In the middle of last year, Australian model Nicole Trunfio appeared on the cover of Elle magazine breastfeeding her four-month-old son.
For a world that censors new mums at every turn, from social media to the supermarket, it was a groundbreaking photo shoot which started a long overdue national conversation.
But for the 30-year-old, who got her start on Search for a Supermodel, it was the impact the image had on her husband, musician Gary Clark Jr, that mattered the most.
Thank you to the #ama for naming us the #coveroftheyear This shows that people are conscious and listening, don’t stop raising awareness, it only takes one person to start a movement. #normalizebreastfeeding Thank you to @justine_cullen and @elleaus for being so bold and forward thinking #honored ????????
“I woke up the next morning after it launched and I had comments on my Instagram saying, “This is such an important thing for women and culture,” she told Stellar in a recent interview.
“For me, the most impactful thing came from home because [my husband] Gary [Clark Jnr] used to feel really uncomfortable when I’d breastfeed at a restaurant, even if I had a blanket over the top.
“When he saw the impact that it made on the world, he realised how important it was to accept it and normalise it.”
The couple welcomed Zion into the world on January 11, 2015, and married this year in April.
In the article accompanying the original Elle cover – which was shot in the lead up to last year’s International Day to Normalize Breastfeeding – Trunfio explained her mission further:
“You know, everyone has their own opinions about it. Some think that it’s a private moment that you should share only with your child. Some think it’s a cultural thing. But I think mainly, it’s the sexual side of it. A woman’s body is so sexualised. So a woman can be in lingerie on a billboard with her breasts protruding out of bra, but a mother who’s fully clothed and being discreet can’t breastfeed her child?”
It wasn’t until her husband began to understand breastfeeding as a necessity that he stopped making him uncomfortable.
“I think breasts need to be seen as non-sexual things. They need to be seen for what they’re for: feeding a child,” she said.
“Hopefully one day when a woman is breastfeeding, she won’t be met with embarrassment and judgment.”