Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
I’ve had some time to come to terms with my own nipples and/or breasts. My rambunctious toddler was an equally feisty infant, and she had no time for covers or modesty. She was also a very curious thing, so random strangers would be greeted with some nice views of the milk goods on a regular basis. Loud noise? Unlatch. Approaching person? Unlatch. Incoherent babbling? Unlatch.
You get the picture.
A cover was never an option, because I drew more attention with the screaming child who was trying to rip it off me. And I travelled too often to find a “private space” every time my daughter needed to nurse. Oh, and bathrooms were a solid, hardcore no. Gross. I have been in a position where I needed to poop as badly as my daughter needed to nurse, but that was not a repeat event. Toilets and breastfeeding do not mix, ok.
Back to the point.
The point is, nipple is going to be out there, ok? But is it really that big of a deal? Is my nipple that shocking to you? You don’t give a crap about my husband’s nipples, and honestly, I prefer mine to his. They actually do something. Nipples and breasts are not sexual, so why all the fuss?
And then I realized, the fuss over nipples starts with babies.
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and realized that several moms had summer pics of their cute kids, but their nipples were covered with little stickers that had been added via photo apps. Seriously? These kids are babies and toddlers, yet their nipples (only girls of course) are being covered as if they’re inappropriate. Do you know who is sexualizing babies when you put on nipple stickers? YOU. The person putting on nipple stickers. Do you know who else wears nipple stickers? Strippers.
Ok, that was a far leap. I admit that.
But my goodness.
Your child, boy or girl, does not need nipple stickers. A breastfeeding mother does not need to cover up. It’s literally just a nipple, and y’all need to calm down. There is nothing shameful about breasts or nipples, and kids are being taught before they can speak that they should cover up.
Teach something different. Teach that nipples, along with every other body part, are completely normal. Teach that there is a time and a place to rock your nipples, and that the pool in your own backyard is probably an ok place. Teach that breastfeeding is just as acceptable as bottle feeding and vice versa. Do not stigmatize or sexualize children, and do not shame moms for doing what is completely natural.
Stop obsessing over nipples. They won’t hurt you, I promise.