Simply by wearing a white terry cloth robe and sitting still in a make-up chair, Gisele Bündchen has once again entered the breastfeeding wars.
Three years after telling Harper’s Bazaar UK that “there should be a worldwide law...that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months,” she posted a photo on Instagram today of her nursing her 1-year-old daughter Vivian while a team of three stylists ready her for a photo shoot.
Credit given to Bündchen for acknowledging that it takes a team to do as she does. “What would I do without this beauty squad after the 15 hours flying and only 3 hours of sleep #multitasking #gettingready” she writes.
It’s a lovely photo, but in an era where breastfeeding is such a hot button issue -- what with Facebook banning photos of it while TIME magazine uses them to sell magazines-- it is much more than that. This snapshot of Bündchen doing what she thinks women should be required to do, but that law and custom in the U.S. don’t really support, is being seen as a controversial one.
As Jessica Grose writes at elle.com:
The mature part of me is thrilled for Gisele that she can have the space and luxury to breastfeed while working and can bring her baby on the job. The small part of me is green with envy because I live in the United States where maternity leave is a joke and where most women who have 1-year-olds and are still breastfeeding are at the office with a pump attached to their chests like some bizarre medieval torture device/elaborate S&M sex toy.
After the backlash to her 2010 Harper's comments, Bündchen posted a statement on her own blog saying she recognized the widespread impact of her personal remarks. "My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law," she said. "It comes from my passionate beliefs about children. Being a new mom has brought a lot of questions. I feel like I am in a constant search for answers on what might be the best for my child. It's unfortunate that in an interview sometimes things can seem so black and white."
This photo, most definitely in color, is indeed a beautiful depiction of breastfeeding. It is, in fact, what we as a society should want for every mother -- the ability to feed her child as best she can, do work she loves, and feel supported throughout.
Many more famous moms have had something to say about breastfeeding...
The singer recently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alanis-morisette/attachment-parenting_b_1563667.html" target="_hplink">expressed</a> her pro-attachement parenting beliefs and <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/21/celebrities-who-breastfeed_n_1533167.html" target="_hplink">said</a>, "I breastfeed and I'll be breastfeeding until my son is finished and he weans," on "The Billy Bush Show."
Beyonce was <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/01/beyonce-breastfeeds-blue-ivy_n_1312950.html" target="_hplink">spotted breastfeeding</a> Blue Ivy in New York City while dining out with husband, Jay-Z.
Alicia Silverstone -- whose <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/27/alicia-silverstone-chews-food-for-bear-blue-mouth-to-mouth_n_1383262.html" target="_hplink">pre-mastication video</a> thrust her baby-feeding philosophy into the public spotlight -- was once <a href="http://socialitelife.com/is-alicia-silverstone-breastfeeding-bear-blu-while-walking-photos-video-03-2012" target="_hplink">photographed breastfeeding</a> Bear Blu <em>while</em> walking.
Actress, <a href="http://www.kveller.com/blog/parenting/it-may-be-time-to-wean-my-three-year-old/" target="_hplink">Mayim Bialik blogged</a> in September about starting to wean her 3-year-old. In her new book, "Beyond The Sling," Bialik writes that he still nurses about five times a day, and r<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/14/attachment-parenting-mayim-bialik_n_1515029.html" target="_hplink">ecently told CNN</a> "it is still a tremendous source of discipline, and of bonding, that occurs between a mother and a child."
Milano <a href="http://www.bestforbabes.org/alyssa-milano-charmed-by-breastfeeding" target="_hplink">told Best for Babes</a> that she has had no trouble breastfeeding her son, Milo. "I was lucky to have a baby who from the moment he came into the world, was a pro at latching on," she said.
In November 2011, Spelling's husband, Dean McDermott <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/01/tori-spelling-talks-tople_n_1123162.html?" target="_hplink">accidentally tweeted a photo </a>of his son, Liam, who was 4 at the time, which showed Spelling's breasts in the background. "I am a mom, I was nursing my baby... [Dean] was so devasted about it that I couldn't be mad. I mean it was genuinely an accident," Spelling <a href="http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2011/11/29/tori-spelling-at-least-my-breasts-looked-great/" target="_hplink">told CNN about the incident</a>.
