A couple of weeks ago, Facebook quietly made a major change to its breastfeeding photo policy. Now, a nursing mom who snaps a selfie during a feeding can upload the picture of her “fully exposed breast” (read: a visible nipple or areola) without worrying whether site administrators will take it down. without worrying whether site administrators will take it down.
Although it’s official, Facebook no longer considers a glimpse of the year (ah!) nipples at baby mealtime is obscene or offensive, it seems to be struggling to enforce that rule. For example, the site recently removed a photo posted by Abby that showed her baby nursing one after the other, despite not even having a nipple. (The social networking site didn’t provide a reason, according to the sheknows website, but it’s worth noting that almost all of the photos reviewed by the site’s administrators were ones that users complained about.)
Growing pains aside, though, I think the new policy is a step in the right direction, and a win-win situation for breastfeeding moms both online and offline. After all, as Soraya Chemaly points out in the Huffington Post, the double standard around women baring their breasts still exists outside of Facebook, a first-hand experience for many breastfeeding moms. During the year I breastfed my son, I saw disgusted faces whenever nursing covers came out; meanwhile, Miley Cyrus could take her shirt off for a bare-breasted photo and no one would bat an eye. So maybe – just maybe – there will be some small shifts, like this one from Facebook, that will help remind people that something as natural as nursing is never obscene.