In November of 2018, twenty-nine-year-old Abhilasha Arup DasAdhikari struggled to find a clean, hygienic space to breastfeed her seven-month-old at a mall in Kolkata.
She raised her concerns on the mall's social media page and what followed was an embarrassing display of bigotry. People were outraged, apologies were made.
What became glaringly clear is that institutions and individuals are taking their time to accept breastfeeding as natural, normal and publically acceptable. Breastfeeding has always been something women do in the privacy of their own home or behind closed doors. Abhilasha had to request the staff at an empty store to let her use their change room. The staff acquiesced.
Despite the struggle to #NormalizeBreastfeeding in countries like India, models and celebrities around the world are doing their part to lead the charge.
In August 2014, actress Olivia Wilde allowed photographers to take pictures for Glamour magazine as she nursed her then 3-month-old son Otis.
Six months after the birth of her son, Hollywood actress Rachel McAdams was featured in the December 2018 issue of fashion magazine ‘Girls Girls Girls’ wearing Bulgari, Versace and the breast pump she used to express milk between shots.
Celebrities Chrissy Teigan, Alanis Morissette, Liv Tyler, Alyssa Milano, Kristen Bell, Pink, Julie Bowen, Gwen Stefani, Gisele Bundchen, Blake Lively, Padma Lakshmi have all at different points taken to social media and shared pictures of themselves breastfeeding their little ones, proving that you can breastfeed and still be vibrant, sexy and fashionable.