Putting photos of yourself and your breastfeeding baby on Facebook is a dicey proposition. Facebook’s official stance on lactating breasts is actually a big green light, but the fact that these pictures still get reported for nudity by disgruntled “friends” have moms pumping the brakes anyway. One mom decided to double down instead of give in, and her photo that highlights the hypocrisy of the online breastfeeding police is going viral for all the right reasons.
Maria Corry is a breastfeeding mother, and like most moms who are trying their hand at parenting in the digital age, she’s run into an issue that more and more of us will find familiar. When she attempts to share a photo of her daughter breastfeeding, she gets reported for sharing naughty photos.
It’s frustrating, and in Corry’s case, particularly so, considering that the photo that got her into hot water was one in which she was fully clothed and even the slightest hint of boob flesh was barely visible. She was understandably pretty angry when she posted the following:
If it had just ended there, this wouldn’t have been anything other than your standard Facebook back-and-forth. But what she posted next is what makes this story remarkable. Her picture functions as a sort of online dare to the trolls on her page who don’t mind the beach pics, sidebar lingerie ads or racy memes that go round and round on Facebook but can’t stand to see a picture of a breast when it’s mostly concealed by a baby’s head:
She posted it with an invitation to other moms to post their own “brelfies” without shame, and they did so in spades. The post has had over 30,000 reactions and nearly 7,000 shares since she posted it in February, and it appears to still be going pretty strong. Chances are that if you haven’t seen it pop up on your timeline or a moms’ group yet, it’s really only a matter of time.
The reason a post like this is so easily proliferated is that it’s so completely relatable. It also touches a major pain point, which is society’s weird dichotomy when it comes to boobs. It’s like being kicked out of a lingerie store for whipping out your breasts to feed in an isolated corner between the garter belts and sheer lace demi-cup push-up bras. Your breasts are great to look at as long as they are pretty, pushed up and presented sexually, but once you attach a baby to one, it’s suddenly icky.
Facebook adds another twist to the puzzle. You’ve probably got hundreds of “friends” on there but only really know a handful of them. People who report other people’s content are rightly anonymous, which makes these self-ascribed morality police even more frustrating to deal with. Who is reporting this stuff? Your college roommate’s grandma, who probably really does think that a bit of boob is obscene? Or your high school frenemy, who couldn’t care less whether breastfeeding is sexual and is only in the “report for nudity” game for the sheer schadenfreude of it?
Maybe it really is an online hypocrite who reports your post in one browser tab and keeps the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show streaming in another.
Whoever it is, Corry’s photo response is pretty much the mic-droppingest response to them we’ve seen yet. One day this kind of picture will stop being controversial and become just as boring as any other photo on a parent’s Facebook timeline, easily scrolled past and forgotten. Until then, it looks like it’s up to moms like Corry to troll the trolls until no one bats an eye at a breast, regardless of its presentation.