I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now

June 22, 2010

So apparently Kim Kardashian has been saying – or, rather, tweeting – some silly things about breastfeeding. You know,the usual stuff: ew, some woman has her boobies out, she should cover up, yuck, blech, ugh, etc. This, of course, begs a very simple – I would, and will, argue, too simple – response: HYPOCRITE AHOY! Who is Kim Kardashian, she who has profited from her oft-exposed bosoms, to demand that a nursing mother cover herself while nursing? Does Kim Kardashian not show more booby on one page in Us Magazine than the average nursing mom does in a year? Let us all point our fingers! BOO, KIM KARDASHIAN! BOO! You cover up!

This makes us feel better, of course. It’s gratifying when the biases and hypocrisies of cultural discourse come neatly packaged in such transparent wrapping. All we have to do is point at them and shout LOOK! Kim Kardashian recoils from a nursing boob as crumbs from the cake that she has and is eating spill ironically into her own exposed bosom! It’s so much easier to point at such an example of cultural hypocrisy in action – or to the 140 character tweet that describes it – than it is to lower one’s voice to a serious register and intone: hark ye listeners and note well the dissonance! Society accepts – nay, celebrates and rewards! – the exposing of boobies as sexually desirable subjects of the cultural gaze, but rejects exposure of boobies when such exposure denies or precludes titillation! Oppressed wymmins of the world, unite and revolt! I personally find that no one really listens to me when I do that.

But here’s the thing: it’s too easy (it also veers dangerously into slut-shaming territory, but I’ll come back to that). It reduces the argument to HA! Just that – HA! – with a footnote stating TOLD YOU SO! Which doesn’t really get us anywhere, because – as anyone who has ever argued with a four year old will tell you – neither HA! nor TOLD YOU SO! resolve questions or controversies.

We know that there’s a double cultural standard when it comes to women’s bodies. We know that nursing mothers continue to experience public shaming while the Kim Kardashians of the world expose their cleavage with (for the most part) impunity. We know that our culture promotes the sexualization of women and girls and that it disdains any aspects of womanhood (weight, reproductive cycles, childbirth, nursing, aging, etc) that do not lend themselves to sexualization, or that problematize such sexualization (childbirth and nursing do this, arguably, inasmuch as they assert non-sexual functions – some might say, counter-sexual [hard to fetishize boobs or nethers when an infant's head is in the way] – for sexualized parts.) The real question is, what are we going to do about it? And – arguably more importantly – how are we going to do something about it without rejecting those aspects of sexuality that we value, and without belittling each other?

I wasn’t going to write about Kim Kardashian’s unfortunate tweets for this very reason: I wasn’t sure how to comment without falling into the trap that I’m describing. I get outraged when I hear about nursing-shaming, and my impulse is always to shout loudly and slap hands. And rightly so, I think: we won’t see an end to nursing-shaming unless we persist in calling it out wherever we see it. But in this case I was concerned that my outrage at Kim Kardashian’s nursing-shaming would tip too easily into counter-shaming, into some variation on slut-shaming, into me wagging my fingers and deploring her boobs and her cleavage and her seeming inability to keep her puppies contained and who wants to see the great bare prow of her chest spilling over onto a plate of carbonara, readers of Cracked.com and Maxim excluded?

Because, why should I deplore that? Why should I suggest – even by implication – that she cover up? Because that’s what it amounts to, doesn’t it, when we snort derisively at any woman baring her cleavage for fun or profit? When we assert the moral superiority of nursing in public to wearing a low-cut shirt in public? I’ll be the first to say that I think that nursing babies is more important, more necessary, more deserving of public support than is exposing one’s breastal units to sunlight and the public gaze, but I don’t know that I want my right to nurse in public to come at the cost of Kim Kardashian’s, or any woman’s, right to feel comfortable dressing however she likes and to not face censure for doing whatever it is that she does that causes us to shout YO HYPOCRITE when she expresses discomfort with the exposed nursing boob.

Because, I think that we need to have it both ways. Or, that we should want to have it both ways. Maybe not to the extent that we covet the Kardashian style credo – I certainly don’t, and I cling to the (possibly hypocritical) hope that my daughter won’t, either – but at least to such a degree that we’re comfortable acknowledging that while nursing boobs are awesome, sexy boobs are awesome, too, and that there’s not necessarily anything counter-feminist or counter-maternalist or counter-lady-power-in-general about that. Maybe this is too much to hope for in a culture where the sexualization of women’s bodies has been taken to absurd and oppressive extremes, extremes that have served to make us wary, in some degree, of anything that gives any ground to that sexualization, I don’t know.

What I do know – or, at least, suspect – is that reducing debates about public breastfeeding to ‘Smart Feminists And Noble Mothers Against Scantily Dressed Skank-Hos Who Don’t Realize They’re Oppressed By Their Heaving Cleavage’ obscures what’s really at stake in this issue: our right and freedom to define the terms and practices of our own womanhood, and to not only resist but reject such false, culturally-imposed dichotomies as Madonna/Whore, Smarty-Pants Feminist/Unthinking Tart, Dutiful Asexual Mom/Lusty Young Woman. Because I don’t know about you, but I’m much more complicated than that. And I like my boobs in a whole variety of ways, that includes their life-sustaining baby-feeding superpower but also their pleasing appearance (they cut a smaller profile post-nursing, but are nonetheless charming and also indispensable as sweater-fillers) and their none-too-insignificant role as (forgive me) sexual playthings, and I’m not comfortable with any discourse that suggests that they can only be one or some of these at once. And I worry that when these discussions get oversimplified (Bad Tarty Lady With Unseemly Cleavage Disses Noble And Totally Unsexy Nursing Boobs, Lo The Hypocrisy) we promote a discourse that does exactly that. Sexy Boobs Bad; Nursing Boobs Good. Nursing Mom Good; Cleavage-Barer Bad. Babies On Boobs Good; Tight T-Shirt On Boobs, Bad. Why can’t all those things be good? Why can’t all those things co-exist? (An aside, that maybe warrants further discussion: is the nursing boob never sexy? The nursing mom never alluring? Why does the very idea seem to cause discomfort? Does it compromise our cause? At what cost?) Why can we not have our sexy cakes and our nurturing-mama cakes and eat them, too?

