“75 per cent say breastfeeding in public is fine. 25 per cent say put them away. What’s your way?”
Honestly, what WAS Dove thinking with its newest ad campaign?
The skincare brand – which in the past wonderfully celebrated women’s bodies in all their shapes, sizes, ages and nationalities – seems to have had something of a crisis.
Its new adverts, the premise of which is showing support for parents whatever their choices, couldn’t be any more misguided if it tried.
I didn’t breastfeed Sonny Jim. I planned to, wanted to, tried to, but he couldn’t. So we didn’t.
But I am vehemently supportive of the mamas who breastfeed. And mamas who choose to bottle feed. Fed is always best.
So Dove, here are a few things I think you need to know.
The equality act of 2010 means it is now discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. It’s ILLEGAL for anyone to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place. So that 25 per cent you mention? Who CARES what they think.
Being a mum can be hard. Being a new mummy can be overwhelming. What a mama who is just getting to grips with motherhood, who has seen her body change beyond all recognition, who is just getting to know the baby they’ve spent months growing, absolutely doesn’t need is any more anxiety.
And that is what your advert has done, Dove. You’ve given credence to the cretines out there who like to judge mummies. You’ve given a voice to the narrow-minded numpties who with a thoughtless “put it away” comment can destroy a mum’s confidence. Can make her think twice about going out. Can make her question her mothering ability (even more than she already is. None of us think we’re doing “mummying” right anyway.)
Dove, go back to selling soap. Leave the actually parenting to us, hey?
This post was first published in the Echo newspaper on Friday, July 7, 2017: www.echo-news.co.uk