On July 15th, Mara Martin strutted down the catwalk at the Paraiso x SI Swimsuit runway show wearing a gold bikini - and nursing her five-month-old daughter, Aria.
The crowd went wild with applause and the internet quickly followed suit. The people at Sports Illustrated immediately took to Instagram to highlight this "girl power" moment. And as a breastfeeding mom who was actually nursing my son as I read about Mara's unconventional walk, I couldn't help but smile.
We live in a society where women are taught to expose our breasts to be sexy, but told to cover them up when we want to use them for their purpose -- to feed our children. By walking down that catwalk with her daughter at her breast, Mara sent a message to all those breastfeeding-shamers that nursing one's child is beautiful and not something that should ever be hidden.
I applaud Mara for using the platform she was given -- a catwalk -- to help normalize breastfeeding. And I applaud Sports Illustrated for allowing this important moment to happen. Now it is time for the magazine to go a step further.
Mara is not the only model or athlete that breastfeeds her child. And if Sports Illustrated truly supports breastfeeding as much as they say they do, then Mara's walk should just be the beginning.
Sign my petition urging Sports Illustrated to feature breastfeeding athletes on the cover of their magazine. The magazine that has sexualized breasts in their swimsuit issues for so many years should take this opportunity to help normalizing breastfeeding in their regular issues.