In an effort to grab the attention of all those who made resolutions to get healthier in the new year, the fitness club Equinox has debuted a controversial ad depicting a model breastfeeding twins with the words , “Commit to Something” scrolled across the middle. Though some have voiced their opinion that the ad is in poor taste, others commend the fitness club for helping to normalize images of women breastfeeding in public.
Fox News reports about the ad and all of the controversy it has garnered on social media and from the well-known breastfeeding support group La Leche League. The ad depicts model Lydia Hearst looking glamorous wearing a dress and dramatic diamond earrings in the middle of a fancy restaurant while skillfully breastfeeding two infants. Part of the ads controversy comes from the fact that these are not Hearst’s children and she infact does not have children (let alone a set of twins).
One person offended by the shot wrote on Hearst’s Facebook, “Disgusting on two levels..1.no one wants to lose their appetite at dinner by seeing breastfeeding and boobs not being covered up (gross)...it takes away the rights of other diners, 2. They aren't even her kids (gross).......and furthermore, I breastfed....but I excused myself or covered up...WHY do some women think that their right to breastfeed in public means that they have to whip out an entirely naked boob just to make a point WHY?”
But just as there were those offended by the ad, others spoke out to say how refreshing it was to see a woman breastfeeding in public. One supporter wrote, “I'm so happy that the public will be exposed to breastfeeding en masse! this inadvertently makes you a breastfeeding in public advocate! go you!.”
Rep. Leigh Anne O’Connor of New York’s La Leche League explained to FOX411 that she sees nothing wrong with the ad and is happy to see a woman publicly depicted in this way. O’Connor says, “My initial reaction is great. Let's normalize breastfeeding. Of course, the image more glamorizes the situation but I don't have a problem with that because breastfeeding is an everyday thing that is done at home in pajamas, out at weddings or movie theatres or restaurants, both fancy and low key.”
And for those who find the ad “disgusting”, Hearst explains how it is this kind of sexualized thinking about the breast that leads to women being discouraged to breastfeed outside their homes. She says, “I do not believe the breast is sexually used here. When critics call it disgusting to breastfeed in public or in ads I say that is a personal issue with the critics, they are uncomfortable with their own bodies and are projecting their feelings on others.”
What do you think of the image Equinox is displaying in their ad?
Do you think this ad helps to normalize breastfeeding or is it offensive?