She flipped the script!
As natural and necessary as breastfeeding is, doing so in public is the topic of a hot debate. Because of the way women’s bodies are sexualized, public breastfeeding has become increasingly politicized. Not only have women been shamed for breastfeeding in public, but there have even been laws passed surrounding, or rather limiting, these rights.
In an effort to reclaim their bodies and rights, many women have pushed movements down different paths to normalize breastfeeding.
One women chose a particularly unique path to break stereotypes about breastfeeding and to destigmatize the act. In heroic fashion, she made it clear that breastfeeding is nothing to be ashamed of.
A Long Road
Despite popular belief, a women’s chest isn’t inherently sexual; its primary function is to nurture a child. Yet and still, for years, women have been shamed, ridiculed, and admonished for breastfeeding their children in public.
Mother-of-one Yaky Di Roma teamed up with a photographer to shoot herself breastfeeding her son, Hans. She gave the photoshoot a twist, dressing as Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty during the shoot.
Roma didn’t dress as the notorious villain just to look cool though, she put some thought into her costume. “I wanted to dress up as Maleficent so badly because I wanted to show that even the evilest creatures would do anything for their little ones,” she explained.
Aside from the costume, there’s one thing that stands out in this shoot: the age of her son. Hans is 3 years old, which left many wondering why she still breastfeeds him.
She explained that because Hans has autism, it’s difficult for him to transition away from breastfeeding. Hans finds breastfeeding to be comforting, and Roma is willing to do anything to make him feel safe and comfortable.
″Of course I want to do whatever I can to help him,” she said in an interview with Huffington Post. “I just want to be a good mom and in the end, that’s what moms want to do, right? Be good moms to their little ones.”
She revealed that breastfeeding has had its fair share of difficulties and that at times it feels like a “full-time job,” but she has no regrets about her choice to continue breastfeeding her son.
“It’s been long, I’m not going to lie,” she said. “But I wouldn’t change anything about it.”
Breastfeeding wasn’t the only taboo that she wanted to break. She also wanted to show that mothers aren’t always soft, frail, and feminine. “I wanted to break the rules of the soft and airy mom photo,” she said.
In the process of breaking stereotypes, she has also made connections with mothers across the world who have similar experiences.
“I love everything about this portrait!” wrote one Facebook user. “I have breastfed all three of children until they were just after 3 and i think it’s wonderful that you can still give that comfort to him with the bond! And she is my favorite misunderstood villain. Blessed be.” Another wrote, “This is gorgeous on so many levels. And anyone that has anything to say about the way you chose to feed your child has too much time on their hands.”
Another caught the message straight on, writing, “Thank you so much for sharing. I’m often shamed for nursing my three year old son. You can’t please everyone in the race to do what’s best for your children. They’ll make you out to be a villain, when all you really are is a strong determined mother.”
Read more about Di Roma here.
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