In recent months, celebs like Chrissy Teigen and Chelsea Peretti have been remarkably, refreshingly open about the totally normal task of taking breastfeeding and pumping breaks while working on set or attending star-studded award shows. Last weekend, though, model Mara Martin took things a step further by breastfeeding her five-month-old without taking a break from her job — even though said job entailed walking the runway at Miami Swim Week in a bikini.
Martin was one of 16 finalists chosen to walk in Sports Illustrated's swimwear show on Sunday night, Cosmopolitan reports. She strutted down the catwalk wearing a metallic gold one-shouldered bikini and carrying her baby, who was wearing noise-canceling headphones and a diaper and breastfed throughout the proud mom's entire walk. Many people praised SI and Martin for the move, flooding the comments section of the SI Swimsuit Edition's Instagram video of Martin's walk with positive messages like, "Yesssssssss??? normalize bf! Thanks @si_swimsuit," and, in response to a critic, "I'm really glad this mother is confident and responsible enough to feed her child regardless if you think it's 'icky.'"
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Sports Illustrated isn't the first brand to normalize and highlight the beauty of the various stages of motherhood. Back in March 2015, Dolce & Gabbana dedicated its entire ready-to-wear collection at Milan Fashion Week to moms, sending models down the runway wearing clothes embroidered with sweet phrases like "I love you, mamma" and carrying their children with them if they chose, while more mothers and their children posed together in the background. Last September, Eckhaus Latta did its part to pay tribute to motherhood when artist Maia Ruth Lee walked its spring 2018 show at New York Fashion Week while eight months pregnant, with several buttons of her dress undone so as to let her baby bump peek out.
And in 2016, model Diandra Forrest walked the Gypsy Sport show at NYFW while carrying her seven-month-old daughter close to her chest. Though Forrest wasn't actually breastfeeding her daughter as she walked, she shut down critics who assumed she had, telling The Telegraph, "I was so shocked when people were shocked by it. It's a natural thing. People are more used to seeing naked bodies in more of a sexual way than a motherly way. I'm not against that at all — I've done nude pictures and I'm very proud of my body — but it’s OK to show your body in that way. If you're pulling out your breasts to feed your child, that should be even more so OK."
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