I’m not suggesting that we let Kim Kardashian off the hook for shaming nursing moms, which is exactly what she did when she made a public statement to the effect that she found public nursing disgusting, nor am I suggesting that we accept the sexualization of women and girls uncritically. And I don’t know if it’s really possible to reconcile the polarized stereotypes that I outlined above. But I do think that we serve our cause, and ourselves, by resisting the temptation – and believe me, I understand that temptation well – to perpetuate those stereotypes. And by reminding ourselves that we are, and Kim Kardashian is (don’t laugh), complicated creatures, that we are infinite and contain multitudes, that we can be and should be many contradictory things all at once, and this is our strength, and our magic.

That, and that our boobs are awesome.

(Am I right? What do you think? Should we just keep chasing her with pitchforks, mocking her cleavage? Or?)

(And I’m not the only one who thought that her own nursing boobs were kind of sexy, right? I mean, after they recovered from being ravaged and bleeding and all. No?)

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    Maria June 22, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I don’t really have anything to add because you said it all. So, I just wanted to say that you said it all.

    Mama in the City June 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    This is a well thought out post with some great insight into a much hashed out topic. What I am really curious about is wondering if Kim K now understands the boob issue in a whole new way? Does she get it or is she still floundering in her cover up story? Sometimes ignorance is based on lack of experience and exposure and in her case I am betting that is part of it.
    .-= Mama in the City´s last blog ..Week 4 Celebrations! Pop The Champagne Please! =-.

    Catherine June 22, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    @Mama in the City, I’d like to think that this whole thing has made her rethink things, but I don’t know. I imagine that it can’t help that people yelled at her for her own brand of boob-baring, which no doubt made her defensive, which I think fuels the kind of binary oppositions that worry me here (nursing boobies = natural/good, sexy boobies = unnatural/bad).

    But we can hope, right?
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now =-.

    JIll @BabyRabies June 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Personally, I celebrate boobs in many ways. I love me a trip to Hooters, I’m not going to lie. I can respect a nice rack when I see it. I have no problem with Kim showing off her breasts however she sees fit. She’s hot. They’re hot. It’s a hot combo. I do, however, hate the hypocrisy of it all that comes from both sides of the fence. The bare it all types who find breastfeeding in public “disgusting” and the breastfeeding in public type who bash those who rock a good push up with a v-neck. And I just think, for this instance, for me, it was about being mad at the first side described above. At the same time, I get your point.

    I will admit that I got caught up in the anger it brought out in me, got in a bit of a twitter cat fight with an expectant mom who argued she “didn’t care to see that” and confidently declared that she will breastfeed her baby in private and pump bottles for public. What I should have done was taken a few deep breaths and tried to educate her, talk to her calmly about breastfeeding, legal rights and perhaps tell her that it will be okay if she finds that pumping a bottle before she goes out every time is hard to do, that she can always find support in other women and I hope she comes to the conclusion after having the baby that she can comfortably nurse in public because it’s her right. Instead, though, I tapped at my keyboard like an angry chicken and then unfollowed her. Not constructive. I realize that, and I regret it.
    .-= JIll @BabyRabies´s last blog ..Potty Training in Progress =-.

    Her Bad Mother June 22, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Oh, I got mad in exactly the same way. I think that the impulse is understandable, and I think that there should be some calling out. I just wanted to temper my reaction, and be aware of how some of it would be directed, and how that can undermine the larger cause. But I totally empathize with everyone who came out swinging; I had those same urges.

    Rusti June 22, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    well said – I couldn’t agree more, and I guess I’ll put down my pitchfork… for now. You are amazing, and so well-written Catherine… you continually inspire me. Also – I was pretty darn impressed with my bewbies (ya know, AFTER the bleeding & all that you mentioned) – and now that we’re weaned I’m incredibly sad that they are smaller than they were pre-preggo… which was pretty small to start… I want those things back. :)
    .-= Rusti´s last blog ..listening… =-.

    Marinka June 22, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    I would so agree if we weren’t talking about Kim Fucking Kardashian. But since we are, I have no trouble with the simple “HA!”

    Her Bad Mother June 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I laughed out loud at this.

    Manda June 22, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I shoudl probably state up front that I have no particular side in the breastfeeding fight; I’m a childless, single 25 year old. Nor am I a Kardashian fan; I’ve never watched a single episode of any of the shows. But what I find interesting is that all 4 articles I have seen about this today either ignore completely or downplay the fact that Kim also tweeted that this mother changed her babies diaper on the table in the middle of the restaurant. Kim further clarified that her disgust was mostly at the changed diaper.

    Now obviously, the clarification came after getting a lot of criticism, so I tend to take that with a grain of salt. But I also think that were I eating in a restaurant and observed a dirty diaper being changed on a nearby table, I would be grossed out. And that would likely color how I responded to everything else that mother did.

    It just seems like once again important aspects of a situation are being overlooked. Not that shaming nursing mother’s is okay, it isn’t. But neither is treating a restaurant as you would your own dining room. It seems to me that both parties were in the wrong to at least some degree in a minor incident. It just doesn’t seem like a big deal. Feel free to tell me why I’m wrong though :)

    Her Bad Mother June 22, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    I think that it’s fair to set aside the issue of the diaper-changing (which is a topic in itself), seeing as her tweets pretty clearly expressed disgust at the nursing (to the extent that she clarified in a follow-up tweet that she doesn’t disdain bf’ing, just that she thinks that it should be COVERED UP.) So it’s right to call her out on that, I think.

    JIll @BabyRabies June 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    @Her Bad Mother, Yeah, I agree. The fact that she even came back with the “my sister covers up!” tweet is enough to distinguish that a good portion of the disgust was directed at the breastfeeding.
    .-= JIll @BabyRabies´s last blog ..Potty Training in Progress =-.