Kourtney K. quit breastfeeding son, Mason, when he was 14 months old. "I think I stopped early because my sisters were like 'OK, it's time, it's time,'" <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/07/kourtney-kardashian-talks_n_1000125.html" target="_hplink">she said on the "Today" show</a>. "I miss it, I loved it."
Shortly after giving birth to her son, Flynn, Kerr <a href="http://www.koraorganics.com/blog/live-in-my-skin/all-things-organic/organic-certification/our-darling-little-man-xxx/" target="_hplink">posted a photo</a> on her blog that husband Orlando took of her nursing.
In 2010, Bundchen <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/gisele-bundchen-mandatory-breastfeeding-should-be-a-worldwide-law-201028" target="_hplink">declared there should be a "worldwide law" </a>requiring new mothers to breastfeed for six months after they give birth. Many critics</a> were unhappy with her statement, and <a href="http://www.bettyconfidential.com/ar/ld/a/gisele-backtracks-on-breastfeeding-law-comment.html" target="_hplink">she eventually clarified</a> by writing on her blog: "My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law. It comes from my passion and beliefs about children."
Wilkinson <a href="http://www.babyzone.com/mom/celebrity-babies/kendra-wilkinson_210550" target="_hplink">once told Baby Zone</a> an outrageous story about the first party she went to after giving birth to baby Hank: "I went to Eve nightclub in Vegas and my boobs started leaking. I couldn't do anything so I breastfed myself [laughs]. And it tasted sweet, too!"
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/02/10/salma-hayek-breastfeeds-a_n_165676.html" target="_hplink">Salma Hayek breastfed a newborn baby boy in Africa </a>whose mother had no milk in 2009. Hayek was weaning her own daughter, Valentina, at the time, but still had milk to donate.
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/01/13/radiant-naomi-watts-steps_n_157477.html" target="_hplink">Watts told PEOPLE magazine in 2009</a> that breastfeeding was how she lost weight. "He's sucking it all out of me, it seems," she said.
In 2009, Romijn <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/30/rebecca-romijn-on-weight_n_194226.html" target="_hplink">told Extra!</a>, "Breastfeeding is the very best diet I've been on. It's amazing."
The November 2008 cover of <em>W magazine</em> <a href="http://www.wmagazine.com/celebrities/2008/11/brad_pitt_angelina_jolie" target="_hplink">featured Jolie nursing. </a>
In 2008, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/01/16/talk-of-nipples-breast-pu_n_81887.html?" target="_hplink">Hasselback demonstrated how to use a breast pump</a> on "The View" -- she was nursing her son, Taylor, at the time.
Five weeks after giving birth to son, Max, Aguilera <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/02/20/christina-aguilera-talks-_n_87645.html" target="_hplink">went on The Ellen Show </a>wearing a low cut, revealing dress that prompted the talk show host to ask, "Are you nursing?"
Stefani was still breastfeeding son, Kingston, when she went on tour in 2007. <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2007/aug/05/fashion.popandrock" target="_hplink">She told The Guardian</a>, "I don't know when I'm going to stop breastfeeding... I'll just keep going while I can -- like, he's getting his teeth so it is a little bit scary. He's bitten me a few times!"
In the the April 2007 issue Garner told <a href="http://celebritybabies.people.com/2007/03/25/jennifer_garner_3-4/" target="_hplink">Allure Magazine:</a> "All I ever heard was everyone bitch about [nursing] -- nobody ever said, 'You are not going to believe how emotional this is.' It's like, I'll say I'm going to stop, and then I'm in there, feeding her."
Gyllenhaal was <a href="http://celebritybabies.people.com/2007/05/05/maggie_gyllenha/" target="_hplink">photographed by the paparazzi </a>in 2007 nursing her daughter, Ramona, during a walk by the Hudson River.
<a href="http://celebritybabies.people.com/2006/06/20/bizarre_breastf/" target="_hplink">Kate Beckinsale told Jay Leno in 2006</a> that she missed breastfeeding her daughter and that "she was very good at it."
In 2004, when Mary-Louise Parker won a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K91VXG6xFI" target="_hplink">Golden Globe for "Angels in America"</a> she said, "Janel Moloney just told me she would pay me $1,000 if I thanked my newborn son for making my boobs look so good in this dress."