It's not surprising that another photo of a mom breastfeeding is causing a firestorm on the Internet. But this photo is causing a stir because it has a little something extra. It's a photo by new mom Sky Boucher tandem nursing her twins and showing her stretch marks. Wow, there's a whole lot going on there! Needless to say, people have a lot to say about this fearless photo, almost all of it extreme. I think how you respond to this photo says a lot about how you feel about motherhood and your own body.
You can see the photo in its entirety below. Boucher posted it first on her Tumblr blog, Milo & Eloise. Someone wrote her to complain, and she responded with a defiant manifesto about art, body image, and motherhood:
Art isn't always about whats aesthetically pleasing. Sometimes you need to show people reality. This is real shit. This is what life is after partying and being a wild thin teen and reading bullshit books about werewolves. It isn’t clear skin and skinny bodies and free time forever. Its stretch marks, wrinkles, shitty baby diapers and laying in weird ass positions to keep your children happy because you love them more than your comfort or your smooth pert body. Its being overweight and having sex, wrinkly fat sweaty real shit adult parent long term relationship sex and then trying to slip in half an hour of sleep before your kid flips shit at 1am. And its poetic and awesome. Fuck your skinny smooth boring ass ideal of what life should be that you ripped out of some dumb ass teen cosmo. My life is goddamn beautiful even if my belly is a wreck.
Boucher's photo was shared on the Facebook page The Other Side of Motherhood, where it was met with an even bigger response. Just a sampling:
"This is amazing!"
"Noooo! Why can't mothers breastfeed and be modest?"
"What the hell is wrong with you? This is disgusting!"
"R E S P E C T."
That most of the comments are positive gives me hope for us all. That most of the negative comments come from men is ... well, what can I say? They're all probably too immature to handle reality.
This photo made my jaw drop, but not because I thought it was inappropriate or "disgusting." I was blown away at her confidence, her ability to literally bare it all this way. It takes a strong woman to look at her post-baby body, wrinkly tummy and all, and call herself beautiful. I wasn't able to do that.
I remember seeing my stretched-out post-baby belly with a feeling of sinking horror. I remember silently pleading with my belly to please go back to where it used to be, up by my ribs instead of hanging down practically to my knees. I didn't have the self-compassion to see my wrinkly belly as beautiful.
But that's what makes this photo so powerful. No matter how you felt about your own post-baby body, or how you feel about how much we should share online, you're going to have a strong reaction to this photo. And you're going to want to talk about it.
What's your first response to this photo of a new mom breastfeeding her twins?
Image via The Other Side of Motherhood/Facebook