    Ratchel33 June 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    @JIll @BabyRabies, At least they are enlightened enough to breastfeed. Half the battle is one and we can sigh with relief that at some level there has been understanding of the multipurposefulness of our bountiful busoms.

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    @Ratchel33, there’s something to that point, that we shouldn’t forget, that her sister DOES breastfeed and that she’s been vocal about supporting it. It doesn’t let Kim off the hook for making remarks about covering up, but it is *something*

    Carol @ LactivistLeanings June 22, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    @Manda, I think something else that plays in here is a fairly regular manifestation of the “Public BREASTFEEDING! Ewww! Squick!” where breastfeeding is lumped in with taking a dump or peeing on a tree. I know part of my massive annoyance was with the coupling – once again – of breastfeeding and pooping/peeing (there were bonus points awarded since the breastfeeding baby was the pooper/pee-er in the tweet).

    I agree with you that changing the baby on the table was unsanitary (and most people I saw responding did as well). However, separating the two issues allows conversation to occur around the topic of breastfeeding/NIP without everyone getting derailed into a discussion of hygiene and changing dirty diapers (which I’ve seen happening elsewhere).

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    @Carol @ LactivistLeanings, the pairing of breastfeeding with, erm, toilet functions is especially problematic, because it’s just so distressingly common to hear nursing compared with public urination and the like. And I haven’t really seen much discussion of that, in those threads where people go off on the diaper-changing and try to distinguish it.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Ice Cream Wishes And Waffle Cone Dreams =-.

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    @Carol @ LactivistLeanings, also! – although this really isn’t the place for the discussion – my back does go up a little bit at wholesale rejection of the public diaper changing as a terrible, uncivil thing. How many parents have found themselves stuck somewhere without a washroom at hand, or a change table (in which case, do you put baby on dirty bathroom floor?) Which is not to say that a dining table is an acceptable place, but the condemnation of public diaper changing generally has struck me as a *touch* insensitive.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Ice Cream Wishes And Waffle Cone Dreams =-.

    kim June 26, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    @Catherine, I’m with you. Make changing tables mandatory in restaurants, and we won’t have to change babies in dining rooms.

    Kristen June 23, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    @Carol @ LactivistLeanings, A few months back, I heard someone (don’t recall who) make the following obvious-yet-easily-obscured point: the proper analog to public breastfeeding is not public urination–it’s public EATING.

    Wish it were more obvious to more people.
    .-= Kristen´s last blog ..Ask and You Shall Receive =-.

    Elizabeth Flora Ross June 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    My nursing boobs WERE sexy. My post nursing boobs? Not so much! I was lucky; I nursed in public (w/a cover up) and never received any flack. In fact, I was given praise and encouragement by complete strangers. But I do think our society has a long way to go on this issue. You raise some interesting points. Hopefully, it will spark a good discussion…
    .-= Elizabeth Flora Ross´s last blog ..Reading is fundamental =-.

    Maria June 22, 2010 at 1:23 pm

    All I know is that I’m glad I was LEGALLY PROTECTED when it came to choosing to nurse my sons in public. I just weaned my 18 month old this month, and my heart hurts over it. These issues will always be very important to me.
    .-= Maria´s last blog ..In the Span of an Hour =-.

    Catherine June 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    @Maria, oh, me too. The right to nurse publicly is pretty well-protected in Canada, and that made all the difference for me, in more than a few moments.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now =-.

    Carol @ LactivistLeanings June 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    @Maria, Back when they started passing these laws my head hurt that they were even necessary. Now I wish the straggling US states would just get on the bandwagon already (Hear that OH US Federal Gov??? get busy with H.R.2819 while they are doing their thing statewise). So many moms are like you and have confidence to NIP because they know they are legally protected (even though I still think it’s a sad, sad thing that we live in a culture that *needs* these laws).

    selena@howaboutcookie June 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    great treatise of the complexities of double standards/women’s rights/boobies/all of the above.

    My thing is, I’m wondering how to reconcile these things for my boys. When they are exposed to KK’s (or other such) bounty, will they see a woman’s right to free expression or the oversimplified discourse of boobery? As long as there are lazy-thinking men in this world, we have a long way to go. So we have a long way to go.

    I agree that a woman is a many-splendored thing, and our complexity and seeming multiple contradictions is our strength, and in my gut, I believe our God-given gift.
    .-= selena@howaboutcookie´s last blog ..husband, father, friend. =-.

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    @selena@howaboutcookie, oh, I know. I worry about that exact thing. I worry a LOT.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Ice Cream Wishes And Waffle Cone Dreams =-.

    Miss Tricky June 22, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I find this whole post to be brilliant! But just one thing- When I read that tweet I clearly saw mention of changing a diaper on a table in a restaurant…wasn’t that supposed to be the eew part?

    I know that later she mentioned that she thought a cover-up was required, but I have to admit I sort of agree with her.

    All I can say is that were I seated in a restaurant betwixt an uncovered, nursing mother at one table and a scantily clab, boobs on display woman at the other I would want them BOTH to cover it up a little. As a woman who breastfed (albeit brielfy) I champion a woman’s right to do so where ever she pleases just like as a one-time young strumpet I champion a woman’s right to put her non-lactating tatas on display.

    But I guess above all else I champion a person’s right to have whatever opinion they choose about either.
    .-= Miss Tricky´s last blog ..Can’t Trust That Day… =-.

    Catherine June 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    @Miss Tricky, see, for me, what’s worth championing above all else is our right to do with our boobies what we please. The right to have an opinion about that, sure – but the very great problem with people (especially high-profile people like Ms. Kardashian) expressing the opinion that public nursing is disgusting is that that SHAMES nursing moms. And for some moms (not least those suffering from PPD or other anxiety-related issues) such shaming can drive them indoors, prevent them from leaving home, make them afraid of mothering in public. OR it discourages women from nursing to begin with. So there’s a cost there, and on that I don’t think is justifiable in the service of freedom of expression.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now =-.

    Carol @ LactivistLeanings June 22, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    @Catherine, They might also wean earlier than they would otherwise.

