Side-By-Side Photo Calls Out Nursing Bra Ads For Unrealistic Standards

by Cassandra Stone
Image via Instagram/PowerToPrevail

Mom posts side-by-side nursing bra photos prove that representation matters

Representation matters, period. Especially when it comes to buying women’s clothes, undergarments, and bathing suits — because when we don’t see people who look like us, we’re told the way we look as we currently exist isn’t good enough. You know who doesn’t need any of that garbage? Postpartum moms shopping for nursing bras.

Luckily mom blogger and public speaker Ana of Power to Prevail recently called out the unrealistic expectations brought forth by nursing bra ads.

In the post, Ana says she’s less than a month postpartum from the birth of her third child. And, like any newly breastfeeding mom — she knows you need a good amount of nursing bras. But she was dismayed when coming across a bra ad that showed a thin, taut, six-pack toting model. In an ad for nursing bras.

“What happens in the absence of representation?” she writes. “Our brain recognizes that of all the examples of what a brand new mom is ‘supposed’ to look like, that most of us don’t even come close.”

New moms are so damn vulnerable about body image — couple that with hormones and the pressure to “bounce back” we all get from society anyway, and it’s that much more frustrating to see an edited photo of a fitness model wearing a nursing bra.

“We start the comparing and that’s when our self image goes to sh*t because you can’t compete with a edited photo,” Ana writes. “Also, I can guess this model is not exactly 2 days out from giving birth like I was in the picture on the right and THAT is who is buying these bras.”

God, she is so right. Because you will live in those things 24/7 during the first few months. You need ones for going out in public, and lots for staying in and not giving AF. I was incredibly naive and only bought one — one– nursing bra whilst pregnant, so yeah, I spent my entire first week home thanking the gods that be for two-day Amazon shipping.

Seeing a woman who looked more fit than I did A DECADE AGO modeling the sexless, shapeless nude breastfeeding brassiere I added to my cart was… not great. Ana, who decided to start modeling to represent moms on her Instagram page says she felt the same way.

“Since no one else seemed to bring up the issue then I assumed it was just me and that brought so much shame,” she tells Scary Mommy. “When I began this project, it was with the intention of showing that there are so many different ways our bodies look after pregnancy and other life events and that it’s totally normal and OK.”

“A part of me almost didn’t because we have this ‘I’m a nobody’ mentality but realizing that no company represents a mother’s body, I just starting doing it myself,” she says.

Commenters on her post seem to agree that a change is needed when it comes to marketing to moms and their bodies:

“The response has been incredible and the message for moms is just because you don’t see a body that looks like yours, it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you,” she says. “It means companies marketing to you is failing to represent you.”

She encourages fellow moms to be kind to ourselves. The transition from “glowingly pregnant” to “get this baby out of me before I explode” to “I no longer recognize any part of my body” is overwhelming for all of us.

“The way you see and acknowledge this transitioning is so important,” her initial post concludes. “Otherwise, we become distracted by the unimportant and unrealistic things. Focus on your recovery and your babe(s) and forget the lies we’re constantly being fed. You deserve truth, love, excitement, joy, sleep, and more. Just the way you are. You’ve done and are more than enough.”