Sports Illustrated Model Breastfeeds Her Baby While Walking Down Swimsuit Runway
By Mikelle Leow, 18 Jul 2018
Image via Sports Illustrated Swimsuit
In an ongoing celebration of female empowerment, Sports Illustrated magazine invited one of its model to grace the catwalk with her baby in tow.
30-year-old Mara Martin—one of 16 finalists selected to model at the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Show at the W Hotel in South Beach, Florida—strutted down the runway in a gold bikini while breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter, Aria.
A clip of her stint, recorded by the magazine, has since been widely applauded by Instagram users.
User ‘momof2lafredo’ called Martin an “inspiration to all moms,” adding that breastfeeding “is a gift we give to our children.”
“Today we are witnessing a turning point for women and for breastfeeding…” commented breastfeeding support collective Wild Child Education. “Not all women can or will be able to continue to breastfeed and it should be celebrated when it happens. People may comment about how this is occurring (on the runway), but she was allowed to do so and was told to go for it. Breastfeeding should be done as she is doing, whether on the runway or running errands.”
Some Instagrammers, on the other hand, believed it was a ploy “for attention.”
Either way, Sports Illustrated magazine’s attempt to normalize breastfeeding will hopefully gear many into viewing it as an act of nature.
Martin has since addressed the generally positive attention on her Instagram.
“I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day,” she wrote. “It is truly so humbling and unreal… I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women can do it all!”
She also expressed her surprise at how her walk made it to the headlines, considering there were other deserving models present at the event as well.
“My story of being a mother and feeding her [baby] while walking is just that… One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country… one woman, [Allyn Rose,] had a mastectomy… and another is a cancer survivor, two-time paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself. You rock, Brenna Huckaby!”
Wow! WHAT A NIGHT! Words can’t even describe how amazing I feel after being picked to walk the runway for @si_swimsuit. Anyone who knows me, knows it has been a life long dream of mine. I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day. It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least. I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL! But to be honest, the real reason I can’t believe it is a headline is because it shouldn’t be a headline!!! My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that. Last night there are far more deserving headlines that our world should see. One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country (sorry i don’t know your IG handle 🤦🏽♀️), one woman had a mastectomy (@allynrose), and another is a cancer survivor, 2x paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself (@bren_hucks you rock) Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!! Just thinking about all that was represented there... I desperately need to give the most thanks to @mj_day for this. She supported me in what I did last night. Without her support this wouldn’t even be discussed!!!! She and the entire Sports Illustrated family are the most amazing and incredible team to have worked with. THANK YOU for letting all 16 of us be our true selves, strong beautiful women!!! Because of you, my daughter is going to grow up in a better world, where she will always feel this way!!!!!! Lastly, to every single woman that rocked that runway with me. Be proud. I know I am of you! You all have inspired me in ways unimaginable. I love you all!!! #siswimsearch
A post shared by Mara Martin (@_maramartin_) on
[via INSIDER, video via Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, images via various sources]
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