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 9:22 am

    @Carol @ LactivistLeanings, absolutely – I’ve known women who did so.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now =-.

    a June 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    I think it’s just fine to criticize her hypocrisy. It doesn’t negate her right to flaunt whatever she wants to flaunt. It negates her right to complain about anyone else doing it.
    .-= a´s last blog ..Homes =-.

    Her Bad Mother June 22, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I’m fine with criticizing her hypocrisy, too. What I’m uncomfortable with is the slide from criticizing the hypocrisy (and the underlying social hypocrisy that fuels it) to criticizing her image, sexuality, etc.

    Lisa June 22, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I think you are spot on and I love that you gave a reasoned response instead of just joining the flamethrowers out there.

    I do think this would have been more powerful if you start off saying you support women wearing their breasts however they see fit, whether it’s nursing or jiggling. As written, you really have to do a lot of reading to get to that part. I know a blog is not the same as an essay, and this more reflects your path of thinking, but I think your message gets a little lost in there.

    Her Bad Mother June 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    I have to reward people somehow for making it all the way to the end ;)

    as if June 22, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Did you fail to finish reading? She further complained about the mother changing the baby’s diaper *on the table* Perhaps, like me, her issue is not with boobs or other body parts, but with bodily fluids which are always unwelcome in public. Is any server’s swipe with a wet rag going to make you happy to eat your lunch off the same table after that mother leaves? I know I don’t want to set my glass down in a puddle of your child’s poo any more than I want to set it down in drool, snot, or breast milk.

    Catherine June 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    @as if, as I said above, I think that we can set this aside, because she snarked public nursing as a separate matter (one that she actually expanded upon in a further tweet.) So, whatever one thinks of public diaper changing (which is another subject entirely – there are few parents who haven’t found themselves trapped somewhere without a change table, but poopy diapers on dining tables is certainly ick), her nursing-shaming remains what it is.
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now =-.

    Beth June 23, 2010 at 11:27 am

    @Catherine, until the clarification tweet, I was sympathetic because I thought she was commenting on the diaper changing on the table rather than the nursing. Then she “clarified” and I no longer agreed with her because nursing in public usually shows less boob than she shows on a regular basis, and even if it doesn’t, even if you have Mama Flash who lets it all hang out all the time, um, so what?

    Those Puritans have a heck of a lot to answer for, you know? We get so hung up on the little things that the big things get lost.

    I stress a lot over body image and how I’m going to model good body image for my daughter when I don’t have it. I stress about encouraging her to breastfeed (when it’s time) without appearing to be a hypocrite because I didn’t (though not by my own choosing). That’s how this all gets tangled up for me. How much of this is body image and how much of it is political and how much of it is puritanical hatred of the female form?

    ARGH. I have grading to do. Thanks for the ideas and for getting my brain in a bit of a muddle.

    Danielle June 23, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    @as if, I have to say, I would far rather have my cup set down in a pool of breastmilk than any of the other substances you mentioned. And even with drool or snot, a quick cleanup would leave me with no qualms whatsoever. Poo, I give you, but really these things are different orders of magnitude.

    liz June 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    So as if, what about a bit of spilled frappachino? Is that okay with you? Because the milk in that came from a breast too. Granted, it came from a cow’s breast, but how is that any different?

    It’s a bodily fluid, yet somehow it’s more acceptable than the actual fluid our babies should really be drinking.
    .-= liz´s last blog ..What he’s reading on his own =-.

    MFA Mama June 22, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    And this is why I love you! I didn’t realize exactly what about the whole Kardashian boobie-debacle made me so sad, even as I snickered at some of the more brilliant posts out there calling her on the hypocrisy in ways that also engaged in slut-shaming. I mean yes, of course it’s sad to me when a (for better or worse) public figure comes down against public breastfeeding and gives the nursing-shamers grist for their mills, but something about the backlash was really bugging me and you hit the nail on the head. It’s the unspoken advancement of the presumed dichotomy, the notion that you’re EITHER maternal or sexy (and all of the restrictive, binary notions of what women are or aren’t, can and can’t be, ought and ought not be that any such idea encourages), a “good” or “bad” woman that has been making my skin crawl, until I read your words on the subject.

    Yes, to all of this YES.

    Also I think nursing boobs are kinda sexy, hell yes, and always admired my own. Yay, boobs! Boo, patriarchy!
    .-= MFA Mama´s last blog ..catch-up and a new family member =-.

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

    @MFA Mama, we need that on a t-shirt: YAY BOOBS! BOO PATRIARCHY!
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now =-.

    hydrogeek June 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    @Catherine, @MFA mama, I was going to write my own comment, but this one is too good. My nursing boobs were AWESOME for my kids AND for the sexy, and I want one of those shirts!
    .-= hydrogeek´s last blog ..Geek in the Making =-.

    Grazi June 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Sorry but i couldn’t help the laugh when you said Kim Kardashian is a complex creature. That’s just too much for my brain to process.
    As for the issue of not chaming her for he “sexy” boobs exposure, i think there should be some limit to hom much boob is exposed indeed, be them sexy or not, unless you agree with total exposure in which case you’re probably reading this from a nudist colony and ew.
    There are plenty of ways to be sexy without overexposure, and most honest men will explain that nuance, so i vote for keeping exposed boobs to us nursing moms.

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 9:25 am

    @Grazi, the thing is, most nursing moms don’t show any more than is shown in a cleavage-revealing top, for the simple reason that the baby’s head is itself a ‘cover’. If we’re talking about the acceptability of flashes of nip, sure, that’s a reasonable limit that shouldn’t be applied to nursing moms but perhaps to everyone else – but otherwise, why shouldn’t sexy boob exposure be okay?
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now =-.

    kgirl June 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    I’m not going to read the previous comments, so forgive me if I’m repeating, but seriously, I am one who tweeted about how twisted and delusional her position is.
    But honestly, it is SO a part of American culture in general. I’m not slamming your average American, really I’m not, but man, that culture is fucked. It’s like there are nothing but extremes – completely repressed on one hand, yet overwrought with objectifying, overloaded sexually explicit imagery and immersion on the other. It’s not surprising that KK thinks bf’ing is objectionable but posing for Playboy or having someone pee on you in a sex tape is not. She comes from a culture that rewards that type of thinking with fame and money and reality tv shows. I just read an article that stated that the US teen pregnancy is 50% – 50%! – higher than Canada’s per capita, yet the official high school cirriculum in the majority of states teaches abstinence as the official sexual health policy. Gay marriage is only legal in FIVE states, nobody wants to see that kind of thing, but people are literally counting down the days until Miley Cyrus turns 18 so she can finally shed her wholesome Disney-produced image and show the world what a smokin hot body she has.
    Honestly, I could bang my head against a Calvin Klein billboard for days and not figure out how so many people can supposrt such a crazy way of thinking. Live and let live, definitely, but Kim Kardashian should give her head, and not just her boobs, a shake for once.

