Facebook Denies Mom's Breastfeeding Photo as 'Too Sexual'

Abby Theuring

Abby Theuring was willing to pay Facebook good money to promote breastfeeding to more of her fans. Instead the Chicago-area mom -- who goes by the name The Badass Breastfeeder on Facebook -- got a warning that a photo showing her nursing her 4-year-old son had "sexual undertones" and showed "excessive skin." Theuring's ad had just been denied.


Facebook made a big deal of its new breastfeeding photo policy back in 2014. The site called breastfeeding "natural and beautiful" and promised moms they would "always allow" breastfeeding. 

Well, except in advertising, it seems ... 

Theuring tells CafeMom she'd been trying to do something called "boosting" on a Facebook post that links to an article on her website about nursing her 4-year-old. Boosting is one of the options Facebook offers for advertising: A page manager pays the social site to show the post in more people's feeds. Boosted posts, like other ads, have to undergo a screening process at Facebook to ensure they meet site guidelines. 

More from CafeMom: Badass Breastfeeder Nurses Toddler & Newborn: You Gotta Problem With That?

That's where the Badass Breastfeeder got caught up in anti-breastfeeding issues. 

Facebook's ads carry a range of guidelines, from restrictions on promotion of illegal substances to bans on "adult content." Theuring's boost was denied, and she received a warning from Facebook. 

"They need to knock it off with the offensive, subjective language," she tells CafeMom. "Sexual undertones? What the f--k is that? Who decides that? How can anyone decide for anyone else if a sexual undertone exists? I mean, isn't a sexual feeling the business of the looker?"

As for the excessive skin complaint, check out the full photo of her breastfeeding:

Abby Theuring

"I feel like I'm banging my head on a wall," Theuring says. "Haven't we been through this? We got like six hours to celebrate their policy update for photo shares, then it was right back to this. And they don't care. Why should they? They don't make big bucks off of us."

Theuring has appealed the boost denial, but so far to no avail. She's since posted Facebook's ban to her page, and fans have been angry on her behalf ... and quick to point out the site's hypocrisy.

"I reported a picture of a dog whos [sic] ears had been cut off and facebook says this is allowed but feeding your baby/toddler is offencive [sic]!" reads one comment. 

"I reported a pic of a person who's head had been blown open, and Facebook said it didn't violate anything," said another. 

More from CafeMom: 

The contradictions are endless, and they're not lost on Theuring. It's exactly why she started her blog and her vibrant Facebook community of more than 250,000 fans. 

"Becoming a mother has been my fast track to feminism," she says. "I have never seen so much disgust of the female body as [I have while] being a part of the breastfeeding community. No one ever had a problem with my boobs before. But now they have made me f--king famous. It makes me sad that so many men and women hate the female body." 

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