As long as mammals have existed, so has breastfeeding. All throughout the animal kingdom mothers provide nourishment to their young via their breast, and humans are no exception. Though some women, like myself, are unable to breastfeed, it's traditionally been the norm when it comes to satiating hungry infants. But in recent times, a stigma seems to have arisen surrounding the topic of a mother breastfeeding her child in a public place. This type of harsh judgment isn't just limited to average moms either, there are even celebrities who were shamed for public breastfeeding.
Most recently, Mila Kunis made headlines when she diplomatically spoke out against the haters who have made her and husband, Ashton Kutcher, feel uncomfortable when she has breastfed their child in public places. Perhaps this is a larger issue in the Western world since the female breast has become so sexualized, it can be difficult for some to remember that the actual purpose of the breast isn't sexual at all—breasts on all female mammals are for feeding their children.
Regardless of what stance you have taken on the topic of breastfeeding in public, it is interesting to know that even celebs get shamed for this. So check out with famous moms have dealt with the haters when it comes to public breastfeeding.
1. Alyssa Milano
From being told by Wendy Williams that she "doesn't need to see that [breastfeeding]," to having her breast milk thrown out at the Heathrow Airport, Milano has unfortunately experienced negative experiences when it comes to public breastfeeding. But if her Twitter account or TV appearance on The Wendy Williams Show are any indication, she is still a proud advocate of breastfeeding in public.
2. Mila Kunis
Most recently, in an interview with Vanity Fair, Mila Kunis discussed being shamed for public breastfeeding. "People actually looked at us in a shameful [way], and we were like, ‘Oh my God,’ because it’s so not a sexual act." Kudos to Kunis for standing up to the critics with the support of her equally progressive husband, Ashton Kutcher.
3. Jaime King
At first glance, this photo of Jaime King breastfeeding her son on Instagram seems like a beautiful bonding moment. Yet there was a huge response to this image. In an interview with People, Jaime King spoke about judging public breastfeeding. "I feel like now that I’m a mother, I realize that there’s a huge schism out there," she said. "Women feel judged because of what they choose to do, why should we hide it?"
Pink has never been one to keep her opinions quietly to herself. So why should the issue of feeding your child in public, like Carey Hart's photo of Pink breastfeeding their daughter, be any different? On Twitter, Pink discussed breastfeeding and judgement, saying, "it's time we support what's healthy (breast feeding) instead of judge it." Preach it, Pink.
5. Salma Hayek
In 2009, a combination of controversy, judgment, and shaming was created when ABC's Nightline showed Salma Hayek breastfeeding another woman's baby. Why did she allow herself to be filmed and how did she feel about the negative backlash? She told Nightline, "to breastfeed another woman's child was an attempt to diminish the stigma placed on women for breast feeding." Yet sometimes controversy can be a good thing since it helped raise awareness about the high infant mortality rate in Sierra Leone, according to Nightline.
6. Maggie Gyllenhaal
When pictures of Maggie Gyllenhaal breastfeeding in public first surfaced, you can bet there were plenty of negative comments to be made about her choice to nourish her child freely. Yet, according to People, Maggie Gyllenhaal remained unaffected by the backlash she received from critics and naysayers.
7. Mayim Bialik
Add another entry to the books for criticism over breastfeeding in public for Mayim Bialik. Regardless of the motivation behind people's responses, the vast majority seemed to be upset over her unapologetic stance on feeding her son in public. In regards to the controversy, she told The Huffington Post why she doesn't buy into what the shamers have to say. "Breastfeeding is NOT a sexual act," Bialik said.
8. Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette shared a breastfeeding photo on Instagrama to help advocate for breastfeeding as well as normalizing the image of seeing a woman breastfeed in public, according to ˆ.
9. Selma Blair
The paparazzi have taken their fair share of photos where Selma Blair is breastfeeding in public. In response to all the buzz surrounding those photos, Blair told People, " I don’t care who I offend; my baby wants to eat. If I can’t get a cover over me quick enough, so be it." Clearly she know where her priorities lie, and listening to those who would shame public breastfeeding is not one of them.
10. Kourtney Kardashian
All you have to do is scroll through the comments section on Kourtney Kardashian's Instagram pic of her pumping breast milk to get an idea of how harsh some people can be. But just like most of the Kardashian clan, she easily ignores haters. In an interview with People, Kourtney Kardashian discussed her stance on public breastfeeding shaming, "if someone sees a little somethin’ somethin’, don’t look if you don’t like it."
11. Olivia Wilde
In an effort to showcase the many aspects of motherhood, Olivia Wilde breastfed her son in public for her shoot with Glamour. Bloggers, critics, and more weighed in on the photo with some shameful comments. In an interview with The Huffington Post, Olivia Wilde responded to the public breastfeeding controversy, "I was shocked that there were still people who find it inappropriate because they think it’s a sexual thing." Wilde went on to say, "during that day my son had to eat, and so I had to feed him. If you’re taking a portrait of me, this is part of me."