"That's so beautiful."
May I say how much that phrase grates me? When I've gotten remarks on photos or blog posts about nursing, there have been a few, "Breastfeeding is so beautiful" remarks.
And I know people are trying to be supportive, but it makes me really self-conscious. Because it sounds like, "They way you transfer milk into your child is really attractive." There's this unsaid idea that if I was breastfeeding in some other way (on my head? sitting in mud? if I was 100 pounds heavier?) it wouldn't be "beautiful."
It just really irks me. And creeps me out a little. Because even when I'm just trying to sit down, take a breather, and be a mom, someone has to comment on my appearance. Because as women, we don't get enough of that, you know.
Can I have 2 seconds when my appearance isn't being critiqued or commented on?
I also get the same heebie jeebies when someone goes on and on about how "natural" nursing is. "Breastfeeding pictures are beautiful because breastfeeding is so natural." That logic just doesn't work for me. Lots of things are natural and not beautiful and for some women, breastfeeding is hard hard hard unnatural work with lots of unnatural hoops to jump through, so yeah. Stop it with the "natural" business. You're creeping me out.
I just want breastfeeding to be breastfeeding. I want to be considered a person who breastfeeds, not a picture of a woman being "motherly" and therefore "beautiful." Stop making judgments on my appearance. Or my baby's appearance. Or my breasts. Or whatever you think is "beautiful" and "natural."
I'm on this earth to kick some ass, not to be pretty for you. Thank you. (I need this in a T-shirt).
And now, to get ready for the nurse-in tomorrow. Because my breastfeeding pictures speak 1000 words: sometimes "beautiful" but always "freaking awesome."
ETA: McKay said this post was a little weird and a little confusing. And I know that. I really don't know how to explain my feelings about this at all. I guess you could say that some pictures are National Geographic material and some are bottom-of-the-drawer-will-get-into-the-photo-album-someday material. And you share both with your friends, and it's weird when someone uses the same adjective for the bottom-of-the-drawer picture and the National Geographic picture. Or something like that.
Sunday, February 05, 2012
"That's so beautiful."