Many would agree that at this point in time, the breastfeeding in public debate should be a thing of the past. However, this isn’t the case, and actress Mila Kunis knows this all too well because she was shamed for breastfeeding in a public space.
Speaking with Vanity Fair, the former star of the That ’70s Show told the magazine that she’s been shunned herself for nursing in public.
“It always made my husband and I feel a little weird,” she said in an interview with the publication. “It took us a little back because people actually looked at us in a shameful [way], and we were like, ‘Oh my God,’ because it’s so not a sexual act. It didn’t matter to me what other people thought. That’s what I chose to do, but I think it’s unfortunate that people are so hard on women who choose to do it and do it in public. In the States and in our culture, we sexualize the breast so much that there’s an aspect of it that people just don’t know how to wrap their head around the idea of showing your breast in public. But I respect the opinions on both sides. If it’s not for you, don’t look.”
It seems that breastfeeding in public is something that is still frowned upon by much of the population. And apparently, it’s something that celebrities like Mila Kunis, who recently attended the New York premiere of her film Bad Moms, can’t escape. Kunis argued that people shouldn’t be judged for breastfeeding their children in public, and she also admitted that there have been times that she had no other choice but to breastfeed her 21-month-old daughter, Wyatt, in public.
“I support every woman’s choice in what she wants to do and whatever makes them happy, but for me, I did nurse my child and I literally breastfed everywhere,” the 32-year-old wife of Ashton Kutcher was quoted as saying. “There were many times where I didn’t bring a cover with me, and so I just did it in a restaurant, in the subway, in the park, at airports, and in planes. Why did I do it in public? Because I had to feed my child. She’s hungry. I need to feed her whether it’s out of a bottle or out of my boob no matter where I was.”
Kunis, who is currently pregnant with her second child with Ashton Kutcher, believes that there is no reason for women to feel ashamed when breastfeeding in public. The problem with all this, according to Kunis, is that whenever mothers decide to breastfeed without covering up, they often receive many disapproving looks. She says this can be a problem for other mothers who want to follow their example.
As said in a report from the Independent, Kunis feels the over-sexualization of breasts in society is partially to blame for the social taboo, and for her, this is the root of the problem.
According to a poll on Debate.org, 35 percent of respondents feel breastfeeding in public is inappropriate. Almost equal numbers of both men and women have varying degrees and varying opinions on whether it’s okay to breastfeed in public. Many of those who voted against breastfeeding in public cite decency as the primary reason for their concern. Some feel that a woman’s breast is a private part of her anatomy and that exposing it in public, even to feed a child, is morally wrong. Critics of the practice argue that the fact that just because breastfeeding is natural does not mean it’s appropriate in all situations.
[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]