Experienced breastfeeding cyberbullying in the midst of Miss Universe 2015 drama
While Filipinos were all anticipating the results of the Miss Universe 2015 pageant where Miss Philippines Pia Alonso Wurztbach snagged the crown, I was also dealing with a different kind of hate –– breastfeeding cyberbullying. We really need to normalize breastfeeding.
Lovingly Mama on Instagram
My Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/lovingly_mama/ is usually mundane. I am not very active there, actually.
It contains posts about my family, gifts, things I bought, our activities, and many other things in between. It is mostly helpful, especially the where to buy part. I rarely tag people, just those friends who may have concerns connected to my post. I don’t campaign for likes or follows either because I would rather that my IG account has organic followers who are really interested in my content. And that’s fine with me.
So the last thing I expected was breastfeeding cyberbullying.
Normalize Breastfeeding on IG
But one of the things that I have promoted on IG is breastfeeding awareness and the campaign to normalize breastfeeding. I am one with millions of women all over the world who are actively breastfeeding and who are also encouraging others to do the same because of all its practical and emotional benefits. There are just so many qualitative benefits of breastfeeding for mom and baby.
I had posted this photo, a breastfeeding selfie, taken a couple of months back. My daughter turned 2 years and 2 months at that time. While I also have my official breastfeeding portrait, this one is more natural.
A Natural Photo
For me, this was a loving breastfeeding photo. My daughter adores my breasts so much. Sometimes she talks to these two like she has a close personal relationship with them. I guess you are like that if you are breastfed. And I am proud of my breastfeeding success because I worked hard at it. Read my breastfeeding story: Perseverance is Key to Breastfeeding.
But still, I posted the photo in black and white so that people won’t be so offended with a graphic display of half an areola.
Experiencing Breastfeeding Cyberbullying
Then yesterday, I was shocked to suddenly find a very vile comment left on this particular photo. That comment, however, was since deleted. I have to admit, I had to take a step back because I am not used to such language. But I have to clarify that I am not angry with this person, because I don’t know what she is going through at the moment also. But this is breastfeeding cyberbullying.
@alyssaaenyart commented: Eww your nipple is ugly you stupid wh*re (censoring mine)
Wow! I consider myself rather sane and pretty older than most ladies who have toddlers. So I am not into this cussing and stuff online.
Still trying to think that the comment might have been left in jest, I replied jokingly:
lovingly_mama: @alyssaaenyart hmmm I don’t see a nipple. Wow you have Xray vision! Are you a cousin of Clark? 🙂
I said this because obviously, only the areola can be seen. The nip is inside my daughter’s mouth. And again, this is about breastfeeding.
So anyway, she replied with more hate and that’s when I realized that she was not joking at all. This is already plain breastfeeding cyberbullying. Please read our conversation below:
Cyberbullied by Another Mother
I cannot fully get @alyssaaenyart because according to her previously public profile, she seems to be a loving mother who bottle-fed her baby. She also posted a lot of selfies highlighting her cleavage. @alyssaaenyart even mentioned one time that she missed her boobies, probably the ones before she had children.
Plus, she also posted a quotes image saying something about how people should not accept verbal abuse. So then why the hate? I think she is one sad mama.
But I dunno, I guess I still believe that she was just not properly educated about breastfeeding. So I still replied to her.
What do you think of my reply?
lovingly_mama @aalllyyyyssssaaaa Wow. But you see girl, that is just the kind of hate that’s discouraging many young mums from breastfeeding their children. Breastfeeding is healthy and normal. I don’t know how to explain it you, but we campaign for breastfeeding not to show off our breasts but so that others mothers will be encouraged to do the same. If I just wanted attention for my boobs, I should’ve done it while I was in my 20s (when) they were still perky, not when I am (already) 40 and after breastfeeding 2 kids. I have (NOT) even worn push up bras nor taken photos of my cleavage to post in public. I have never even worn a bikini top to go swimming. I have lain with only one man in my life and If posting a photo of my areola while my little one is sucking on my nip makes me a “wh*re”, then alright I’m pretty bad ass.
lovingly_mama @alyssaaenyart For breastfeeding mums, this is a loving photo between mother and child. A time to bond, comfort, and soothe. A time to show affection with the hope that someday your child will grow up to be a loving individual who do not spew hate to others.
As of this writing, I can no longer access the profile of @alyssaaenyart. First she locked her profile but now it seems she has deactivated it. I just hope though that deactivating her account is not the end of it. I hope she has changed her views about the campaign to normalize breastfeeding. She really needs to focus her energies on something positive and not on breastfeeding cyberbullying.