When life gets crazy it can be hard to remember the important things that make each day special. Take some time and make your own list to remind yourself why life is worth living.
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.
Maybe I am just really lucky. Maybe I won the jackpot of all mothers, but I didn't know it was that crazy for a mother to never make her daughter feel insecure.
It wasn't until I came to college that I realized that mothers body-shaming their daughters was even a thing. As I became closer with other young women I would often hear them saying how their moms told them what they could and couldn't wear, or they would make vicious remarks.
"You disgust me."
"That dress makes you look like a pig."
"I can't believe you would go out like that."
"Girls like you can't eat whatever they want."
"You're embarrassing the family."
No matter what I say to my friends, no matter how much I insist they are beautiful, your voice will always be in the back of their minds. Every single time they go shopping, every time they go out for dinner or post a picture on social media, they think about how you wouldn't approve.
This isn't to say that discussing a healthy lifestyle is off the table, but how you say things matters way more than you realize. Being a woman in college is hard enough. It is difficult to consistently manage all aspects of your life when you have 3 papers due by the end of the week and 2 tests on the same day. So maybe she puts on a few pounds, do you think mentioning that is going to make her less stressed?
As young women, we are constantly told that we are not good enough. We are shown what the ideal body and woman should look like. We are unbelievably aware of what our bodies look like and what is wrong with them. The last thing we need is for our role models to reinforce those unrealistic expectations.
I have heard the argument that you only "do this out of love", but love should never hurt. Is it really worth your daughter starving herself? Is it worth her throwing up after meals then binge eating? Is it really worth her starting to self-harm? Love is supporting somebody through the good and bad parts of their lives.
What you say not only impacts the way your daughter is viewing herself physically but makes her doubt other areas of her life. What you aren't seeing is that she is staying in that shitty relationship because you've made her feel like she'll never get or deserve better. She will quit studying because she thinks she will never be good enough anyway. She will let others walk all over her because that's what you've told her love is.
I am telling this because she never will- you are hurting her way more than you will ever help her.