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.
Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.
Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.