We look to Victoria's Secret to get those amazing push-up bras that work miracles. The adorable panties. Pretty little frilly things. Sexy scented lotions. Gisele Bundchen and Miranda Kerr are their models, showing off their curves and cleavage, half-naked, and adding just enough women-approved sex appeal. The shop seems very pro-woman and all that we are with the sparkly, scented body dust to prove it. Except one Victoria's Secret store did a Texas woman wrong ... because of her breasts. Because she was breastfeeding her baby.
Ashley Clawson just spent $150 and she asked the salesperson if she could go into the fitting room to breastfeed her son. The employee said no and offered up the alley outside because "no one usually goes there." Let's digest this a moment. The faces (and bodies) of Victoria's Secret are the mother of all breastfeeders Gisele and the auntie of all nursing mamas Miranda. Shouldn't this automatically make "Victoria" and her secret pro-breastfeeding?
Clearly no. Ashley was a paying customer. She even asked for a little privacy to nurse her 4-month-old baby in the fitting room. She could have just gone in there with him and done it. But she asked after spending quite a bit of money and was denied. I think it's safe to say that this store employee got the higher-ups' panties in a bunch because shortly after (and following complaints filed by Ashley), the company issued this statement on the matter:
We take this issue very seriously. We have a longstanding policy permitting mothers to nurse their children in our stores and we are sorry that it was not followed in this case. We have apologized to Ms. Clawson, and we are taking actions to ensure all associates understand our policy that welcomes mothers to breastfeed in our stores.
Thank you, Vicky's! As a former employee of your store about 867 years ago and a lover of your underwear, I'm quite pleased. I'd say this is a victory. If VS didn't move swiftly, they might get in a bit of trouble with Gisele and Miranda ... and all of us who champion the cause to get breastfeeding seen as "normal," nothing obscene. Including me. It's a mother's right to feed her child and a baby's right to eat. Heck, even the Pope says it's cool to breastfeed in the Sistine Chapel! Baby was probably starving after being in Victoria's Secret, shopping around with Mama, with images of what seems to be heaving with milk breasts everywhere. "Let there be milk!" Baby said. And Mama just wanted a nice place to sit. Those fitting rooms sure are lovely.
I think in response to this, Victoria's Secret needs to make some nursing bras. Because they don't. And they should! They also need to educate their employees that breasts can sell bras and feed babies -- which is apparently in the works. Let's get on that first one, *nudge* Gisele.
What do you think of this Victoria's Secret employee telling this mother she should breastfeed her son in the alley? What would Gisele say? Who wants VS nursing bras?!
Image via Caitlin Regan/Flickr