Are "Brelfies" just naked exhibitionism?
The new parenting trend where mothers are taking pictures of themselves breastfeeding, is called a “brelfie”. But what are the reactions on social media to this latest craze?
Everyone knows that a “selfie” is a photo you take of yourself, and that “wefies” are group shots taken by someone in that group.
But have you heard of the latest parenting trend called the “brelfie”, otherwise known as a breastfeeding selfie?
Brelfies are taking the internet by storm as breastfeeding mothers all over the world are snapping and sharing them online for all to see.
Celebrity mums like Gwen Stefani, Pink, Miranda Kerr, Gisele Bündchen and Jaime King are also getting in on this trend by posting brelfies on their social media accounts.
Is it just attention-seeking?
Not everyone seems to appreciate this increasingly popular trend and think that those who take brelfies are just attention-seeking, naked exhibitionists.
Journalist, Angela Epstein, shares on a talkshow interview that mums who take brelfies are using their children as commodities and go around parading that they can breastfeed. She says, “This whole brelfie cult smacks of naked exhibitionism”.
She also feels that such intimate moments should just be shared between the child and mum, not splashed all over the internet.
Actress, Alyssa Milano, who coined the brelfie hashtag after receiving some backlash about the picture she posted of herself breastfeeding her daughter on Instagram, says, “I got really sad about it, because who are we, that now we get upset as human beings if we see a woman feeding her baby?”.
What else are people saying about brelfies? Keep reading to find out!
Brelfies vs bottle-feeders
Mothers who choose to bottle-feed their babies with formula milk feel that they are being guilt-tripped by these confident breastfeeding mums, or as they like to call them, the “Brelfie brigade”, and that they are being shamed for not breastfeeding their child.
Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that babies be breastfed for at least six months from birth to achieve optimal growth, development and health; and ideally up until two years of age, not all mothers are able to do so because they cannot, choose not to or have medical reasons.
Author of the book, What To Expect When You’re Breastfeeding… And What If You Can’t, Clare Byam-Cook, explains, “50 percent of women give up breastfeeding within six weeks. Not because they can’t be bothered, but because they find it too difficult”.
But the bold breastfeeding mums mean no harm and are just doing their part to help normalise breastfeeding as well as address the taboo of public breastfeeding in modern society.
A pro-breastfeeding campaign called, When Nurture Calls, explains that breastfeeding mums may get harrassed, have service refused to them, and actually feel shamed into nursing their babies in public toilets because breastfeeding in public is usually looked down upon.
Would you take a brelfie?
Asian parents may typically be more conservative about breastfeeding in public, let alone taking a brelfie of their bub latching on and posting it online for fear of it becoming an awkward topic of conversation at the next family reunion dinner.
Singaporean women also tend to feel more comfortable wearing a nursing cover while breastfeeding in public to protect their modesty, or using nursing rooms for more comfort and privacy, so we are not sure if this trend will gain as much popularity as it has in other countries.
However, some local celebrities and mums here are jumping on the bandwagon to make it known just how beneficial breastfeeding is for both mother and baby, so have shared their gorgeous brelfies with the world.
But whether you will be brave enough to share your brelfie with the world, or choose to take a mental snapshot and keep it secretly locked away in your memories instead, the choice is entirely yours.