Recently there has been a lot of controversy about this picture of two military moms breastfeeding their kids. It’s a beautiful picture – so what’s all the fuss about?
The photo is part of a local breastfeeding awareness campaign by Mom2Mom of Fairchild Air Force Base, a support group launched in January by Crystal Scott, a military spouse and mother of three. Among the intimate close-ups of smiling young mothers cuddling their adorable babies, the images of the two airmen stand out.
I guess it has to do with the fact that too many people think nudity is shameful and especially taboo for a woman in uniform. This attitude illustrates just how ashamed Americans are their naked bodies. What appears to be a discussion about is breastfeeling “OK” or not, is really a discussion about how we perceive nakedness, motherhood, female sexuality, and breasts.
According to Military Spouse Central, public displays of affection — even something as innocuous as holding hands — are not allowed while wearing a military uniform. Also forbidden while in uniform: eating, drinking, or talking on a cell phone while walking, carrying an umbrella that’s not black, and (in some cases) smoking or even chewing gum.
The military uniform is something Americans respect. It’s a symbol – but breast feeding is a symbol too. A symbol of a woman’s love and need to bond with her baby. Now people are comparing breastfeeding in uniform to urinating and defecating in uniform. That sickens me.
This story tells a sad truth about America: We are really messed up when it comes to our beautiful, naked bodies.
Shining Service Worldwide is a charitable organization that supports all women who are part of the military family. Our goal is successful re-integration to civilian life.