MMA ring girl asks those who love her bikini pics to be OK with her breastfeeding photos too
A MMA (mixed martial arts) ring girl shared a comparison recently of two photos of herself — one where she’s donning a bikini in the ring and another where she’s breastfeeding her infant daughter. She points out how one photo received a bunch of negative comments, but the other, mostly positive. Despite a similar amount of skin being revealed in both.
I’ll bet you can guess which photo got which reaction.
Jackie Owens pretty much wears bikinis for a living as a MMA ring girl. According to Babble, she also happens to be a mom of three kids. Facebook breastfeeding page The Badass Breastfeeder shared the photos and Owens’ thoughts on the reactions she’s gotten to the picture of her nursing her daughter, where you hardly see a single bit of breast, and compares it to the feelings people have about photos of her in a bikini.
She writes, “Today is the day I rant about perspective and hypocrisy. I’ve shared my nursing photo (on right), on breastfeeding page threads several times. It is currently circulating and being shared on Facebook and Instagram breastfeeding pages, which I absolutely LOVE. Because it should be seen and normalized.”
Apparently, these photos really do need to be seen and normalized because it’s 2016 and there are still cavemen and unsupportive women who think a breastfeeding mom should “cover up” or go hide when it’s time to feed her baby. Or that breastfeeding is somehow offensive when showing skin for a sexual purpose is perfectly fine. All of which is obviously ridiculous.
Owens talks about how photos of her in various states of undress are all over the internet because of her job. “I am a MMA ring girl, which I also love. I am paid to wear similar bikinis, booty shorts, revealing tops, take pictures with fighters and members of the audience. These pictures also circulate through the Internet: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube videos of fights, people that I don’t even know share pictures with me on pages of theirs.”
And of course, no one seems bothered by the sight of Owens’ (spectacular) body on display when it’s in a sexy bikini for the purpose of entertaining men, but people have plenty to say about the sliver of boob revealed in her gorgeous nursing photo.
“I have received an amazing amount of support, and criticism, on both. Ironically, on different ends of the spectrum, even from the same individuals. Guess which one had positive vs negative feedback. Smh. If seeing the picture on the left is OK with you, then seeing the picture on the right should be OK with you.”
She summed it up perfectly — if you can be fine with all the skin a bikini reveals, you should be accepting of a nursing mother too. Because, newsflash: breasts are not just meant to help men get turned on, they’re also to feed babies! But somehow, people still think it’s totally fine to accept them in their sexual form but not in their “feeding an innocent human” form.
And as much as we would like to think it’s mostly men who get their boxers in a wad over Owens having the nerve to use her breasts for something other than getting them excited, there are plenty of women in the comments of her post telling her she doesn’t have to “show off” and let her breasts “hang out” when she feeds her child. As if it were somehow indecent. Really, ladies? Support your fellow sisters. We get enough shit from men, we don’t need it from you too.
If a woman wants to breastfeed with her entire shirt off and it bothers you, just look away. She has that right. If she posts photos of herself nursing and you find it personally offensive? Close your browser window. If we can be cool with photos of women in micro-shorts and bikinis and crop tops and low-cut shirts, then breastfeeding pictures should be acceptable too. It’s a gross double-standard that really needs to die, and kudos to Owens for pointing it out.