    Her Bad Mother June 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    I totally agree that it’s messed up – I don’t know that Canada gets off hook for that kind of messed-uppedness, but that’s another topic – and that it needs to be interrogated, and how. And as I said, I’m not for one minute suggesting that she go unchallenged. What I am suggesting is that we be careful how we challenge her, such that we don’t feed the very messed up culture that started the whole thing, by perpetuating those binary oppositions (madonna/whore, etc)

    Because, yeah. It is SO messed up.

    caroline June 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Very well said!! I could not agree more!!
    .-= caroline ´s last blog ..how do you … dress your dog? =-.

    Stone Fox June 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    One can say the same thing to Kim K. as one would to an elderly lady if either commented on a nursing mother: Nursing is a beautiful, natural, healthy way to bond with and nourish our babies.

    No need to cross any line into smack-talk about what she, either Kim K. or the elderly lady, might be wearing.

    And I say Yes! Nursing boobs are sexy when they are big and spilling out of your bra. (Not so sexy when they are hard and engorged and you’re shooting milk like you’ve got Nerf Super Soakers hidden in your shirt.)
    .-= Stone Fox´s last blog ..Roller Wonderland =-.

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 9:27 am

    @Stone Fox, way back in the dark age of 2006, at BlogHer, I suffered from engorgement. And I put pasties on them:

    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..I’ve Looked At Boobs From Both Sides Now =-.

    Annie @ PhD in Parenting June 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    This is exactly the point I was trying to make with fewer words and more pictures in my post Covering up is a feminist issue: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2010/01/27/covering-up-is-a-feminist-issue/

    Women should not be told to cover up or to strip down. What to wear and how much to cover or uncover should be entirely up to the woman, whether she is breastfeeding or not.
    .-= Annie @ PhD in Parenting´s last blog ..The Poonish Man =-.

    Her Bad Mother June 22, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I remember that post, and I totally, totally agree (obvz)

    Mamacita June 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    Frankly, all those Kardashian women are so tawdry, nasty, and cheap, anything any of them say should be considered the opposite of normal.

    Nursing mothers are sexy. Fact. Well, unless their boobs are stretched across an entire restaurant table so a nine-year-old boy can suck ‘em while he scarfs down pizza; that scenario just ain’t right. And I’ve seen it. Several times. “Demand feeding” doesn’t mean a kid hopping off his bicycle, running into the house, and demanding some mother’s milk after he tops off his root beer. But I digress.

    You’re right. And what, exactly, are the Kardashians, anyway? They don’t sing, dance, act, create, or enhance the world in any way, yet they’re famous. What’s up with that. Paris Hilton’s 15 minutes must be up, huh.
    .-= Mamacita´s last blog ..Happy Father’s Day, Daddy =-.

    Catherine June 23, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    @Mamacita, “Nursing mothers are sexy. Fact. Well, unless their boobs are stretched across an entire restaurant table…”

    … even then sometimes!
    .-= Catherine´s last blog ..Ice Cream Wishes And Waffle Cone Dreams =-.

    Mandy June 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    I gotta say, I am pro-boobies, on all fronts. I have been known to expose record amounts of cleavage, indulging in the true geekery of the renaissance faires… and I’m currently breastfeeding my second baby. So yes, boobs are great, and I don’t buy into the sexy OR functional idea. Admittedly, some of the sexy attire can make it hard to get at them for nursing purposes, but some makes it easier, so it’s that I tend to opt for. I don’t think KK should be shamed for her body and the choices she makes for it, but for her lack of empathy and her willingness to shame others… I would never criticize her cleavage, so how dare she criticize me feeding my baby?

    And am I the only one who thinks it odd that men’s non-functional breasts are legal to bare but women’s sometimes-functional oftimes-decorative ones are not? I mean, actual LAWS in place to keep women’s breasts at least semi-concealed and thus, well, titillating.

    Her Bad Mother June 22, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Well, it’s legal in Toronto, Canada, for women to bare their breasts, although few do.

    (yay for being pro-boobies!)

    Mandy June 23, 2010 at 11:17 am

    @Her Bad Mother – Sorry, I’m posting from the US, land of confused puritanical laws. And OMG squee, you replied to my comment! *bounces up and down excitedly*

    Motherhood Uncensored June 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    We all contradict ourselves, some more than others *coughKELLYBENSIMONONREALHOUSEWIVEScough*

    I just appreciated the irony and the blatant example of how we’ve still got a long way to go, and plenty more fights to fight.

    Jack June 22, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Some times the best course of action is to follow our children and their response to things that they don’t like.

    How many times do they ignore us and keep doing whatever it is they are doing.

    If I were a woman that is what I would do. I wouldn’t bother fighting about breastfeeding. I’d just do it and ignore the boobs who don’t like it.
    .-= Jack´s last blog ..Stuff I Wrote Recently =-.

    Perfect Girl June 22, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Great comments, but, mainly, I wanted to say how much I appreciated the extreme thought process of yours. This was fabulous and a perfect perfect point.

    Again, the comments, a joy and blast to read.

