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Image courtesy of Ashley Nicole’s Instagram.

Living in a world where scantily clad women are praised endlessly for their assets and strips of strategically placed lycra are sold as dresses, one would assume that the sight of a breast wouldn’t cause such an uproar. However, if said mammary is being used to feed a child then that my friends, is when exposure has gone too far. After model Ashley Nicole (above), girlfriend to Miami Dolphin, Phillip Wheeler, posted a photo of her breastfeeding Instagram out came the hens and hyenas to rain on her proud mommy parade. Showcasing her child latched onto her breast while she stood in sunglasses clearly on her way out of the door, a feeling many mothers know all too well of being prepared to depart, when their baby just needs one last thing. But the backlash Ashley received about the photo is what sent me, the internet, and Twitter into a tailspin.

Breastfeeding is always surrounded by controversy; for instance, supermodel Gisele Bundchen took a photo nursing her child and it turned into a media frenzy or the mother who was recently called a “tramp” in Oregon for breastfeeding her baby in public and told to take it to the bathroom. What gives me pause is how entitled people feel. As if their discomfort, personal feelings or embarrassment gives them the right to interrupt a mother and berate her for simply doing what parents do – take care of their children. The reaction to which people seem to have when a woman whips out a boob to feed a hungry baby baffles me most, because this is what breasts are intended to do. Yet it isn’t the sight of breasts that makes most nervous, it is the sight of seeing a baby attached to one. I note this because, there are, across a myriad of social networks accounts whose sole purpose is posting and reposting photos of women in bikinis, tiny shorts and crop tops where the under cleavage is visible, and ladies half dressed. This action however is seen as a pat on the back to these women for being “sexy”. Further confirming that the public is comfortable with women being sexualized but when they showcase anything that in any way is jeopardizing to that sexiness, there is an issue.

Motherhood is often a thankless job, rewarding in many ways, but often very thankless. As a mother you learn to do what needs to be done wherever, whenever, however. As a mother I have experienced a hungry, crying baby whose stomach is empty and needs to be tended to. In that moment my instincts kicked in, out came a blanket, down came breast flap, there went the crying baby. My concern was not for the people who surrounded me, not the eyes that may fall upon my exposed chest but simply on ensuring my baby was satiated. Honestly, the blanket was for them, not me.

Read more at where the author, Leslie, talks pop culture, motherhood and everything in between.”

Find Leslie on Twitter @Hautemommie and on YouTube on “Let Leslie Tell It.”

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