Store Tells Mom Her Breastfeeding Photos Are Too Obscene to Print

baby breastfeedingTake a look at how many photos you have on your phone. If you are like me, you have around 1,623. Wow. I really should do something about that. I should print some -- put an album together -- so I can free up some storage. One mom decided to do just that. She had hundreds of photos that she was having printed at her local Sam's Club in Oxford, Alabama. Some of those photos includes pictures of her breastfeeding her baby. And when she went to pick up those photos, the clerk at the store first refused to give her the ones containing nudity -- nudity of the breastfeeding variety.

These "obscene" photos were picked out of her batch and put on the side, along with some photos of her child in the bath. The clerk told the mom about their policy of not giving her the photos that contained nudity. This seems like the clerk is being a bit too literal of the job requirement.

Jerrika Aiken wrote on her Facebook page to the store:

I am honestly outraged that today, the Oxford, AL Sam's Club, tried to refuse me my photos of my children in the bath tub (chest up, not genitals) and of me breastfeeding my son (the breastfeeding photos showed no area more than a woman would show cleavage, no nipples) The most upsetting part is that breastfeeding is NOT nudity and I feel very discriminated against and embarrassed that there would be any issue with my photos of a completely natural and healthy act. I hope this will come across to the right person, and possibly stop this discrimination which is 100% illegal to discriminate against. I pray no other mother is treated this way at Sam's Club.

I agree with her -- no mother should be treated this way, made to feel embarrassed, discriminated against for breastfeeding her baby, for doing what is completely natural. According to Aiken, these photos were printed and then singled out. When she saw the clerk putting some on the side, she knew that they were photos of her breastfeeding. And that's because breastfeeding moms are fully aware of the issues most of the general public have with the sight of a mother feeding her baby. Many nursing mothers have had eyes glaring at them with disgust when they breastfed in public. People complain about seeing moms breastfeed too often.

Let's just take a minute and think about that. Why would anyone complain when they see a baby getting the best nourishment she can get? So I don't see how a photograph is any different. We take photos of ourselves breastfeeding our babies because it is such an incredible bonding experience -- one we want to document and remember for years to come. It's those moments, the fleeting moments when our babies are young, that pass so fast. So we take pictures to remember, to put ourselves back in that beautiful moment long after that moment passed.

We don't know much about the employee. Maybe he or she was new on the job. Maybe he or she was told about this strict no nudity policy and was just trying to do the right thing. I'm trying to see all sides here. I do think it was a mistake on the employee's part. Breastfeeding isn't obscene, neither are breastfeeding photos. We all need to realize that the sight of a mother breastfeeding her baby shouldn't be shocking or indecent.

When the manager got involved at the store, they agreed to give Aiken her photos but warned that they wouldn't do it again if she had more another time because it was against their policy. I'm a bit surprised at this, and hoping the incident brings up a conversation at stores who print photos, allowing them to realize that breastfeeding isn't obscene and shouldn't be put in the same category as nude photographs.

What do you think? Should breastfeeding photos be considered nudity or obscene?


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Lovea... Loveavision

Wah, poor breastfeeding mother.

Movie... Moviebuff

The mom needs to get over it. The store was in the right it's their policy.

nonmember avatar darkejoy

Actually, the policy isn't that strict. I have worked in phot at Walmart. Yes, there is a no nudity policy. Waist up innocent pictures of a child weren't singled out. If they had been more graphic or seemed to signal abuse in any way, they would be. Children's photos were more vague as far as the policy went, since really who can force their toddler to stay clothed at all times? At the same time, they could not be as innocent. definitely, the breast feeding pictures should not have been refused though! The no nudity clause doesn't extend to showing cleavage areas. If there had been an exposed nipple, that would fall under the policy. There were pictures regularly allowed to go out at my Walmart store that a woman took of herself topless, but always had her nipple area covered by her arms. Not one employee there refused to give her the pictures. It was allowed under the policy. This was an employee being judgement and trying to sexualize the act of breast feeding, not following the policy.

Snapp... SnappleQueen

Lady, you live in AL. Surely this action by the store can't be a surprise. 

nonmember avatar phoenix

Ya know, I'm usually not on board with the nursing mommy persecution angle, but dang this is stupid on the store's part. Breastfeeding in public is one thing, considering photos of it obscene is...actually insane.

nonmember avatar Ashley

I just wanted to say- I live near there and the store is BRAND new, it just opened. But this is freaking ridiculous and Alabama is one of the states that protects breastfeeding mothers' ability to do so in public, so the store policy is extra stupid.
I have a three week old newborn who I've nursed in public a couple of times already, and we've never encountered any negativity, so please don't think this one clerk's ignorance speaks for everyone here.

nonmember avatar Blown Away

Wow is Alabama really that prude?

Mommy... MommyHuman

Why didn't she just print the picture out at home, or go to a store with a different policy? It just seems like another breastfeeding mom trying to get her 15 minutes of fame. 

Aoibh... Aoibheann

As a mother who breastfed, I seriously don't know why there's so much drama over breastfeeding. On either side of the fence. I think it's all completely blown out of proportion now.. every single bit of it.

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