    So glad you are feeling better and so glad you had the time to write this: it’s great.
    .-= Perfect Girl´s last blog ..Empathic boundaries. =-.

    stacey June 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    I wish you could see me standing up and applauding this. I too want a world where we can have breasts AND boobies. I don’t care what Kim does with her boobies, but I’m going to feed my kids with my breasts when they’re hungry without shame and not care who is looking. I’m not going to cover them up – I don’t eat in the dark either – and when my kids are done with them, they’ll be boobies again. I’m going to be a yummy mummy in every sense.
    .-= stacey´s last blog ..sshainline: LMAO – THAT deserves an award! RT @KathyBuckworth: "Nic you need a toilet bag for camp" Big pause. "Is that what I poo in?" #firsttimetocamp =-.

    Anthony from CharismaticKid June 22, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    I’m a dude and I’m all for nursing, it’s totes natural. What annoys me are the women who want to shove it in the public’s faces like, “YEAH! That’s right! I’m nursing my son right in front of this kid’s birthday party. It’s natural!”

    To me, that’s like the immaturity of PETA when they use shock advertising on the public. It’s not going to make us want to be vegetarian, it’s just making us want you to shut the fuck up.

    Since nursing is still a bit ‘taboo’ in this society, I think the best thing to do is for mom’s to ease it into her daily life. No need to have your son suckling on your teet while you’re ordering a mocha frappe lattechino, but find a corner table and quietly nurse over there.

    If anything, Kim Kardashian gave pro-nursing mom’s a chance to prove themselves, but if they lash back with criticisms and big mouths, it will just make them look dumb and low-value. If you are trying to stand up for something, set a good example for what you represent.
    .-= Anthony from CharismaticKid´s last blog ..Teaching your kid the secret of charisma… Shhh!! – Episode #3 =-.

    Mandy June 23, 2010 at 11:24 am

    @Anthony from CharismaticKid, While I understand what you’re saying, I gotta say as a nursing mom of two, I totally disagree with you. There are times when the only way I’m going to get my chai (rather than my mocha frappe lattechino) is to multitask and order while I’m nursing… or times in a restaurant when, sure, I’d rather just eat, but my baby is going to scream the place down and it seems waaay preferable to just nurse the poor thirst child already. Honest, if I nurse at a party, I don’t have an agenda, and I’m not worrying about who thinks it’s natural or trying to “shove it in the public’s faces.” I’m just feeding my baby.

    PETA uses ads carefully crafted to be as brutal as possible to discourage people from doing something they consider wrong/don’t like. If I took out a billboard waving my nipples around, that would be different, and a subject for other debate as to appropriateness… but breastfeeding my baby is more the equivalent of a PETA member ordering a vegetarian entree at a restaurant. It’s what they think is right and no one has to look if they don’t want to.

    Anthony from CharismaticKid June 23, 2010 at 11:31 am

    @Mandy, Okay, now I’m on your side. Good argument. :)

    Talina of Harvest of Daily Life June 22, 2010 at 9:33 pm

    I am with Mama in the City “Sometimes ignorance is based on lack of experience and exposure and in her case I am betting that is part of it.”

    I was even guilty of feeling uncomfortable with NIP (nursing in public) before I became a nursing mom. Now I celebrate and understand it but before I was just conditioned to not accept it.

    I think in order to make any change in the cultural perceptions we need to make NIP more of a normal thing by just doing it regardless of the shaming. The more people see it and are exposed to it the less unusual it becomes.
    .-= Talina of Harvest of Daily Life´s last blog ..First steps at 361 days old! =-.

    TheFeministBreeder June 22, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Nope – still shaking my Feminist Fists and banging my pitchfork. Why? Because her tweets were the Pot calling the Kettle Bare Chested. We need a Tina Fey Weekend Update skit to the tune of “Really!?!? Really, Kim?!?! YOU have a problem with breast exposure….REALLLLLLY!?!?” (those skits are my fave.) Those who live in half-naked houses shouldn’t throw stones, Kimberly.

    Kim’s tweet(s) are just the latest example of women marginalizing groups of already-heavily-marginalized women. And I get suuuuuper cranky-pants when I see high profile women perpetuating the same tired, oppressive bullsh*t that so many of us spend our lives fighting against. Every time someone spouts ill-informed crap like this, you have the general public shouting “Yeah, cover it up you hag!” and then those of us who actually care about a woman’s legal right to bodily autonomy were just set back a few notches. It’s getting really, really old.

    I’ll set down my pitchfork with Kim sends out a tweet apologizing for her flaming hypocrisy. Until then, I will continue to point out the fact that my nursing boobs have just as much right to be exposed as her non-nursing boobs. I don’t see that as slut-shaming… I see that as common sense. Maybe, just maybe, Kim will wise up and learn something from this.
    .-= TheFeministBreeder´s last blog ..A Birth Plan is More than a Wish List =-.

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 9:00 am

    As I said in the post, I don’t think that we should let her off the hook for this, or deny ourselves the appropriate outrage, or even deny the hypocrisy. What I’m saying is, we need to a) go beyond pointing out the hypocrisy, and b) we need to do so in such a way that doesn’t foster conceptual polarities between the nursing breast and the sexy breast. Pointing out the hypocrisy isn’t slut-shaming; pointing out the hypocrisy while sneering at sexualized boobies *is*.

    Danielle Friedland June 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I don’t care if Kim wants to show off her body in magazines or in public, but I think she needs to realize WHY her sister covers up when she breastfeeds in public. It’s not because Kourtney thinks there’s anything wrong about letting some skin show when breastfeeding – it’s because she doesn’t want paparazzi taking photos of her doing it and then publishing them in US Weekly or Star with captions like “Oops! Kourtney’s Nipple Slip!” She said as much in the recent piece she wrote for CBB that I love her even more for, “I need to try to cover myself while breastfeeding so that no one snaps a picture. If this wasn’t the case, I probably wouldn’t mind as much because my son is my biggest concern. My attitude is, if someone sees a little somethin’ somethin’, don’t look if you don’t like it.” (Btw the irony of the “sponsored by Similac” ads is not lost on me. Thank god I’m not there anymore.)

