The bikini model who breastfed her five-month-old daughter while walking down the runway over the weekend has received backlash with people labeling her catwalk a media stunt and others believing she should ’embarrassed’ and ‘ashamed’.
Mara Martin, 30, walked on the runway at the W Hotel South Beach during the Sports Illustrated swimsuit show on Sunday night in Miami, Florida, modelling a golden bikini and holding her daughter Aria in her arms.
And while some have applauded her as ‘inspiration’ for mothers everywhere, others were quick to voice their ‘disgust’ over Mara’s decision to breastfeed her baby while walking the runway.
One person wrote in a tweet: ‘ Yuck! Not appropriate at all!! There is a time and place for things – a runway is for a hot model not a breastfeeding mother.’
And another person shared on Twitter: ‘Indeed, but I think a model on a catwalk breastfeeding is ridiculous. Being supported is one thing this doesn’t make any sense to me and many will disagree with me so I will end the discussion here.’
‘Not at all saying she can’t, but walking the runway in a bikini while breastfeeding is weird as hell,’ one comment said. ‘Not gross, just weird.’
And others said that Mara was using her baby as an ‘accessory’ for fame and recognition with a tweet that said: ‘Exploitation of baby as fashion accessory.’
‘Didn’t get impressed, what she did it is to get publicity,’ one comment said ‘To me was disgusting not by breastfeeding but to use her baby.’
But despite the online abuse, Mara’s decision to breastfeed on the runway has been met with many congratulatory comments from people who have cheered her on and praised her for helping normalize breastfeeding.
‘You are such an inspiration! Wow! That’s what multitasking and motherhood is all about! Totally winning at life sweetie breastfeeding at work!!!’ one person wrote in an Instagram comment.
Someone else commented: ‘Thank you for showing many that this is normal and not shameful to take care of your baby.’
One person pointed out how Mara’s performance on the catwalk might help other parents feel more comfortable nursing in public, writing: ‘Well done to you! While sitting with a good friend of mine this weekend, she told me that she is scared to breastfeed in public because someone might come over and shout at her.’
‘You did something so fantastic for women like her! I know many people missed the point of why you did it, but they obviously have never felt the way my friend feels.’
Mara reacted in an emotional Instagram post, saying that she is grateful and humbled by the attention her walk on the runway has gathered, and highlighting the accomplishments of some of her fellow models.
‘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!’ she wrote