'Vogue' Features Topless Model Nursing & Makes Breastfeeding Fashionable

Love It! 9

breastfeedingI'm a formula mom who appreciates a beautiful breastfeeding image. So I swooned when I saw this gorgeous photo of model Ymre Stiekema posing topless and breastfeeding in the October issue of Vogue Netherlands. 

The model is styled to resemble a modern Vermeer painting, complete with a Dutch bonnet and a proud but austere expression on her face.

Some will argue that images like this one are irrelevant or even harmful -- that they perpetuate the Mommy Wars. I mean, I get it: What the heck does breastfeeding have to do with fashion? And why is Vogue insisting on making women who don't, can't, or won't breastfeed feel even more inadequate than we sometimes already do? 

But there are three reasons why photos like this one are incredibly important and helpful -- to all moms. 

  1. They help normalize the concept of breastfeeding to a nation that still, by and large, remains uncomfortable with women breastfeeding in public. Sometimes the only way to make something seem as normal as it is is to shock people continually with images until those images are, well, not at all shocking. Although I breastfed for only two months, I consider it an assault on ALL women when we are treated as if our bodies are a source of shame.  
  2. They inspire confidence in moms who have been taught to believe breastfeeding is a draining act by providing strong images of women who look confident and in control while feeding their child. If you're a formula mom, awesome. But if you're a mom who is on the fence about breastfeeding, images like these may reinforce the idea that all women do not collapse in an exhausted heap each time they nurse.
  3. They help convey the message that breastfeeding doesn't define a mother -- it's simply something some moms do to nourish their babies. In many breastfeeding images, the women appear to be taking a break from working or they simply show women incorporating nursing into their everyday routine. Breastfeeding is part of her life, but not her entire life. 

What do you think about the Vogue Netherlands photo and all breastfeeding photos? 

Image via sdminor81/Flickr

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nonmember avatar erica

Disgusting! How can we see her boob with that baby blocking it? Totally kidding. I mostly agree with you, except I don't think that a picture of a mom nursing her baby has the power to make a formula feeding mom feel bad unless she already feels bad. Breastfeeding has as much to do with fashion as half naked women have to do with cars or beer.

miche... micheledo

While I love to see pictures of mommy nursing I just can't like that one.  She looks SO plastic.  So fake.  Sure, it depicts a mother feeding her child, but everything is so artificial about the picture.  And I will never understand 'fashion.'  So bizarre.  Ha ha!

nonmember avatar Suni

I find the picture rather creepy. She is wearing this big goofy bonnet, and has this odd expression on her face. And yes the whole thing looks so fake.

jacsm... jacsmama022

I agree Michele, it does look really plastic.

jacsm... jacsmama022

I agree Michele, it does look really plastic.

Sara Brown

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nonmember avatar Neetayu


Jaghd810 Jaghd810

That latch looks PAINFUL and her boobs do NOT look like lactating breasts at all.  So either someone let their baby suck on this woman's nipple (and the woman's face shows clear pain) or some serious photoshop went down.  If the photo has been shopped...shame on the magazine.  No nursing mother's breast looks that "flawless" and now there will be some new quality to attain.   I had A cups before I got pregnant and when my milk came in they went to a D.  They did go down to a C while I nursed.  Her breasts just don't look correct.

Earl Hargroder

Every day we see boobs, butts and most of the rest of the reproductive organs displayed as entertainment but this beautiful picture of Mother and Child cause a panic ????????????????

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