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Am I the Only One Creeped out by Public Breast-Feeding?

Photo via Instagram
Photo via Instagram

I’m looking at the much-discussed and recently posted photo of Gisele Bundchen nursing her daughter while surrounded by a whole host of attendees. Sitting comfortably in a plush bathrobe, with one hooter out in full view—Gisele seems totally at home with her little one suckling away while others look on. Good for her.

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I know I’m supposed to look at the photo and be inspired. “See, normal women who aren’t famous Brazilians?” the photo seems to say. “Breast-feeding is beautiful, I want everyone to watch me do it!”

I know I’m supposed to be inspired, but I’m not. Because when I look at the photo of Gisele nursing her kid all that comes to mind is this: “If a supermodel breast-feeds her kid in public, is it still creepy?” I know. I know. I was supposed to be inspired.

Before we go on, you should know that I breast-fed my first child for a year exclusively. And by exclusively, I mean the child did not have a bottle for a year, and formula has never touched his mouth. That means for a year it was just him suckling away. The only difference is that I breast-fed in private. Call me old-fashioned. It’s just the kind of gal I am.

I’m not crazy about seeing your boobs in public, whether they’re feeding another human person or not.

I tell you this, to avoid any confusion. You’re going to think I’m “one of those”—a breast-feeding hater, or a bad mom, or a bad driver, or something bad. You’re also going to think I said breast-feeding is creepy, which I did not. I said breast-feeding in public is creepy to me, even when Gisele does it.

We should also establish that I don’t hate Gisele. I never wanted to be a supermodel, though I’m happy for those beauties that are. I’ve never been to Brazil, but I’m sure it’s super. And I’m not jealous that Gisele and her one-exposed breast are married to hunky quarterback Tom Brady. Now you won’t have to write that inevitable, “You’re just jealous of Gisele,” comment at the end of this post. There, I saved you the trouble.

So now that we know that I don’t have a thing against breast-feeding or Gisele, here’s what I’m not crazy about. I’m not crazy about seeing your boobs in public, whether they’re feeding another human person or not. Even if you’re a supermodel and the best mom in the world, there’s nothing wrong with throwing a shawl or blanket over your shoulder so your attendees don’t have to try to carry on a conversation with you while secretly finding ways not to look down at your one exposed breast.

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Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it has to be seen by others. I’m by no means suggesting breast-feeding moms need to hide or feel ashamed. I’m just suggesting that breast-feeding doesn’t entitle one to make others uncomfortable. Right or wrong, not everyone is super comfortable chatting it up with a half-naked woman feeding her child. I know that’s not what I’m supposed to say, but that’s how I feel.

Breast-feeding may be natural, lovely, and potentially better for your kid. It’s also incredibly awkward to watch, even when the most beautiful woman in the world does it.

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