On Oct. 30, Alyssa Milano posted a photo onto Instagram that everyone seems to be buzzing about. The former Charmed star shared a Throwback Thursday snap of herself when breastfeeding her daughter in a Wonder Woman costume. She captioned the pic with the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding, which feels like both a bold political statement and an intensely personal one.
Back in April 2015, Milano had her breast milk confiscated by airport security in Heathrow, which the actress had been using to feed her daughter Elizabella. According to US Weekly, she was understandably upset, and spoke out about this incident to the publication:
"Every ounce of milk I'm able to produce for my child is nothing short of a miracle and to watch that milk be thrown away without any regard for my baby was heartbreaking. It's not the fault of the security in the airport; they're following orders to keep us all safe. But I do feel it is a policy that needs thoughtful reconsideration. I'm glad this has started a dialogue. My only hope is to make things easier for moms, breast-feeding and formula-feeding moms, everywhere."
Milano using her platform as a celebrity to speak up against the issues affecting women and individuals with babies is incredibly honorable, especially when feminine people breastfeeding in public have often been treated as huge no-nos.
Seeking to help in the fight of normalizing breastfeeding, as well as fighting for fair treatment of AFAB people and mothers, this photo speaks volumes. To me, it says, "Eff society's discomfort with the feminine body." It says, "Stop sexualizing nursing mothers." And, thanks to her awesome Wonder Woman costume, it also says, "I'm a proud and strong woman who enjoys breastfeeding and caring for my child." The image is a reminder that mothers are the real superheroes, especially ones like Milano who are fighting so hard for the visibility of such a natural and beautiful act.
Unsurprisingly perhaps, her Instagram photo received some negative comments asking Milano to "please cover up," because, "It's inappropriate and that's for you and your closed doors." These serve as a reminder that much work is left to do in combatting such people who gawk at the sight of a woman breastfeeding her child in public, condemning it as vulgar along the way. Of course, there were the typically sexualizing comments thrown in there as well, like "nice tits!" Sighs.
However, the positive comments on the photo are proof that Milano's choices are affecting people, and starting the conversations she's been hoping for. Everything from affirmative statements like, "Now that's a true Wonder Woman," to mothers discussing their love of breastfeeding and their experiences with people's disgust in response, is an encouraging indication that we can start moving in the direction of normalizing breastfeeding.
Thank you to the Wonder Women helping that happen.