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.
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
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
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.