Netizens hailed the Michigan-based model Mara Martin who recently walked on the catwalk while breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter.
“Yep. THIS. When women are empowered the world is a better place. Thank you Mara Martin for your bravery. And thank you to all the brave women that stand proud in their own skin, doing what comes natural, providing inspiration to everyone,” said American professional wrestler Maria Kanellis in her Instagram post.
Bazaar said Martin was one of 16 finalists in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit show, which was staged last Sunday evening.
“We need to normalize this. Praise Mara Martin. Let’s keep empowering women to not be ashamed or uninformed about their bodies,” fitness coach Dean Sheremet said in a tweet.
Another netizen pointed out that it is “double standards” that women have to hide themsevles when breastfeeding but men can walk around without their shirt on.
“If people are too delicate or prudish, that’s their problem,” said a netizen in a tweet.
Other netizens pointed out that Sports Illustrated now knows “what breasts were really made for.”
Still, there are others who blasted Martin and called it a mere “PR stunt” and that the “stage” was not an “appropriate environment” to breastfeed babies.
“If it was a publicity stunt to help women all over feel comfortable breast feeding and to help normalize it for the rest of us, then cool,” one netizen quipped.
Meanwhile, Martin said she cannot believe she woke up to the headlines of her breastfeeding act during the Sports Illustrated swimsuit show.
“I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day. It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least. I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalise breastfeeding and also show others that women can do it all,” she said in her Instagram post.
Martin said it should not be a headline in the first place.
She added, “my story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that.”
In many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, breastfeeding in public is still being frowned at, said Bazaar.