- Former developer at software company deletes his code to protest its ties to ICE Saturday 4:21 PM
- A mysterious website is doxing Hong Kong protesters and journalists Saturday 1:44 PM
- The best ‘Skyrim’ followers and how to get them Saturday 1:26 PM
- Why Joel Osteen gets cyberbullied every time Houston floods Saturday 12:40 PM
- How to stream Jets vs. Patriots in Week 3 Saturday 12:39 PM
- 10 indie dating simulator games you should be playing Saturday 12:31 PM
- How to stream Packers vs. Broncos in Week 3 Saturday 12:14 PM
- Saudi crown prince’s former adviser suspended from Twitter Saturday 11:57 AM
- How to stream Cowboys vs. Dolphins in Week 3 Saturday 11:57 AM
- YouTuber to pay restitution after a teen fan died copying her video Saturday 10:36 AM
- Antonio Brown sent ‘intimidating’ texts to an accuser, including a pic of her children Saturday 9:38 AM
- Facebook suspended tens of thousands of apps after Cambridge Analytica scandal Saturday 8:24 AM
- How to stream Browns vs. Rams on Sunday Night Football Saturday 6:00 AM
- How to watch ‘NFL Primetime’ on ESPN+ Saturday 5:00 AM
- How to stream Liverpool vs. Chelsea Friday 6:45 PM
Nipples are causing a stir on Instagram again, but this time for a good reason. The social network celebrated World Breastfeeding Week by posting a photo of a baby breastfeeding on its official page on Wednesday.
Instagram updated its nudity policy in April to clarify that post-mastectomy scarring and breastfeeding pictures do not violate their terms of service. But it’s had a long and complicated relationship with female breasts, and sharing the photo still came as a bit of a shock.
In an email to the Daily Dot, an Instagram spokesperson said the image is not reflective of any policy change. “Instagram has long allowed images of women actively breastfeeding, so there’s been no change of policy.”
The photo has more than 782,000 likes and almost 10,000 comments, most of which are supportive and heartwarming. The caption shares the story of one-year-old Dread and his mother Laurel Creager, who says that breastfeeding “changed [her] as a person.”
After 1-year-old Dread took a bad fall, mom Laurel Creager (@motherofthewild) soothed him in a way only she could — by nursing. “My husband actually thinks of breastfeeding like a magic wand,” she says. “Breastfeeding has changed me as a person. [It] has given me so much respect for the female body.” Laurel, who is a drummer, seamstress and self-described “tech nerd,” would call both her kids daredevils. “The wild” is Laurel’s nickname for Dread’s 4-year-old sister Vera, who recently decorated her own hair with clothes hangers and once moved their living room furniture in order to jump from tables to chairs. Their family also has four hermit crabs, two dogs, two rats and a guinea pig, meaning Laurel never runs out of adorable material for pictures. But documenting her family’s life is more than entertainment. Laurel’s mom passed away shortly after Vera was born, and didn’t leave behind many personal photos. “I feel like I am leaving a footprint,” Laurel says. “Like my children will never have to question how much they meant to me or what activities we did together. They are my world, and the unconditional love I receive from them is so beautiful.” This post is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2015. Photo by @motherofthewild
A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on
This photo, and the updated nudity policy, seem to be a departure from what has long been a very strict ban on female nipples. Male nipples, both on Instagram and in real life, are displayed often and without backlash, while female nipples—which, in essence, are no different than male nipples—are seen as inherently more sexual, and are therefore not permissible in public.
This double standard has led to the massively popular #FreeTheNipple movement, which aims to bring gender equality by desexualizing the female nipple. One very practical step in this movement is to remove the stigma around public breastfeeding, which is a natural, safe, and healthy way to nourish your newborn child. Enter: World Breastfeeding Week.
That little dimpled hand and the way it opens and closes on my neck. His head getting heavier by the second while he drifts off to sleep. Every day I do my very best to burn that feeling into my memory. Oh, I’ve waited for you for so very long, my sunshine boy, and I’ll forever thank every star in the sky that you’ve finally come home to my arms. #motherhoodrising #worldbreastfeedingweek
A photo posted by tisse (like “?” with a “t”) (@tissespieces) on
Since 1991, the organizers of World Breastfeeding Week have aimed to increase global support for combining breastfeeding and work, according to the official website. “Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed,” it reads.
Breastfeeding in public has unfortunately become a taboo. Take outspoken presidential candidate Donald Trump, for example, who called a lawyer “disgusting” for mentioning her need to leave the courtroom to pump breast milk.
While there is nothing gross about needing to feed your child, many women feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public because they’re afraid others will judge them for getting undressed outside the comfort of their own home.
Posting my #brelfie in support of #worldbreastfeedingweek because so many times during my breastfeeding journey I got dirty looks when I breastfed in public. It has been my most precious honor to have this connection with my daughter and I hope that one day we arrive at a place where we can note the difference between the sexuality of the female breast and a mother’s privilege to feed her child. I also honor every woman’s right to choose whether or not she wants to breastfeed her child, and that it makes her no more or less of a mother. #freetobeme #peaceandlove #momswillsavetheworld
A photo posted by Bianca Kajlich (@misskajlich) on
World Breastfeeding Week is working to bring awareness to the issue, and with nearly 25,000 posts made under the Instagram hashtag so far, it seems they’re succeeding.
Photo via Daniel Lobo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Laken Howard writes about sex and dating. Based in Brooklyn, she's contributed to Bustle and Business Insider.