This Breastfeeding Model Working the Runway Is the Definition of Fierce

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

breastfeeding model mara martin
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

It was only a couple years ago when Sports Illustrated finally welcomed plus-sized models like Ashley Graham into its pages. Now, their most recent runway show is making even more strides towards inclusivity. The 2018 Sports Illustrated Swim Search show featured models of all different colors and sizes. The runway show also included amputee model Brenna Huckaby and breastfeeding mama Mara Martin. 

  • Mara Martin has been going viral for breastfeeding her 5-month-old daughter while she rocked the Sports Illustrated runway in a gold bikini. 

    breastfeeding model mara martin
    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

    Mara, who was selected as a "Sweet 16 finalist", took to Instagram to share her excitement. She wrote: 

    "Wow! WHAT A NIGHT! Words can’t even describe how amazing I feel after being picked to walk the runway for @si_swimsuit. Anyone who knows me, knows it has been a life long dream of mine."

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  • The model explained that she was surprised to be making headlines for "doing something I do every day."

    breastfeeding model mara martin
    Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

    "I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day," she wrote. "It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least. I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL!"

  • Mara also said that all the attention she got was unexpected because she feels some of the other women on the runway were "far more deserving."

    "But to be honest, the real reason I can’t believe it is a headline is because it shouldn’t be a headline," she shared. "My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that. Last night there are far more deserving headlines that our world should see." 

    Mara explained that one woman who was also on the runway is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve the country, another woman had a mastectomy, and another is a cancer survivor. And Brenna is a two-time Paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother.

    "Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!! Just thinking about all that was represented there ... I desperately need to give the most thanks to @mj_day for this. She supported me in what I did last night. Without her support this wouldn’t even be discussed!!!! She and the entire Sports Illustrated family are the most amazing and incredible team to have worked with. THANK YOU for letting all 16 of us be our true selves, strong beautiful women!!! Because of you, my daughter is going to grow up in a better world, where she will always feel this way!!!!!! Lastly, to every single woman that rocked that runway with me. Be proud. I know I am of you! You all have inspired me in ways unimaginable. I love you all!!!"

  • We are so happy that all of these fabulous women were able to share their beauty with the world! We definitely need more runways like this. 

    Check out the Sports Illustrated Instagram page for more highlights from the show. 

breastfeeding swimwear