Alyssa Milano has a bone to pick with those taking offense to mothers breastfeeding in public or posting photos of themselves nursing their children on social media.
The 42-year-old actress and mother of two is outraged that, as the population has grown more accustomed to the sexualizing of a woman’s breasts in the mainstream media, it seems to have grown less tolerant of seeing them for their intended use: feeding another human being.
In early September, Milano posted a throwback photo of herself in the hospital nursing her then-newborn daughter Elizabella as a way to celebrate the little girl’s first birthday.
“Happy Birthday, my beautiful Elizabella,” captioned Milano. “You’ve taught me that my heart has no end. You were the missing piece to my soul. Thank you for choosing me.”
Just one day after the post, Milano addressed her concern over the breastfeeding backlash with “Entertainment Tonight.”
“Everyone’s fine with [Miley Cyrus’] nipples being out, but if I post a picture of me breastfeeding it’s like, you know, craziness,” she told “Entertainment Tonight” while discussing Cyrus’ nearly-nude appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards. “You know, I think people are more comfortable sexualizing breasts than relating them to what they were made for, which is feeding another human. It’s crazy.”
This isn’t the first time Milano has raised issue with the court of public opinion regarding this topic. In April of this year, she lashed out at Heathrow Airport via Twitter after airport officials confiscated breastmilk she pumped on the plane.
According to the Heathrow Airport guidelines on its website regarding baby food and/or milk, the airport asks that travelers carry only what they need for the flight. A blogger mom apparently experienced a similar issue at the airport in 2011 when her pumped milk was also confiscated. Per the UK Department of Transport, travelers can carry breast milk through security and are allowed quantities larger than 100ml if necessary.
Milano isn’t the only actress to support breastfeeding via social media. While in Bangkok filming her latest movie “All I See Is You,” 27-year-old actress Blake Lively posted a photo on Instagram while breastfeeding her six-month-old daughter, James.
Lively captioned the photo, “The PERKS of breastfeeding. #YesThatsRiceInMyHair #BlondevsBronde #BrondeJamesBronde.”
Model Gisele Bündchen has made her stance on the topic perfectly clear, even irking fellow moms while advocating on behalf breastfeeding. She declared in 2010 to “Harper’s Bazaar UK” that “there should be a worldwide law … that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months.”
Three years later in 2013, Bündchen posted a photo on Instagram of herself breastfeeding her one-year-old daughter Vivian while being primped by three stylists for a photo shoot.
It’s a lovely photo, but in an era where breastfeeding is such a hot button issue – what with Facebook banning photos of it while TIME magazine uses them to sell magazines– it is much more than that. This snapshot of Bündchen doing what she thinks women should be required to do, but that law and custom in the U.S. don’t really support, is being seen as a controversial one. — Lisa Belkin on Huffingtonpost.com in 2013
Actress Kristen Bell added humor to the mix in 2014 when she Tweeted a photo of her “new backstage routine” while hosting the CMT Music Awards in 2014.
No, it wasn’t makeup or accessories – it was a breast pump (perhaps the same one she posed with at her baby shower earlier this year).
Some actresses have addressed this issue through gritted teeth while others have done so with humor, but the bottom line is that celebrity moms are coming out is droves to support the normalization of one of the most natural occurrences between a mother and child, and they should all be applauded for doing so.