When haters attacked Tamara Eccelstone after she posted a photo of herself breastfeeding her 3-year-old, the photographer behind the stunning image stepped up to support her.
Chicago photographer Ivette Ivens—author of Breastfeeding Goddesses—is already known for her stunning photographs of women nursing. Now she's continuing her effort to normalize breastfeeding by supporting one of her subjects, heiress Tamara Ecclestone, who was recently attacked by haters after sharing a beautiful image of herself nursing her 3-year-old daughter on Instagram.
Thank you @ivetteivens for capturing this beautiful moment this is by far my favourite photograph but mainly thank you for spreading this message. Breastfeeding is a powerful demonstration of love and nurturing yet it has become so normal to hide. I want to take that normal and toss it.
"Find it a very sad and surprising sign of the times and the world we live in that the act of breast feeding your child evokes such hatred in so many bitter people," Ecclestone wrote in a follow-up post. "I am astonished that breast feeding mums get such a hard time as there is no reason why we should. To me there is nothing but love in this photograph and I find is such a shame that it brings out anger in some of you. I chose love. I want my daughter to grow up in a better world where this is nothing but normal."
Find it a very sad and surprising sign of the times and the world we live in that the act of breast feeding your child evokes such hatred in so many bitter people. I am astonished that breast feeding mums get such a hard time as there is no reason why we should. I would never ask someone when they will take away their toddlers bottle or follow on formula or cows milk or dummy or comforter nor do I judge those who choose to formula feed their children of give them cows milk. I support and empower all mums and I personally believe hatred is so heavy and bad for the soul. I hope by the time Fifi is a mumma people who have chosen to be open about Their breast feeding journey will mean that seeing a picture of a mum feeding their child won't evoke any reaction and that it is seen only for what it is a mum doing her best. To me there is nothing but love in this photograph and I find is such a shame that it brings out anger in some of you it's sad for you that that's how you choose to live particularly those that have made comments trying to sexualise breastfeeding are particularly unwell. I chose love. I want my daughter to grow up in a better world where this is nothing but normal in a better world.
Tell 'em, Tamara!
Then Ivens—who shot both pictures of Ecclestone—got in on the action with her own response on Instagram, alongside yet another breathtaking shot of Ecclestone breastfeeding. "If out of all things that can offend people, they choose to judge a breastfeeding mother—they are simply a proof of what is wrong with our society," she wrote in the caption. "Remember—everything you feel is because you choose to feel it. Choose to love. Choose to accept. Choose to let go."
If out of all things that can offend people, they choose to judge a breastfeeding mother - they are simply a proof of what is wrong with our society. I tend to stay away from these conversations - I know my truth and don't really care if others approve. However, when I see hatery towards the second most miraculous thing in the world after having a human growing inside you - I can't keep quiet. This child is LOVED. And no, that does not mean other children are not loved because their mothers chose not to nurse. It simply means that there are many ways to express love, and let me just say - @tamaraecclestoneofficial has them all figured out. I have never seen such a strong bond in a family. The support she has from hubby @jayrutland and how devoted she is in her motherhood journey is truly inspiring. Remember - everything you feel is because you choose to feel it. Choose to love. Choose to accept. Choose to let go. Much love!
Ivens said she chose to willingly enter the discussion because she's no stranger to receiving negative comments while breastfeeding her own children in public. "When I saw [Ecclestone] receiving the same treatment I did, I felt a big urge to fight back and show the world how divine it actually is," she explained. "Normalizing breastfeeding is my passion and mission, and my camera is my weapon."
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Keep wielding that weapon, Mama!
Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and mom of two who writes about parenting and pop culture. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on Instagram and Twitter.