Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.
There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?
So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.
If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?
If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.
Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.
Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!
There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.
Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.
Social media has become a regular part of daily life for many. I know for me, right after I wake up, I check my phone for texts or messages, and then all social media platforms for notifications. It has become a part of my morning routine, and I find myself checking social media throughout the day as a way to take a break from the daily grind.
A phenomenon all social media users have experienced at one point or another is observing content that doesn't necessarily reflect the true essence of other people's lives — which in actuality, including both positive and negative aspects, are not always accurately depicted online.
Social media gives us the opportunity to connect with others, stay in touch with loved ones, and meet new people. However, it also gives us full control over picking and choosing what parts of our life we want to share. This can lead to misconstrued interpretations of what is really going on with our friends and family, as well as pre-conceived judgments that are wrong.
It can be fun going online and playing pretend to get a break from reality and the fact that life is composed of the good and the bad. Yet, without the bad, we could never really appreciate the good.
For some, social media is a large part of their identity as a person, which influences them to create content that allows them to share their successes and portray themselves in a positive light — putting forth a face that shows they are a competent person moving forward with their goals and dreams while downplaying mistakes and failures. This is a way of presenting a positive face to the world, which can give other social media users in your network a false image of who you really are as a person.
I love social media for the fact that it has allowed me to keep in touch with people I otherwise would have lost contact with. It is a great way for me to share my writing and art with others to shape my personal brand, and it can serve as a great distraction and way to procrastinate.
However, it has also been harmful to me in the past, especially Facebook.
I used to compare myself to others and the number of likes they got on their photos or the amount of "friends" they had connected in their network. It would both feed my insecurities and boost my ego, simultaneously.
Nowadays, I have a much healthier relationship with how I use social media, in that instead of using it to compare myself to others or as a way to get attention, I am trying to use it to share my creative endeavors and stay connected with the people I care about. It has served as a great way to get support through difficult times.
It's important for all of us to remember that the filter people use on social media, no pun intended, is not a genuine reflection of what is going on in their lives. It's also important to remember that it's okay to show our real face online, not just the pretty, positive one.
Going through hardship is all part of being human and there is no shame in that, while there is also no shame in sharing that reality, especially with the people we care about and who care about us.