    Of course, Kim is entitled to her own opinion but not to her own facts. She may PREFER not to see someone breastfeed in public without a cover but that doesn’t mean she’s entitled to that. I don’t know what the laws are in Canada and elsewhere but in the United States, you have the right to breastfeed anywhere you are legally allowed to be (even in a private club or business, but not while breaking and entering heh heh).

    My hope is that when it comes time for Kim to breastfeed her own baby (and hopefully she will, given Kourtney’s enthusiasm and stepdad Bruce’s already demonstrated support), she’ll change her tune and realize that while her breasts nicely fill out a slinky dress, nature had something else in mind for them.
    .-= Danielle Friedland´s last blog ..The Dairy-Free Breastfeeding Mother’s Lament =-.

    Erin June 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    @Danielle Friedland, I don’t know what the laws are in Canada and elsewhere but in the United States, you have the right to breastfeed anywhere you are legally allowed to be

    Not all states, unfortunately. http://www.mothering.com/sites/resources/laws.pdf

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 9:03 am

    ooh, that’s a very interesting point, about the vulnerability of nursing celeb moms to the leering camera (and snickering public eye). I hadn’t thought of that.

    (In Canada, the right to breastfeed publicly is protected implicitly in our Charter Of Human Rights And Freedoms, and explicitly by specific law in some provinces. I don’t think that bandit nursing, however, is one of those protected freedoms ;) )

    Maegan June 22, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    I don’t know that when people are telling Kim to “cover it up” they are suggesting that ALL cleavage baring women should take cover, or ALL women should be relagated to a Victorian-era garb makeover. But it’s like, “Hi, if you have a problem with bare boobs in the A scenario, then you also need to have a problem with them in the B scenario…” It’s not fair for YOU [any you, Kim, me, YOU] to decide when the bare boobs are inappropriate.

    I just think it’s rather ironic that a woman with plenty of bare breasted experience manages to be offended at *bare breasts*.
    .-= Maegan´s last blog ..A Day to Remember… =-.

    Bettina at Best for Babes June 22, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you for giving me a slam-dunk post to link to in responding to the very rare but outspoken lactivist who is offended by the picture on our website. Now I don’t have to write the response, I can just say “here: what she said”. I feel that I should pay you, but as a non-profit we probably can’t afford you. :-)

    Luckily most people love the image and message we are trying to convey, inspired by Demi Moore & Vanity Fair in 1991, that it is possible to be nurturing, glamorous, sexy, feminine and powerful all at the same time, if that is what a woman wants to be.

    Thank you a MILLION.
    .-= Bettina at Best for Babes´s last blog ..Weekly Wrap-Up June 20: The Kardashians, Trusting your body & New IBCLC requirements =-.

    Enid Williams June 22, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Perfect! So perfect. Thank you!

    I love my now-perky nipples (they were always flat pre-nursing), and I love my shrinking boobs (I’m down to an I cup now, and that’s not a typo), and my breastfeeding-aided weight loss is helping me feel sexy too. Now if only the hormones would play along…

    Meredith June 22, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    When I posted a link of another blog that commented on this issue on my Facebook page, a male friend noted that he is “supportive of boobs in public no matter what they’re doing.” And you know, I’m OK with this. I consider nursing a noble use of my breasts AND I think my breasts are sexy. Why not? They are perky and huge right now.

    You’re right, we don’t have to slut shame. Especially because you’re damn skippy I’m going to wear a low-cut shirt AND nurse my baby and get the best of both worlds.

    Kelly June 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    Thank You for the beautiful piece! Perhaps our daughters do have some hope if the majority of their parents are thinking about them as whole people, not just as roles they will play.

    marty June 22, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    In regards to your last question, no, you are not the only one who thinks that. I’ve been mocked before for saying it, but my nursing boobies are hawt, and my husband agrees.

    It doesn’t have to do with some kinky weirdness, it has to do with the fact that pre-nursing, I was always uncomfortable with them. They were huge and never perky, and they made it hard to dress.

    Once I started nursing with them though, they were like freaking rock stars. I was so proud of them, and that confidence made its way into other areas . . . and anymore than that is none of yo’ beeswax ;)
    .-= marty´s last blog ..World’s best zucchini bread recipe =-.

    Princess Mom June 22, 2010 at 11:09 pm

    You make an excellent point. But, I have to draw the line at public displays of bikini waxing like on Kim K’s sisters’ show last week. (Didn’t watch the show, just the commercials.) ‘Twas a bit much to see when flipping through the channels.

    Nichole June 22, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Such a beautifully written, intelligent post.
    As a nursing mother, my gut reaction to the Kardashian tweet was frustration and anger.
    You raise so many excellent points here, however–points that challenge the hypocrisy present on both sides–and both sides are the better for it.

    Thanks for putting this out there and for challenging us to question our own conclusions.

    Kirsten June 22, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    I live in Seattle…a very pro breastfeeding place and I swear to you I can’t go anywhere and nurse without someone giving me a thumbs up…or “good job mama” and while it’s nice and all, most of the time I just want to say “carry on, people! carry on!” lol!
    .-= Kirsten´s last blog ..Winner(s)! =-.

    Jake Aryeh Marcus June 23, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Absolutely love the title of this post. I am annoyed I even need to know who Kim Kardashian is. She is famous precisely for being famous despite accomplishing nothing. How sad we invest time caring about her Tweets. But until reading this post, it hadn’t really occurred to me there was a “Kim should cover up” question. Whether breastfeeding women should cover in public is obviously something breastfeeding advocates write about (my view being the owner of the breasts decides whether she wants to cover them). Whether women who are not breastfeeding should cover their breasts in public is also a question for many. But I don’t think the two questions are related. Apples and oranges – or, in Kardashian’s case, I suppose melons and … different melons. Surgically modified melons.

    And, for the record, if you *did* write a post called ‘Smart Feminists And Noble Mothers Against Scantily Dressed Skank-Hos Who Don’t Realize They’re Oppressed By Their Heaving Cleavage’ I would most definitely read that one too.
    .-= Jake Aryeh Marcus´s last blog ..Will “Gay Friendly” McDonald’s Ad Air in the U.S.? =-.

