Home > Rayne > Hey, Feminism? Your ugly is showing.

Hey, Feminism? Your ugly is showing.

May 24th, 2015

ELLE Magazine put a photograph of a model breastfeeding on their subscriber cover. Feminism, as you can expect, imploded.

Half the feminists are all, “Fuck yeah, breastfeeding! It’s about time. How beautiful!” I love these feminists. These feminists responded perfectly.

Hell fucking yeah! One of the leading beauty and fashion magazines put a photograph of a woman breastfeeding her child on the cover. I, for one, never thought that would happen.

For years, the fashion industry has been telling women that everything about motherhood–from being pregnant, to breastfeeding and the way it changes your breasts, to the battle scars women are left with after pregnancy–is ugly, not at all fashionable, social and sexual suicide. I mean, like, you totally can’t fit into a size 00 anymore, so how could anything about you be attractive?

Models are not mothers. Or so the industry would have you believe, because mommies are not sexy.

And now, here’s ELLE, not just slipping a picture of a model breastfeeding her child somewhere between the pages so that you might miss it, but glorifying the act, and reveling in its beauty, and stamping ELLE’s seal of approval on it by placing it on the cover.

Fuck yeah, ELLE! I hate you a little less, now.

But there wouldn’t be a debate without an opposing view. Those feminists are all, “God, no mother looks like that when she breastfeeds. She’s giving the camera that smoky ‘come hither’ stare. And that leather jacket must cost at least $5,000. And what mother gets all gussied up to take care of her child? I mean, what idiot would breastfeed in designer clothes? It’s just an excuse to stare at her breasts.”

Personally, I’m pretty ashamed of those feminists. Because those feminists are saying it’s only okay to breastfeed in public if you’re doing it at the grocery store, no makeup, in your pajamas, and not on the set of a photoshoot for a fashion magazine. Because those feminists are saying that their truth is the only truth that matters. And with everybody screaming about letting everybody speak and live their truth, that is totally fucked up.

The situation is this:

A woman who breastfeeds her child (Nicole Trunfio) is a fashion model for a living. She’s at work. Her child is with her, and he gets hungry, so she feeds him. The ELLE staff is so moved that they decide to move mother and child onto the set.

“This wasn’t a contrived situation,” says ELLE’s editor-in-chief, Justine Cullen. “Zion needed a feed, Nicole gave it to him, and when we saw how beautiful they looked we simply moved her onto the set. It was a completely natural moment that resulted in a powerful picture.”

Again: fashion model, at work, with a breastfed child.

“But he’s not even wearing a diaper! What experienced mother breastfeeds her child without a diaper?!”


So we’re not just calling into question the magazine’s ethics, here, but also Trunfio’s parenting abilities? Because she did her job while breastfeeding. Sorry, Nicole. You’re job is far too glamorous to validate your choice to breastfeed your child by putting you on the cover of a magazine. Really?


Look, it’s like this: There are women in the fashion industry. The models? They’re not just robotic dolls placed on stage or on set and made to prance around with a remote control. They’re real people, with real lives, and real feelings. And, like it or not, they’re real people that other real people look up to and aspire to emulate.

Thousands (probably millions!) of women wake up in the morning, put on a full face of makeup and designer clothes, style their hair just so, and then go about the rest of their day, whether it be as a model, or a mother, or some other job that may or may not require them to be fashionable. Some of them breastfeed. How many of them, do you think, take off their designer clothes and wash their face and hair before allowing their child to feed?

I’m gonna go ahead and say pretty close to none. But ELLE and Trunfio should have, what? Put Trunfio in flannel pants and a tank top, slapped her hair up in a messy bun, and smeared her makeup (actually, I’d like to see that shoot…I bet it would be hilarious and fun) before she was allowed to feed her child? Not done the shoot at all? Hidden the breastfeeding model in the back room until Zion was finished eating?

What the fuck ever. Go home, Feminism. You’re drunk.

  1. May 24th, 2015 at 12:42 | #1

    Feminism aside, I am a little perplexed as to why the kid is naked. I mean, if the scene wasn’t contrived, why is the the baby naked? I would assume most parents don’t have their kids just sitting around naked in public.

    I do think it’s funny that feminists are complaining about her wearing fancy clothes in a cover photo for a fashion magazine. It’s a fashion magazine. Whatever she happens to be doing in the photo, I fully expect her to be wearing designer clothes. That’s kind of the point of a fashion magazine.

    I find people expecting reality or politically correct worldviews from art and fiction to be a little ridiculous. Such things should be able to exist and be appreciated outside the political sphere.

  2. May 24th, 2015 at 13:03 | #2

    @ Simina Who knows why the photographer chose to photograph Zion naked? Maybe there wasn’t a fashionable onesie available? More likely it just made for a better shot. Those whacky artists…

  3. May 24th, 2015 at 16:12 | #3

    When I first seen the image, I didn’t even notice that the baby was naked. The image has a very natural feel to it rather appearing posed even with the designer clothing. She’s a fashion model doing a cover shot, of course she is in designer clothing and fab makeup.

    I breastfeed both my kids and the were plenty of occasions where they were naked. Air drying after a diaper change or bath. Fusing too much to get the diaper on. I’m willing to bet many other woman have too. And I wasn’t always in that hideous nursing bra and slacks with terrible hair. Just because you’re breastfeeding doesn’t mean there aren’t occasions you don’t wear designer clothing and look great. The idea that mothers are at home in slacks, no makeup, and unkempt breastfeeding or caring for the children is absolutely ridiculous and goes against trying to prove that motherhood is sexy too.

  4. June 14th, 2015 at 20:28 | #4

    Now I’m going to pop back and look at the cover again since I wasn’t looking at whether or not the baby had a diaper on. I don’t know why people get their undies in a bunch about breastfeeding.

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