I have a daughter and I tell her all the time that she can be whatever she wants to be and that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. She is 11.
As I push forward with my Uniformed Breastfeeding Collection of amazing mothers that work jobs and breastfeeding their babies full time, I have had many different people reach out to me with many different opinions. I figured that maybe it was time for me to write a blog regarding my own personal opinion. After a few recent news broadcasts and reports have come out regarding my portrait of a firefighters wife breastfeeding their child while wearing his uniform which in turn caused some issues at work for this firefighter. I have to admit that this makes me frustrated, mad and upset all at the same time.
We see firefighters all the time using their uniforms to support a brand or a cause. How about when firefighters take photos like this to create a calendar to raise money for some “cause” or when they stand at the street corners collecting money in their boots?
And how about the photos like these, that are also easy to find online through a Google search or a quick 2 minute search on Pinterest. These photos of model women in Uniform apparel is certainly sending a message out.
Even pop singer Mariah Carey has been photographed in a fireman’s uniform, and I’m sure it was related to a brand or a cause. She doesn’t seem to be the firefighter type, so I’m sure she wasn’t wearing it for work.
I really believe that we have double standards in our society, where it’s ok to “be” or “do” as long as you follow guidelines made at that moment in time. Apparently it’s ok for someone to wear this uniform in a sexual manner, to promote that side of it, but how dare I capture a mom in the same uniform to help support other moms to continue to work and make money for their families while doing the best that they can for their babies by breastfeeding.
I even found this online when I was searching, and I find it very interesting that a fire department that doesn’t want themselves to be used to support a cause or a brand would participate in the making of this video. Yes, they aren’t wearing the full uniform, but they are still wearing the department shirts, which to me is the same thing.
As I did some online research I realize I’m scared for my daughter. I am raising her to think that she can be or do whatever her heart desires, but I am beginning to think that she can do that with extreme standards that will be pushed on her. What kind of world are we making for our children? Are we setting them up to be amazing parents with all of the necessary tools and mindsets needed to do just that?
I sincerely hope that the majority of those of you that have seen my work can see the positive aspect of this. The support networks that we are creating with every new photo. Breastfeeding is natural. It’s normal. And it’s legal. Every mom should be able to be able to capture this amazing adventure without the fear of being disciplined because of it. Every father should be able to support his wife in her breastfeeding journey. I will continue with my project, because I see the extreme value in it and I believe in it’s message 100%. I hope you do too.