Attention, moms who #brelfie: You can finally upload those sweet nursing shots on Facebook without fear of red flags or outright bans. On Monday, the social media giant cleared up the confusion surrounding its rules and regulations surrounding posts. Though you still can't share a picture of your full monty -- or even your nipples for that matter (sorry, Rumer Willis) -- Mark Zuckerberg & Co. now promise to always green light photos of women actively breastfeeding, reports The New York Times.
This is an about-face from the company's previous stance, which at best was uneven and wishy-washy. Over the past few years, we've heard story after story about Facebook censors yanking down photos of nursing moms while leaving other, more explicit ones untouched. Of course, it's worth noting that the people who are paid to suss out the banned stuff are hardly combing through the site looking for exposed breasts. Their job is to investigate content flagged by users (i.e. our friends, or friends-of-friends), a methodical process the company says it has no plans to automate.
Still, Facebook's inconsistency over what can stay and what must come down has rankled more than a few mamas who were simply trying to share tender moments with their nearest and dearest. And hey, I get it: Pulling a picture of a nursing mom in action reinforces the idea that breastfeeding should be done behind closed doors, or at the very least, under a cover. It smacks of the same discomfort some people feel when a woman lifts up her shirt to feed a baby in public because -- gasp! -- there's a breast out, and it's being used for something other than sexual gratification. But, on the plus side, it's also helped fuel the #normalizebreastfeeding movement and inspired fed-up moms to try to break the Internet with their #brelfies.
Regardless of where you stand on the breast vs. bottle debate, there's no denying that nursing is anything but lewd or obscene. That Facebook is finally formally sanctioning breastfeeding photos is a clear step in the right direction. Long overdue, of course, but hopefully a sign of more progress to come.
Tell us: Now that Facebook has given #brelfies the OK, will you post one?
Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+
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Image of nursing mom courtesy of Shutterstock