So let me tell you one thing. It’s all because of porn. And baby formula. There, I said it.
Now you’re probably sitting there, choking on your coffee, asking yourself since when do I write about porn, and what does this have to do with harmless, sometimes life-saving baby formula ?
Ok, so think about this for a minute. Around 100 years ago, nobody had ever heard of porn. There were no formula-fed babies either. Of course most women didn’t nurse in restaurants, but they didn’t hide in toilets either, and most people would have seen their mother nursing a baby, or their sister, or a neighbour. It was normal to use breasts for feeding babies. Every one was doing it. It was as obvious as the sun above us.
At the same time, porn didn’t exist. People didn’t see naked bodies a lot. Actually exposing a knee or an ankle was quite sexy. Some rich and educated men had access to the first nude photos or could find some kinky literature, but there was no media bombarding them with images of half-naked bodies.
What they did see were women nursing their babies. Using their body parts: breasts. And if they saw a knee, they got excited.
And here we are now. The twenty-first century, progress and all that…
Women are hiding in nursing rooms or behind covers to feed their babies. If they don’t, they risk being told that they disturb, that they are offending others or that they are seeking attention. At the same time, you can walk around in shorts that show your butt. Media that are heavily influenced by porn are showing erotic images everywhere you look. Women in underwear are the ultimate images that sell it all: from cars to cosmetics. And porn aesthetics shape our behaviour.
Why no, you say, you are by no means influenced by porn, you don’t watch it; you don’t approve of it! Well, the images in which young women in their underwear pose for a perfume or apparel ad are influenced by porn. Wanting to buy these items after viewing these ads means that you are influenced by porn. We all are. Shaving one’s bikini area demonstrates the influence of the porn industry which first started it. It’s mainstream culture that is responsible for over-sexualizing women’s bodies in general, and their breasts in particular.
The funny thing is that the stereotypically appealing breast shape in Western culture is the one of a breast full of milk. How ironic. Porn stars, actresses, and women who believe that they to need to be sexy above all go under the knife to have breasts that look just like the breasts of a nursing, full-of-milk mom. Yet full-of-milk mom is not supposed to show her breasts any more. She should hide.
Of course, she has the choice to bottle feed in public like all women do in media, in movies, tv series. Do we see nursing mom breastfeeding on TV? Not really. So why should we see them in real life?
That’s why I say that it’s all because of porn and formula. Porn has over-sexualized our bodies and influenced mass media. The existence of baby formula has allowed people the choice to switch to a “decent” way of feeding.
And the generation that was bottle fed doesn’t have the reference that the generations before did. They are not used to seeing women nurse because they weren’t. They didn’t see their mothers, aunts and neighbours nurse. They learned to believe that breasts are for sex and that milk comes from a bottle.
That’s why it’s all because of porn and baby formula. Breastfeeding in public is called offensive because of porn and baby formula. And I refuse to agree with that. I refuse to feel like I’m doing something wrong or socially incorrect by simply feeding my baby in the oldest, simplest and most natural way possible.
I feel that it’s a black path of history that we’re walking now. I know that one day it’ll be only history, but for now I feel that we need to normalize breastfeeding.
Nurse in public, especially around kids so they’ll grow up seeing women’s bodies as fantastic life-giving, food-producing organisms rather than sexual objects that exist to please others.