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A nursing bra modeled by a non-lactating hottie.
A nursing bra modeled by a non-lactating hottie.

Victoria's Secret line of breastfeeding bras

Did you know Victoria’s Secret has a line of nursing bras? I didn’t, until yesterday. Sadly, my nursing days featured bras that brought the expression "over the shoulder boulder holder" true to life. They looked more like something a nursing home resident would wear instead of a nursing mom.

That said, I think it’s great that VS has sexy nursing bras. Post-partum mothers have a hard enough time feeling attractive again, and it’s even more difficult when your brassiere could double as a circus tent.

But these Victoria Secret ads -- oy, these ads.

First of all, I'm willing to bet my preschooler that none of these women are breastfeeders. In fact, they look like they barely feed themselves, much less an infant or two. I know, I know, the argument that models don’t represent real women is a dried-up issue, so I won’t go down that road.

I will, however, go down this one: These ads sexualize breastfeeding, which contributes to the existing belief that nursing should be done in private and behind closed doors like other sexual acts. In my opinion, it’s outrageous to expect breastfeeding mothers to spend half their day locked away from the world. Covering up is one thing, but being required to sequester during lactation is another.

I’m not actually suggesting the designers of these ads should Photoshop veiny, sprawling stretch marks across these washboard tummies or that they should depict engorgement, blocked milk ducts or any of the other real aspects of nursing, but it would be nice to see models that didn’t perpetuate the "I love naked pillow fighting with my sorority sisters" stereotype.

I’m not going to lose any sleep over these ads, but I definitely see them as strike against the struggle for breastfeeding to be recognized as a form of healthy fast food, and not something sexual and therefore restricted to the back bedroom.

However, I gotta admit, had that leopard-skin one been around during my breastfeeding days, I would have rocked it.

Talkbacks

mrsb | May 5, 2008 at 8:40 a.m. (report)

Z-boy---not sure how to take your comment.....I don't think the woman was "exposing herself for all to see" but instead feeding and meeting the needs of her child.

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mrsb | May 5, 2008 at 8:38 a.m. (report)

I actually have two of the bras, which was nice b/c I had a gift certificate from a relative that I needed to use (I won't get into the fact that it was a male in-law? A little weird?). Anyways, they are sexy, but not necessarily comfortable or supportive. So, I guess it's the good 'ol comfort vs. style argument with these! But I think a realistic model just wouldn't fit into the image that Vickie's is trying to portray....too bad.

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Bee Tee | May 5, 2008 at 7:55 a.m. (report)

Could this be more ironic a year or so after that mom had so much trouble breastfeeding at the Victoria's Secret in Mayfair?!

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Z_boy | May 5, 2008 at 7:16 a.m. (report)

One afternoon, I was on the county bus on my way home from work when one of the greatest things happened to me in my life. I looked up to see a beautiful woman lift up half her shirt and bra and expose one of her naked breasts for all to see while she let her infant nurse on it. It was amazing. A sight to behold. I sure wish more nursing women had the strength to breast feed in public.

It was at that point that I became mass transit's biggest fan!

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jitjit | May 4, 2008 at 8:41 p.m. (report)

My breast never looked better than when I was breastfeeding. I could have been in the ads!

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