they choose.
What astounded me the most about this interaction was that we have sexualized the female breast to the point that a woman who is a mother can't bear to see a picture of what truly is one of the most natural things in the world. And that my friends, is crazy talk.
Breastfeeding should not be a controversial subject. We shouldn't need celebrities to be breastfeeding activists. I had a terrible struggle with nursing and stopped after six weeks and felt completely devastated. I felt like the "breast is best mantra" meant I was a terrible mother for not nursing.
An older female friend of mine stopped by yesterday and mentioned that she was glad I had finally let go of my feelings of failure surrounding breastfeeding. She also remarked that she had no idea how crazy the rhetoric around breastfeeding had gotten. In her day, you were judged if you didn't give your baby formula. She couldn't believe how women who don't nurse are so harshly criticised.
Whenever I see someone post something on social media about "normalizing" breastfeeding, I always think, isn't it the norm now? Why are people still posting about this? I'm totally embarrassed when I feed my baby formula in public. But after what I saw today, it's clear that we do need to continue to normalize breastfeeding. Women should be able to feel comfortable feeding their child whenever, wherever and however they choose.
I'm a huge "Charmed" fan and Phoebe was always my favorite character. Today, I admire the woman behind the role. I'm not a nursing mother but she made me want to stand up and for my sisters out there being shamed for nursing in public and let them know they are doing a beautiful and difficult thing and I hope they never cover up!
Show those boobs! Feed those babies! Post as many breastfeeding pictures as you want!
I support you.
And side note: I would love to see Alyssa Milano hosting a talk show, wouldn't you?