What Does Breastfeeding Look Like? is an anthropological photo study exploring the realities of breastfeeding. I have photographed women in Australia, the UK and Brazil, and will continue the project for the foreseeable future.
The idea for this project grew out of my frustration with both traditional and modern media representations of mother’s breastfeeding, which I feel don’t reflect the realities of breastfeeding for most women. In popular culture most images are stylized or unrealistic. Whether it is the Madonna, or the angelic mother in her clinical white perfection or a model on the front of a magazine. This, coupled with the prolific use of women’s breasts to sell products and the objectification of women and their bodies, has set my practice on a path to subvert common Western associations of breasts.
The series features candid black and white photos of mothers breastfeeding at home, on the go and in any other natural circumstance and recently went viral with over 1 million accumulated likes and shares across various media platforms. The online responses were both a mixture of relief and disgust. Some comments …
“Sure it's natural. So is going to the toilet and making babies. That doesn't mean I want to see other people do it”
“Next time a woman wants to whip them out in public in a cafe or whatever, I suggest two or three of the male customers move to the same table and have a good look. It's not illegal, and it's only "natural", and if they stare for long enough, the exhibitionists might get the message.”
“Let it all hang out in your own space, ladies. When in public - my space too - cover up. This may be news to you but this farmyard behaviour makes my stomach turn and I'd like to enjoy my lunch without having to gag.”
These comments are reflective of the kind of vitriol spout at breastfeeding women, and it must stop. Breastfeeding is a normal, natural thing to do.
If you are a breastfeeding woman and would like to participate in the project, please get in touch via the contact page or Facebook.
For the full series head over to the blog.