A couple of weeks ago I went to see the new Lion King movie in the cinema. I usually try to get there after the adverts have finished, but just before the best bit which is of course, the trailers. While there I watched an advert from Coppafeel showing different individuals touching their breasts. After the ad finished, I turned to my boyfriend and said 'that is such a good way to show awareness and get the message across.' I honestly loved the advert in every way. It didn't need to be any more than it was. It showed different people with different bodies who were bettering their health and staying aware.
About a week or so later, a friend of mine said that they had also been to see the Lion King and had also seen that advert. Although they weren't as pleased as I was. They stated that it was 'a bit too much' and maybe even inappropriate to show breasts. As they carried on speaking they explained how although making people aware is great, it still is a kids film so maybe the advert should've been saved for an adult film showing. I was like 'umm what?! Okay yeah sure thing?!' I was shocked honestly. Ive never really heard a criticism aimed against creating more awareness?! So I wanted to unravel this.
Why is this inappropriate? Like is this a gendered issue? Because if so, the advert showed both men and women. So surely the issue can't be with whose breasts were showing, and more with that we're actually showing them. I don't know. This is difficult for me to understand and grasp. I believe it is surely better for people (including children) to watch an advert with breasts and gain something from it, than to hide it from them. Why are we protecting children from breasts and yet playing GTA and Fortnite is fine? I know which out of the two is gonna have bigger impacts, and it's not the boobs. It's just not.
I actually did some research before writing this. So for staters, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the UK with 1 in 7 women experiencing it. It is also the most common cancer throughout in the UK. I want people to be happy and proud of their bodies. Girls and women are never going to feel like that if we continue to shut the door on them.
Im not completely sure I wanna tackle this, but Im gonna. It comes into the whole discussion of why we are scared to show breasts. Breastfeeding is fine. Bottle feeding is fine. You are doing your best whichever way and you are doing great. I have zero issues with breastfeeding or bottle feeding. As long as you're feeding your child, well done.
The main debate surrounding breastfeeding is that apparently it should be done 'discreetly' when in public. I don't really understand how any woman with a baby, firstly has the time to think about that. Secondly, how are we being discreet? To me, the best things about breastfeeding (apart from the nutritional value) is that is quick, easy, on tap, done. I have seen women breastfeed, and women bottle feed and honestly I am so lazy and tried without a baby there is no way I'm gonna plan to bottle feed.
A key part of breastfeeding is feeding in public, unless you're going to stay at home 24/7 for roughly 2 years. I think the biggest issue we have is that we do not see breastfeeding mothers. In films, tv and the media women always bottle feed. It has become the norm, so in our everyday lives we see more women bottle feeding. Women have the right to feed in public whether that is via a bottle or a breast. I don't want breastfeeding to become this huge thing that is shouted about, because it shouldn't have to be. It should be seen the same as bottle feeding. It is food and it is survival. It is boring and normal, but so important to these women and their babies.
Honestly, after attending a breastfeeding support group with my mum for years I hardly ever notice when someone breastfeeds anymore. Im so used to the fact that women breastfeed that I don't pay attention when it happens. I just carry on my normal everyday conversations with these women. Because it's so normal to me. It's no big deal because I've been exposed to it, and by that I mean in a brilliant way. I have had the opportunity to not only see my two younger siblings be breastfed, but also multiple other women. I've had the opportunity to watch them and their babies grow. I understand so much about breastfeeding and I feel perfectly comfortable with it. I value the female body for what it can do.
At the end of the day breast are a body part. They are not purely sexual or purely for feeding babies. They are for women and whatever the hell they choose. We should not need to glorify or justify breasts in order for them to be acceptable. Breastfeeding mums, you're doing amazing. Bottle feeding mums, you're doing amazing. Coppafeel, you're doing amazing. Keep going, keep fighting.