A 30 year old model out of Miami, Mara Martin, decided to walk a Miami runway last weekend while holding onto her 5 month old daughter that she was breastfeeding. Now that's a first! Have you ever seen this happen before? Where a women has been publicly at work breastfeeding while leading a meeting or teaching a class? It's common place for women to excuse themselves and breast feed or pump while at work. More recently we remember when American politician and US Senator Tammy Duckworth was the first sitting member of the Senate to birth a child and push to allow children on the senate floor, to cater to working moms. She was the first to accomplish that and have a child on the Senate floor so working moms are making strides on caring for their children while still holding down a productive job.
This particular case with Martin strutting down the catwalk with a baby on her breast is quite jarring. I'm all about women mothering and taking care of their children but this particular job is about showing off your body and presenting the clothes you are wearing. If you watch the video, Martin's daughter was partially blocking the bathing suit so not representing the product well and the whole ordeal was just a distraction from the product, which is the bathing suit.
I really couldn't get over this. I mean all power to her but if I was the fashion designer whose clothes the model was modeling, I would say okay you can bring your child backstage and absolutely breastfeed but I can't have you walking the runway while doing it. The only exception to this would be if you're modeling a maternity line or line for mothers specifically and that was part of the branding. Now that would be cool and awesome to market to mothers by having your models breastfeeding or carrying a child or something like that. That would be appropriate, but in this scenario I'm not down with it. That's not to say I don't support mothers and breastfeeding or even mothers wearing bikinis, I absolutely do, but this seemed to be the wrong setting. Maybe I'm more of a private person and I think if I was a mother I would take care of my breastfeeding while out in public, privately. I would excuse myself, and deal with my situation accordingly in my private space. Now I understand I don't have a leg to stand on here when it comes to mothering because I'm not a mother and I don't go around telling women how to parent their kids, I'm just giving my perspective here and can assume that a mother's bond with their child is sacred and personal and I'd want my time with them to be just that. Sure, I love that women are proud to be mothers and show it off in public but breastfeeding seems a private thing to me. It's nothing to be ashamed of, it's not about shame, it's about privacy and intimacy. I can only imagine as a mother that the only person I'd want around to witness me breast feeding would be my husband, child, mother, and maybe best friend. Otherwise I don't want others around because it's personal. Needless to say I would not strut a runway breastfeeding! I also get though that models are used to showcasing their bodies so Mara was clearly and understandably comfortable doing this.
Overall, nay on the breastfeeding while modeling (with the exception of if it was a maternity line or "mothers" line specifically geared towards just moms). Although I understand moms wear bikinis too! Just saying.