Supermodel Natalia Vodianova was best known for what she did on the catwalk.
But now? Not so much.
The 32-year-old Calvin Klein model recently Instagrammed a nude black and white photo of herself breastfeeding her one-month-old son, Maxim.
And now everyone’s talking about it.
It’s a well-lit, airbrushed, glamorous photo taken by a fashion photographer. She has no visible cellulite, no bags under her eyes, no messy unwashed 3-week-old hair and she’s eye-balling the camera. Not her baby.
The picture has polarised mothers.
Some say that Vodianova is a beautiful woman embracing motherhood and normalising breastfeeding, while others have suggested the mum-of-four looks too seductive.
Only a couple of years ago, Miranda Kerr posted a similar photo of her breastfeeding her son while she lay on her bed. I remember it well because I was also breastfeeding my daughter at the same time. But I was doing it very differently. I sat in a chair. Half-asleep and unglamorous. But, she’s a supermodel. I am not. (Let it be known, however, that I did try to breastfeed in bed, like Miranda, and it’s trickier than it looks).
So is it too much? Is it unfair on ‘normal’ mums for women like Natalia Vodianova to share this kind of glossy family snap? Maybe not.
Mama Bean blogger says – bring it on. In a post called ‘A Very Normal Supermodel,’ Mama Bean suggested the picture was a step towards normalising breastfeeding. “Because if we continue to treat (breastfeeding) as a secret art form, reserved for private rooms and hushed conversations, it will remain a taboo. It will become lost in the passage of time, further misunderstood and out of reach for future mothers,” she wrote.
But blogger, Alyssa Ashton thinks quite the opposite, “I’m appalled by this image. Not because I’m anti-breastfeeding. But because I’m against sexualising breastfeeding, which is exactly what this photo does … No mum looks like this when she breastfeeds. Her hair and make-up isn’t usually done. She isn’t posing seductively. And she certainly isn’t breastfeeding in the nude. I hate this image because it presents breastfeeding in an inaccurate fashion.”’
Maxim is Natalia’s fourth child. She has three older children – 12-year-old Lucas, eight-year-old Neva and six-year-old Viktor – with her first husband who she separated from in 2001. Maxim is her first child with her new partner, Antoine Arnault, the billionaire CEO of luxury men’s footwear brand Berluti.
Breastfeeding is a very normal part of mothering – is this a healthy way of celebrating it?
What does breastfeeding look like to you?
Share your photos with us in the comments section below or on social media using the hashtag #mmbreastfeeding and we’ll create a gallery.