Why Are Y’all Mad? Breastfeeding College Graduate Shamed On The Internet

June 9, 2014  |  

If you’ve been on Facebook in the past few days, you may have seen this picture of Karlesha Thurman breastfeeding her daughter during her college graduation from California State University Long Beach.

Thurman, 25, posed for a picture while she was breastfeeding her daughter in her cap and gown. She shared it with the Facebook page, Black Women Do Breastfeed and they posted the picture with the following caption: “Congratulations mama!!! Giving her daughter more gifts than one! Isn’t this beautiful?!” And the hate started streaming in from there. While comments on the initial Facebook page were supportive and encouraging, once the photo went viral, the opinions ran the gamut from ignorant to hateful.

But Thurman stuck by her decision. And instead, when Black Women Do Breastfeed asked if her if she wanted them to remove the photo, she responded like this.

“I found out I was pregnant my last semester of college, had my daughter one week into my last semester, she was my motivation to keep going, so me receiving my BA was OUR moment, so glad I captured the moment and so glad you shared it with the world so thank you again.”


As one Twitter follower asked, why are black women’s bodies so often regarded as vulgar? And furthermore, why was it ok for Rihanna to walk out in a sheer, see though dress, nipples completely exposed for no other reason than to make a statement but it was wrong for Thurman to FEED HER BABY (Yes, I’m screaming) and take a picture while doing so? (For the record, I wasn’t offended by Rihanna’s dress either. It’s just been done so many times.) The point is breasts are cool for sex and male titillation but feeding a child? Naw, son. As someone who’s usually unfazed by nudity in general, I find it sad that we’ve sexualized breasts so much that we can no longer see them being used for their natural function without turning it into a cause for outrage. Even if you believe women should use a blanket when they feed, let that be the decision you make with your own children and let Kharlesha and women like her live her life and do what she feel is best for her daughter.

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