    Kelly June 23, 2010 at 12:59 am

    Great post, and I hope it’s passed around more and more. I’m tired of nursing-shaming and slut-shaming and the whole bag. You’re right about every word here.

    Jamie June 23, 2010 at 1:45 am

    It’s especially sad that Kim Kardashian made the comments she did, considering her sister, Kourtney, breastfeeds her son.

    Sarah June 23, 2010 at 5:04 am

    You are right. I think nothing would be SEXIER than Kim nursing her future babes (assuming there will be babes for Kim). It saddens me, because she could be the face of both – big, bodacious, beautiful breasts before breastfeeding, and bigger (usually), bodacious breasts FOR breastfeeding.

    And, yes, I am a woman, I USED to think Kim was beautiful, I think all women are beautiful, and I think breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing in the world.

    Catch the Kids June 23, 2010 at 8:17 am

    It’s sad and pathetic that some people would make a mother express and carry bottles (like mums don’t have enough work. Lazy Sods!). The way nature designed things is so much better. Comments made by women such as stupid, stupid Kim Kardashian humiliate mums and make them feel shamed and self-conscious. It’s hard to keep up the good work with that on your back.

    I have witnessed restaurant managers telling nursing mothers to stop. I always tell them they have lost my custom (along with that anyone else I can persuade) for life. And to make sure the nursing mum hears! We can at least do that for each other.

    Breast feeding is beautiful and very, very good for everyone involved. Those involved are…One Mother and One Baby…Everyone else should mind their own business and get a life.
    .-= Catch the Kids´s last blog ..The Writer in Me Cannot Stop Editing. My Inner Demon Says It’s Because I Haven’t Eaten Enough Chocolate. =-.

    Jon Hanna June 23, 2010 at 9:21 am

    I agree with the criticism of the mother/slut dichotomy (perhaps a trichotomy adding those who would not have breasts visible for any reason to make mother/slut/prude), but there’s a similar split in terms of response (particularly, but not solely, male response).

    I think you’re wrong when you say “hard to fetishize boobs or nethers when an infant’s head is in the way” – people can fetishise ANYTHING, and indeed they do.

    What’s hard is to appreciate an attractive view of part of an attractive woman in a non-sexual context that is neither counter-sexualises nor fetishises (first makes non-sexual and then makes sexual again) but just enjoys an erotic (of eros; of life) view without the need to immediately act upon that eroticism.

    And to actually express this in some way? We don’t even have a language for this that doesn’t either attach to the abstract (“beautiful” too often falls on the right-hand side of the body/spirit dichotomy) or the near-pornographic (“hot” can be powerfully reductive).

    The mother/slut/prude trichotomy is matched with a three-way split of reactions, where there is a place for disapproval, a place for disinterested support, and a place for lecherous gaze that purely objectifies the target of that gaze, but no place for anything else.

    The responses are scripted. Even what I said above of “an attractive view of part of an attractive woman” is scripted in terms of expectation of who can fulfil that. Apparently Kim Kardashian fulfils this, though judging from a quick image search (I’d never heard of her before) doesn’t do so for me. This shouldn’t be surprising – we all know this is a subjective matter – but for all the supposed subjectivity and relativism in Western society today, such responses are being assumed to match an objective standard like never before. When this is how people (again, it affects both male and female; gay, straight and bi, but differently) are conditioned to react to women, then they can’t help but reduce the fact of breasts being visible in such a way.

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Perfectly said. Perfectly said.

    And, thinking about it terms of trichotomy, allowing for the ‘un’breasted or ‘de’breasted? YES. Thank you. I worried about how to accommodate that further element of the discussion, but was at a loss, and I failed to return to it. So thank you.

    Jo June 23, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Wonderful post! I really wish we could be supportive and kind to one another as mothers, as women, generally. Even if we inwardly cringe or feel opposed to what another mother/woman does. Why make such a huge public tantrum of it all when it usually doesn’t affect you that much? I wish every famous person with a microphone (be it on any public platform) would use that platform for positive causes and spreading goodness. Don’t they have therapists or life coaches or whatever they’re called to help them express their negativity? All the criticising. Makes me tired.

    Jo June 23, 2010 at 9:41 am

    P.S. And boobs are amazing, powerful things. Nursing or otherwise. It’s the power that scares everyone. Causes riots, etc.

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 10:39 am

    that’s probably what they’re worried about down at the G20 this week – the booby faction, riling up the protestors.

    Christy June 23, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Powerful boobs aside, I’m getting tired of shaming altogether.

    red pen mama June 23, 2010 at 11:31 am

    This is my favorite phrase of this post: “we are infinite and contain multitudes”. I think that sums up a lot of debates that we women find ourselves in with each other; bf’ing, bottle-feeding; bf’ing in public; work outside the home mommies v. SAHMs — we cannot be pigeon-holed based solely on our choices, our children, our skin color or class. (And neither can men, just for the record.) There is so much that is complicated about ourselves and our sexuality, that polarizing reactions, while simple and tempting, erase those factors as easily as some celebrity tweeting something dumb.

    As far as my boobs: they are at their best when I am gestating another human. I am small-breasted, flat-chested, AAs cups, except when I am pregnant and feeding a baby with my boobs. So aside from childbirth, I would admit (sadly) that my boobs are less than awesome. But I still like them a whole lot, and it does make working out easier and less painful than I imagine it is for the well-endowed.
    .-= red pen mama´s last blog ..Sweet =-.

    WestendMom June 23, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    To answer the question if breastfeeding can be/is sexy, I offer up Angelina Jolie in W Magazine. Shot by her husband, she looks incredibly sexy and incredibly nurturing at the same time. When I was breastfeeding, I am pretty sure I looked like a complete wreck most of the time, but I would like to believe given the right lighting, I too looked as full, happy, and beautifully sexy as she does!

    Her Bad Mother June 23, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Oh, I know. And there was a picture of — agh, I forget who it was, an artist — a woman in a recent Vogue, nursing her child, and it was SO BEAUTIFUL. And sexy. And awesome.

    (I have to look for that picture.)

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