The topic of public breastfeeding is still for some reason up for debate, despite the fact that babies need to eat, boobs are not inherently sexual, etc. etc. The prescribed taboo flung upon the act is becoming laughable to a wider audience as more and more smart, beautiful, and famous women around the world proudly feed their children in public.
The latest in this line of women is model Mara Martin, who walked the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swim Search show as a “Sweet 16 finalist,” a gorgeous one-shoulder two-piece on her body and her 5-month-old daughter Aria on her breast.
Naturally, people lost it. Martin woke up the subject of dozens of headlines the morning after the show, most of them praising the model for breastfeeding her child on a catwalk, five months postpartum.
Sports Illustrated posted the now-viral “GIRL POWER!” moment to its Instagram page just after Martin announced the news on her on Instagram that she was one of the 16 finalists.
The face you make when your mom makes it to the final 16 of the @si_swimsuit Swim Search!! Im so so so thankful for the entire team at sports illustrated for picking me! @mj_day (and team)… you guys are THE FREAKING BEST! And to EVERY girl that casted from the online submissions to the open call.. you all rock. My fellow girls in the final 16.. LETS DO THIS!!! Congratulations to every single one of you!!!! #ownit #siswimsearch #imfreakingoutwithexcitement #modelmom #letsdothis #loveyouguys
“The face you make when your mom makes it to the final 16 of the [Sports Illustrated] Swim Search!” read the model’s caption, below a photo of her holding adorable Michelin-man-arms Aria. “I’m so, so, so thankful for the entire team at Sports Illustrated for picking me!”
“Wow! WHAT A NIGHT!” Martin wrote in the caption of her Instagram post. “Words can’t even describe how amazing I feel after being picked to walk the runway for @si_swimsuit. Anyone who knows me, knows it has been a life long dream of mine. I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day. It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least. I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL!”
The new mom and SI swim finalist is not without humility. She explains how though she was pleased with the positive reactions to her walk, she believes there are women out there more deserving of being the subjects of headlines.
“My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that,” she continued in her post. “One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country… one woman had a mastectomy and another is a cancer survivor, two-time paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself…Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!! Just thinking about all that was represented there.”
Many praised Martin for her strut down the catwalk, though, as always, haters abounded as well. As one commenter in the Instagram comments section retorted, “For you imbeciles posting stupid comments you probably have no idea what breastfeeding your child is; props for her for not giving up and I am happy her jobs supports her!”