Mom's Breastfeeding Photo Banned from Mother's Day Contest

Tandem breastfeeding mom Angel Franks
Iron Lace Photography/Facebook

We're all tired of hearing about mothers being ridiculed and discriminated against for daring to breastfeed their babies in public, but this mall's passive-aggressive shaming really takes the cake. The Internet is rallying behind Angel Franks, a mom whose nursing pic was denied entry into a mall's Mother's Day photo contest ... because she was breastfeeding her children. Needless to say, the decision didn't go over well -- at all.

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The Breastfeeding Mama Talk Facebook page shared the photo Franks, a wife, mom, and army veteran, tried to enter into the contest at Governor's Square Mall in Clarksville, Tennessee -- along with the "thanks, but no thanks" message the mom received in response.

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"I submitted this photo to my local mall's annual Mother's Day photo contest, and this was the response I received," the mom writes on Breastfeeding Mama Talk. "I feel so defeated. I have been fighting this fight for far too long."

Breastfeeding mom's pic was denied in Mother's Day contest
Breastfeeding Mama Talk/Facebook

"We are so sorry we cannot accept this photo," the Governor's Square Mall's response reads. "Although it is tasteful, we have received some photos of this nature that have not been tasteful. To keep things fair, we have decided not to accept any breastfeeding photos. Would you mind submitting another photo? We apologize for any inconvenience!"

I'm sorry, my mind drew a blank at the thought of what a "tasteful" breastfeeding photo is. Obviously, there's no problem with tandem nursing -- or a mother who isn't covered up to the neck.

So ... what's the issue?

As the women behind Breastfeeding Mama Talk so perfectly state in their first response to Governor's Square Mall's actions (we'll get to the second soon -- just you wait), "How can you run a Mother's day contest and deny a photo of a mom doing one of the most motherly acts a mom could do?"

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To add insult to an already f*cked-up situation, Governor's Square Mall decided to release a statement about breastfeeding that only dug a deeper hole with its backhanded "praise" of nursing mothers.

Governor's Square Mall Facebook post
Governor's Square Mall/Facebook

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To say people weren't happy with this mall's "we warmly welcome nursing moms but don't want your breastfeeding photos" response would be putting it nicely. Folks are pissed, and they're cracking their knuckles to go to bat for this mom.

Facebook comment Governor's Square Mall
Governor's Square Mall/Facebook

Ain't that the damn truth? (Sorry.)

Facebook comment Governor's Square Mall
Governor's Square Mall/Facebook

One mom was so disappointed with this mall's actions that she asked for her photo to be withdrawn from the contest, to stand in solidarity with her fellow breastfeeding sister.

Facebook comment Governor's Square Mall
Governor's Square Mall/Facebook

Breastfeeding Mama Talk also chimed in on the mall's public statement and expressed disappointment in how Governor's Square Mall handled the situation:

In your attempt to 'consider people' and 'not offend people,' you have offended a whole community of breastfeeding mothers. There is no difference between a mom breastfeeding in your mall and that same mom submitting a breastfeeding photo in your mall's MOTHER'S DAY photo contest. By you denying these breastfeeding photos, you are sending a loud and clear message that you do not support breastfeeding. Maybe this is not what you meant to do, but sadly, it is what you are doing.

Yup, that'll do it.

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I'm going to mark my calendar right now, as I can only hope (and pray) no mom will have to deal with this craziness next year -- and that we, as a society, can stop making such a big deal about public breastfeeding and breastfeeding photos ... because it shouldn't be a big deal in the first place, especially when it comes to a Mother's Day contest.

I don't know this mama, but I hope Angel realizes she's not alone. There are many breastfeeding mothers and advocates among us who are fighting for change. And, though the journey seems long, I'm confident we'll get to a point where the sight of a breastfeeding mother doesn't spark a negative reaction.

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