To celebrate her first Mother’s Day on May 9, Australian Olympic snowboarder Torah Bright posted a lovely series of photos of her journey through motherhood, including candid shots of herself in labor, fun times at the beach with the fam, and one gorgeous and hilarious photo where she is breastfeeding topless while doing a headstand on the lawn. Son Angus, born last July to the two-time medalist mom and her fellow pro snowboarder husband Angus Thomson, is latched on while crouched naked on the grass.
“Becoming a mother has unleashed something inside of me,” Bright wrote in the caption. “It’s deeply spiritual, it’s primal, it’s raw, it’s fierce, it is pure, I am mother,” she listed, before concluding, “My prayer for all mothers, now and in the future is that they be heard. Honoured. Respected and encouraged to trust their intuition.”
Though ‘Grammers had to swipe through to photo four in the post, the naked nursing photo was, of course, the one that got the most comments. While some were positive — “best feeding position I’ve ever seen” joked one fan, while another gushed “stop it, your head stand nursing photo is EVERYTHING” — others were not so kind.
“That’s just fucking weird. What are you trying to prove?” wrote one hater, while another sniped, “Well done on getting the attention you clearly crave … sad and pathetic.”
Because of the responses, Bright felt she had to defend herself and shared how the comments made her feel.
“Reading some of these comments made me sad,” Bright she wrote in a since-expired Instagram Story, per Austrian site News.com.au, which captured a screengrab of her post. “In my world, mothers should be each other’s cheerleaders (it’s hard enough). Embrace our quirkiness and finding the joy in every s****y thing that is motherhood.”
She continued, “We all do it differently. It is not wrong or right. Motherhood is pure. I only now consider myself a Wonder Woman because I have joined the sacred MOTHERS club with you. Nothing but respect to all mothers.”
Bright also shared a message of encouragement to other moms, saying, “Love to all mothers who need it right now. I got your back… You are not alone.”
Bright made it clear that she wasn’t “looking for praise” with her headstand photo, but wanted to remind people that everyone’s motherhood journey is unique, saying, “I walk this earth to the beat of my own drum, led by my nutrition and search for love and joy … obviously.”
On Tuesday night, Bright also shared a video in her Instagram feed, once again saying she felt “a bit silly” even having to address the Instagram post, but that it was necessary because the breastfeeding photo had sparked so much attention and conversation.
“Mothers, we need to encourage one another, we need to lift each other up. We need to pay each other compliments, we need to support each other,” she reiterated in the video. “We need to be each other’s biggest cheerleaders because motherhood is so beautiful, but reality is we are the only ones who know just how hard those hard moments are, and we need to have each other’s back.
“But did anyone really think that’s how I breastfed?” Bright concludes, shaking her head in disbelief and smacking her forehead.
Sadly, Bright isn’t the first mom to have her breastfeeding choices criticized on social media, and she likely won’t be the last. Bachelor alum Bekah Martinez recently was slammed for tandem breastfeeding her infant and toddler, and the debate over if and how much nursing moms need to cover their boobs in public rages on.
Despite the fact that women’s bodies were literally designed to feed their children from their breasts, we still have a way to go in the movement to normalize breastfeeding, whether in public, naked, upside-down, or in tandem. And we’ve got to stop shaming moms who make the choice not to breastfeed, too.
“The main priority is the baby, and if the baby is not having a good time in that experience, then it’s not about what I think or what my mom friends think,” said Ashley Tisdale, who recently explained why she quit breastfeeding. “The main priority is her and that she’s getting the nutrients she needs.”
Celebrate the beauty of different breastfeeding journeys through these photographs.