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Should breastfeeding still be in the news?

American model, Mara Martin, was filmed breastfeeding her infant as she walked down the runway at Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit show. Though, after waking up to seeing her name in headlines, Martin posted an Instagram photo wondering why she was in the news at all.

On Monday, Sports Illustrated shared a video of Martin walking down the runway as she breastfed her baby, who had headphones on to drown out the amount of noise.

Soon after the video was released, the Daily Mail published a story with the headline: “Working mom! Model walks the Sports Illustrated swimsuit runway while breastfeeding five-month-old daughter.” The article was accompanied by several photos.

Martin, herself, posted an Instagram photo that first discussed how amazing it was for her to walk down the runway and how it was a lifelong dream of hers. Though, she added, “I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day. It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least. I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL!

“But to be honest, the real reason I can’t believe it is a headline is because it shouldn’t be a headline!!! My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that. Last night there are far more deserving headlines that our world should see,” she continued. Martin noted how there were women going to boot camp before joining the military, how Allyn Rose had a mastectomy, and how Brenna Huckaby survived cancer and is a two-time Paralympic gold medalist.

Stories like this are always a bit of a curious case because the reactions are so often very split. There are mothers everywhere who support women like Martin who do what’s natural without giving it another thought, and there are people out there who think Martin fed her child for attention (a concept I can’t wrap my head around). The comments on Martin’s photo and Sports Illustrated’s video were a pretty mixed bag of support and condemnation, though the majority of comments commended her.

Despite the need to erase the stigma surrounding breastfeeding, Martin also has a point that her feeding a child doesn’t need to outshine the other women who were there. There’s a reason to think about why this is the kind of story that seemingly trumps all others. Martin had a great point that there were other women there who were accomplishing many things, and why is her child having a meal be the talk of the day?

Of course, it’s not fair to insinuate that Sports Illustrated only published the story to gain attention or clicks. Their caption on the video was “GIRL POWER!” and even if Martin doesn’t see it as a big deal, her breastfeeding on a runway sticks it to the people who think that doing something natural needs to be done behind closed doors. But then a weird cycle starts where if stories like this are constantly made into the news, how will people adapt into thinking that it’s an everyday occurrence?

It may not be seen as a ground-breaking move by Martin, her act was bold to many people and is worth talking about. In a way, breastfeeding her child on the runway made it more natural than people may have initially thought. I agree with Martin that she doesn’t need to be in headlines, but she deserves also be commended for taking care of her baby while pointing out that it’s not newsworthy to be a working mother.

Fashion over compassion?

The damage caused by Hurricane Harvey was unexpected and devastating. On Aug. 29, U.S President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump boarded Air Force One in Maryland to visit flood ravished Texas.

Despite this headline, most people were struck by what Melania wore while boarding Air Force One. It was a rainy Tuesday morning and she wore a quite fashionable outfit: cropped black pants, a green bomber jacket, hair flowing, sunglasses, and the infamous thin black stiletto heels.

By all accounts she looked great, but the damage was already done. People began mocking the First Lady for wearing heels on a visit to a disaster zone.

By the time Melania arrived in Texas, she had changed her shoes, now wearing clean and bright white sneakers. Her hair was tucked back in a FLOTUS cap and she had on a raised collar crisp white shirt tucked into those cropped black pants. Sunglasses still in effect. The First Lady’s fashion choices were more talked about than the reason the President went to Texas in the first place — and how can I blame them?

Everyone is entitled to an opinion on this topic, but it’s hard to know what exactly the First Lady was thinking. Let us not forget Mrs Trump is a former fashion model. She knows how to dress. In fact, since she took office many have paid close attention to her fashion choices. Maybe if she wore the sneakers initially instead of changing on the plane this would not be an issue.

Her choice of heels is what ‘raises’ Melania Trump above the rest. I think even more alarming was her FLOTUS cap, (I believe we know you are the First Lady.) What you are viewing here is simply the reality of Melania’s world.  She is used to dressing well when she is out in public so she did not give it a second thought. However, I do believe there was some forethought into these outfits, as the FLOTUS cap gives away. She meant to wear these two specific outfits to Texas. They were fashion statements.

Her rise as First Lady has always been mocked, from her choice of words, to her stiff and cold expressions towards her husband. She does not come off as warm and loving. Instead she is represented as a upstanding trophy wife enduring  the spotlight. No one really knows why Melania chose those shoes, or what she was really thinking. All we know for sure is that the press is buzzing about her outfit rather than her effort and compassion. If you want to make a heartfelt visit to a disaster area, it may be best to wear some boots made for walking.

What do you think about the First Lady’s fashion choice? Was it on purpose, and why do we even care? Leave some comments below.