Metrics details. Contemporary images of women breastfeeding — from breastfeeding selfies to fine art — celebrate breastfeeding outside the home by displaying visual records of these occasions to a wider audience. From brelfies posted by celebrities and ordinary parents on social media, to the photography of Tara Ruby and Ivette Ivens, media coverage of lactivist nurse-ins, or fine-art works by Ashlee Jenkins and Sky Boucher, the repertoire of breastfeeding images in developed Western nations has grown and diversified exponentially in the past ten years. A subject that was once the province of religious painting, ethnography, public health advocacy or obscure corners of pornography, is increasingly made visible within the everyday, not only through self-portraiture on social media but also through the work of celebrated photographers and visual artists. Despite this, there is still an absence of images of women breastfeeding in social circumstances, suggesting a reluctance to make the leap from understanding breastfeeding as a solitary activity, regardless of the space the mother inhabits at the time, to a companionable behaviour integral to our social landscape. Images predominate of women breastfeeding alone, or at best with other breastfeeding women, revealing a further binary dividing the acceptable from the unacceptable, where the private vs. This article provides a textual analysis of contemporary photographic portraiture to interpret the meanings of key works, and their patterns of signification. It asks to what extent these images advance efforts to normalize breastfeeding and make it publicly commonplace, or reinforce unhelpful binaries, using an iconography based on the religious origins of portraiture itself: the virtuous, devoted mother, unaccompanied but for her child. I conclude that the lack of images where breastfeeding women are integrated into social occasions is partly due to the lack of opportunities for women to breastfeed socially, and few motives for these instances to be recorded, and that there is an unspoken proxemics of viewing space yet to be traversed.
This piece of African art by Heidi Lange is screen printed by hand on earthtone tie-dyed cotton in Kenya. The art depicts the life and the people of Kenya. Will require ironing on reverse to remove creases. Style: Global Format: Choose one: Verti. Beautiful Breastfeeding. Claire K. From the age of fifteen I lived in the UK. However, I always knew that I wanted to raise my children whenever I had them at home in Kenya. And yes, I assumed I was going to have them.
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The social attitudes to and legal status of breastfeeding in public vary widely in cultures around the world. In many countries, both in the Global South and in a number of Western countries, breastfeeding babies in open view of the general public is common and generally not regarded as an issue. In many parts of the world including Australia,  some parts of the United States and Europe, along with some countries in Asia, women have an explicit legal right to nurse in public and in the workplace. Even though the practice may be legal or socially accepted, some mothers may nevertheless be reluctant to expose a breast in public to breastfeed   due to actual or potential objections by other people, negative comments, or harassment. But some mothers have protested their treatment, and have taken legal action or engaged in protests.
In the past few months, my Facebook feed has been filled daily with glamorized pictures of women breastfeeding. I believe the intended purpose is to desensitize society to the imagery of breastfeeding. The goal is to make breastfeeding so average and ordinary that nobody bats an eye or feels uncomfortable in the presence of naked breasts. However, the majority of the pictures I see are overly stylized, perfectly airbrushed and make mom and baby appear to shit rainbows and unicorns. There is nothing average or ordinary about these pictures and I'm tired of looking at breasts. Image via Ivette Ivans. It's a polarizing subject. Women get passionate and fired up discussing the right to breastfeed in public.