In a time when conversations about public breastfeeding and loving a woman's natural, self are happening everywhere—one would think the world would be more accepting and appreciative of the images. But this is still not the case and Jade Beall, a photographer and mother, realizes this all too often.
Beall is the founder of "A Beautiful Body Project," a photo project that aims to display "truthful images of women" that are not airbrushed or Photoshopped, especially women who breastfeed. Her project was inspired by a nude breastfeeding self-portrait she took, and the physical and emotional changes she experienced after the birth of her son.
Recently, Beall posted a photo of seven naked moms (all with diverse bodies) breastfeeding their babies on her Facebook page (see below). Within hours, the photo received almost 9,000 likes and 3,000 comments—but with all the positive feedback came the negative. Facebook users, mostly men, left comments requesting that the image be taken down.
Finally, someone reported the image because one of the women's nipples had not been blurred out, and Facebook removed the photo from their site. This wasn't the first time one of her photos was removed, but Beall had made sure to blur out nipples and private areas. Unfortunately, Beall had missed one nipple, but she quickly replaced the old image with a newly edited (nipple-free) version.
Facebook does allow photos of breastfeeding these days (as opposed to a few years ago), but the site still has a strict policy on how photos display nudity. Although blurring out a nipple may fulfill Facebook's guidelines for now, Beall and so many other moms will still continue to advocate for the display of a woman's most natural self when breastfeeding.
"I love seeing a room full of diverse bodies feeding their babies, the very bodies that made and gave life to the babies!" she told The Huffington Post. "When we see a woman with the untypical body type feeling empowered and vulnerable to pose for an artist, it's like somehow I break the rules of what is acceptable for how much skin a woman 'should' show. And to show her allowing her breasts to be used in a completely un-sexualized manner, that really rocks the boat."
We want to hear your thoughts: Do you think this photograph pushs the limits? Or do you think society should get with the program and appreciate photographs like Beall's?
Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. She's a self-proclaimed foodie who loves dancing and anything to do with her baby nephew. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn
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Photo of diverse women breastfeeding featured with permission of Jade Beall Photography