I was recently on vacation swimming in the Mediterranean when I discovered my ideal beach body on the shore. A woman, probably in her late 70s, of average build, stood in the surf, hands on hips, breasts out, smiling as she stared out to sea. That, I figured, is exactly the kind of bikini-ready—or bikini-shedding—confidence worth striving for.
was reminded of her watching England striker Chloe Kelly celebrate her league title goal against Germany in the finals of the European Championship on Sunday night. In celebration, she stripped down to her sports bra, taking off her shirt to sling it around her head in euphoric triumph.
No, it’s not quite the same as baring your breasts in the Balearics, but what struck me in both cases was how unsexualized both images were. Open-top women celebrating what their bodies can do, not what the male gaze makes them out to be.
Isn’t it sad that we’re so used to seeing breasts outside of a sexual context that it feels remarkable when it happens?
World Breastfeeding Week begins this week, and nowhere is the sexualisation of breasts felt more strongly than in public breastfeeding.
After breastfeeding my two boys until their third birthday, I experienced it myself. “Oh he’s going to be a man with boobs,” one person giggled upon finding out I was “still” breastfeeding my two-year-old a few years ago.
“What does your husband think?” was another, from which it was concluded that my cleavage was surely intended for his entertainment only.
Ireland’s breastfeeding rates are shockingly low. About 75 percent of pregnant mothers intend to breastfeed, but only a third of them leave the hospital exclusively breastfeeding. After six months, only 10-15 percent are still breastfeeding – one of the worst numbers in the world. Lack of support is one aspect, but so is the cultural stigma attached to breastfeeding in public.
The “there’s a time and a place” mentality that makes new moms get upset about having to throw a blanket over their baby’s head because it’s all well and good to see boobs on a top shelf, but God forbid there should be one standing next to you on the train with an infant attached to it.
If you’ve struggled to latch a baby, battled clogged milk ducts, experienced mastitis, pumped, been spanked by a hungry toddler, smeared lanolin cream on cracked nipples, generally gone through the gamut of the breastfeeding experience, then you will know that there is absolutely nothing attractive about it. If you think that a breastfeeding woman is an exhibitionist who takes her out in hopes of turning on passing men, then you need to take a long and hard look at yourself because, honestly, you are the biggest tit in the room.
There is an art exhibition, Fighting the Breastfeeding Stigma through Art, currently running at Dublin’s Copper House Gallery, by male lactation consultant Dr. Afif El Khuffash showing paintings of women feeding babies.
The Big Latch On, a safe public space where mothers can feed their children together, is a key part of this week’s Breastival celebrations in Northern Ireland. But isn’t it crazy that raising awareness and destigmatizing mothers is still such an issue? How can we live in a time when so much is possible and the sight of a female nipple has thrown you off social media in embarrassment?
Of course, a cleavage can be sexy, breasts can be sexual and a source of pleasure, but it’s not their main function, it’s their raison d’être. To paraphrase Julia Roberts Erin Brockovich: Those are just boobs, Ed. Just another part of the body that most women hardly think about unless they’re wearing a particularly uncomfortable bra.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could stop seeing women’s bodies – especially breasts – as sexual things and instead start celebrating what the female form can do?
Because whether that’s feeding a child, scoring a winning goal at a soccer tournament, or just swimming in the sea in our 70s and standing on the sand smiling, that’s so much more interesting. Nothing exciting, just tits.
Swift’s hypocritical private jet operation
Here’s something to think about as you try to save the world by washing out your yogurt cups: A new report has revealed that singer and committed climate change activist Taylor Swift has flown 170 flights on her private plane this year has undertaken and collected more than 22,923 minutes in the air and emits 8,293.54 tons of carbon, 1,000 times more than the average human.
Swift has since said that “not all flights were made by her,” and in fact, she’s not the only culprit on the list released by Yard.
Jay-Z, Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Kim Kardashian have also accumulated frequent flyer miles from untold environmental damage.
Yes, that’s the same Oprah who says everyone needs to see her An uncomfortable truth and stated that the environment “is what she values most in life”; the same Jay-Z behind the Greenprint project.
Spielberg, who is said to be proud to drive an electric car, reportedly took a 17-minute flight on a $70 million Gulfstream jet.
Yes, we all have to do our part to tackle climate change, but you can’t push your fans to change the world by eating more plant-based meals and then justify doing it 47 minutes up the road in a gas-guzzling, to fly personalized Puma private jet that emits four tons of CO2 emissions.
I’m willing to accept that super-rich celebs live in a different world than the rest of us, but when it comes to their eco-hypocrisy, they seriously need to be brought down to earth.
The Love Island soundtrack is eerily familiar
island of love is over, and while I’ll miss the drama, goofy conversations, and endless lyrics, there’s one thing I’ll be glad to see the back of: the background music.
From slowed down versions of 1990’s club classics like N-Trance Free yourselfto Whitney Houston remixes that island of love Soundtrack has been happily butchering tunes from my youth for eight weeks now and I’m not impressed. It’s like living in a long John Lewis Christmas commercial.
Get your own Gen Z music and stop messing around with our classics.
https://www.independent.ie/life/i-breastfed-my-two-boys-to-their-third-birthdays-and-saw-firsthand-how-womens-bodies-are-sexually-objectified-41883075.html “I breastfed my two boys until they were three and have seen firsthand the sexual objectification of women’s bodies.”