Supermodel Gisele Bündchen Shows Moms How to Breastfeed with Style
A picture of Gisele breastfeeding makes us a little jealous. But why the hate?
Gisele Bündchen, supermodel and super mom, shared a picture of herself breastfeeding her daughter Vivian while a team of stylists prepared her for a photo shoot. The caption reads: “What would I do without this beauty squad after the 15 hours flying and only 3 hours of sleep #multitasking#gettingready.”
The picture has placed Gisele in the middle of the breastfeeding debate. With supporters applauding her efforts to normalize breastfeeding and detractors calling her “annoying” and a little “outrageous.”
In the US, where maternity leave policies are pathetic and many working women struggle to keep up with the pumping and breastfeeding routine that can leave you feeling like a demoralized farm animal, the picture seems like the Shangri-La of motherhood. But why the hate? If Gisele can feed her babies and get work done at the same time, why does that detract or add to any of our mother struggles?
Of course, it would be nice if we could all breastfeed and work like Gisele. But it would also be nice if I looked like Gisele and if someone did my nails too. But that’s not the life I live. I am lucky, I’ve frequently breastfed while reading news stories and jotting ideas down for essays. And whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding, we should all aspire to live in a world where women who have children and work are supported in their choices, not knocked down.
The problem is, in a country where working mothers aren’t given the government support they need to balance their careers and lives, we often look to public figures to model the “perfect mom” ideal. But when those images don’t resonate—Marissa Meyer, Gisele Bündchen—public comment becomes public criticism. The picture of Gisele is like a Rorschach test—what you see in the image says more about you than it does about the image.
Ultimately, Gisele’s balance is not our balance. Nor should it be. We shouldn’t push our ideas of what “a mother should be” on other women even if we feel like they should be the spokespeople for our plight. Motherhood isn’t a one-size-fits-all proposition. The motherhood we model is our own and no one elses. It’s just that Gisele’s looks more glamorous.
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