Mothers speak out about MySpace and breastfeeding pictures

Filed under: Just For Moms, Your Pregnancy, Nutrition: Health, Gadgets

Yesterday, I wrote about MySpace deleting pictures of babies breastfeeding from mother's profiles. I also mentioned the online petition which is gathering support to convince MySpace to change its policies. Today, I bring you some of the mothers whose images were deleted.

I asked a number of women about their experience with MySpace and breastfeeding pictures. Here are their answers:

Can you describe the picture (or pictures) that were deleted?
Vanessa: It is a picture that was taken in my living room sitting in a chair nursing my son, Elliott. The picture is very discreet and my shirt is covering the majority of my breast. The ironic thing is that I have pictures that show much more and they haven't been touched.
Betsy: One was an avatar of a woman nursing a newborn; her breast was fully visible and the baby was looking at her. The second was of my daughter nursing; it was a side shot; she was nursing and her eyes looked very beautiful.
Cassidy: The first picture myspace deleted of mine was one of my son at 3 weeks, nursing but looking up at me, with the milk drunk expression. The second was one of him nursing and me smiling for the camera. The third is him nursing, but with his eyes closed.
What was, according to MySpace, the reason the pictures were removed?
Cassidy: The funny thing is they never once sent me anything, ever, they just took them off. When I asked why there was also no response. Yet, every time I would post a new one, in about a week or so give or take it would simply become a small box with an x.

Do you feel the pictures were sexual in nature?
Gina Bean: Breastfeeding is not sexual in any way shape or form. My picture only showed about 1 inch of skin and the nipple was completely in my baby's mouth, so it was not indecent or offensive.
Vanessa: Not in the slightest. Like I stated before, there was barely any skin showing and unless one looked really closely, they probably wouldn't have even realized that I was breastfeeding.
Cassidy: No, I do not. If they were sexual in nature they first off wouldnt include my son, and second off I wouldnt post them. They in my oponion were beautiful pictures, representing the mother and child bond. I never for one second thought when I originally posted the first one that anyone would associate it with anything sexual or even be offended. Its natural, its nature.

How does it make you feel to know someone thought a picture of your baby feeding was sexy?
Gina Bean: It disgusts me that someone might think the act of breastfeeding is sexual. Yes, breasts can be used for sex, but the purpose for breasts is feeding our babies and when we are nursing, it is not sexual. I think that people who find breastfeeding to be sexual need therapy.
Vanessa: I have no issues with that. I find a woman's body to be very beautiful, especially when used for its intended purpose. I know that men love breasts, that's a known fact. It's a beautiful thing when they're not viewed as just sexual objects, but if someone views breastfeeding as sexual, it's an issue within themselves that they need to deal with, it's not my problem. If someone gets turned on by the pictures, more power to them I guess. I haven't had the problem of people sending me messages of a sexual nature like some of my friends have though. If I did, I would just delete them and ignore it. If I were to take my pictures down just because of a few ignorant people that would be fueling myspace's fire. These pictures are not sexual or pornographic in nature, they are beautiful.
Kimmy: That's gross. If someone finds it sexual, then I think THEIR myspace account needs to be deleted, because they have problems! They are probably some kind of sexual predator stalking innocent kids through myspace. It's not MY fault that people are disgusting. At the same time though, you can say the same things about anything else. I'm sure there's someone out there who finds, for example, trees sexy. Should we remove all nature pictures form the internet? No, that would be ridiculous, right?
Cassidy: Disgusted. Ashamed of the world we live in. Pity for the person. I was so shocked to think anyone could find this sexual, especially with a child in the image. I couldn't imagine that this would be someones fetish.

Why did you post the pictures that were deleted?
Gina Bean: There was a virtual nurse-in started in response to breastfeeding pictures being deleted on myspace. I felt the cause needed my support, so I posted my nursing picture.
Vanessa: The picture that was deleted was on my profile long before the nurse in began. My husband snapped it one day because he thought we looked sweet. Breastfeeding is what I do with most of my day it seems like so it seemed completely natural to post that picture.
Kimmy: As part of a myspace virtual nurse-in. I feel a woman has a right to post pictures of herself feeding her child. It's no different then if you decided to post a picture of yourself eating a sandwich. And guess what, someone would probably find that picture of you eating a sandwich offensive. Would your pic get removed? No.
Betsy: Because they were beautiful.
Cassidy: Originally it was because my son and I were having an awful hard time with breastfeeding, extremely hard. I wanted people to tell me if the latch was correct and so on.

Why did you choose MySpace to post your profile and this picture (or these pictures)?
Vanessa: It seems like everyone has a myspace profile these days, doesn't it? I've had one for quite some time, mostly because it's a great way to keep in touch with old friends and share pictures with my family.
Cassidy: There is a lot of support between pregnant women, women with children, and breastfeeding women available on the site. We all help each other out in problems. I have had my myspace since 2003, before all the hype and its the only thing I tend to use. Its convient, free, and the groups are very nice to have at your use.

How does your picture (or pictures) compare to other content on the MySpace site?
Gina Bean: I think that my picture was tasteful and artistic. There are thousands of profiles on myspace that not only have pictures of women wearing next to nothing, but there are also pornographic movies posted on people's prolifes. My picture showed an inch of skin and was not sexual or suggestive in any way shape or form and got deleted....Yet there are women in lingeree bending over and showing their junk and those pictures are still posted.
Vanessa: They are very mild in comparison to most of the pictures. I am not sitting in a sexual manner. I am not baring anything but the top and side of my breast. I have seem much more revealing pictures every day in profiles and in the ads myspace places all over their site.
Kimmy: My worst picture could be described as tame. You could go to any persons myspace page and find something 100 times worse then my picture. There are accounts with naked teenagers, woman who have nothing but little butterflies photoshopped onto their nipples and vagina, showing everything off. Pornstars have myspace accounts, and they have actual pornographic videos on their pages. There are videos on people's pages of people actualy having sex. There are groups where people get together and find eachother for random sex. That would be not so bad if they didn't post naked pictures of themselves also. They have actual pictures of people engaged in some pretty disgusting sexual activities. And all this is available to ANYONE. Even the 14 year olds they are so desprately trying to protect from innocent babies having lunch.
Betsy: I don't feel it does. My pictures are no more inappropriate than a picture of a woman feeding her baby with a bottle.
Cassidy: It doesn't even begin to compare! On my newest one I have taken the time to right, If you allow naked girls covering their goodies with their hands and 15 year old girls in push-up bras, thigh high fishnets, and skirts that would be too small for my son, then this picture is nothing. Its the truth. There are people who have actually became famous for their myspace, take Forbidden, aka Christine Dolce. She is half naked in a majority of her pictures, but is that consider offensive? No. She shows more skin than any breastfeeding picture out there, and I have plenty of times reported some of her images offensive and NOTHING is done about them. The only reason nothing is done is because she gets publicity for myspace in a since. Not to mention how many adult film stars have myspaces? We all know what their pictures are about. Myspace allows more controversial pictures than those of breastfeeding mothers. I can't for the life of me see what the problem is. There are satanic pictures, naked pictures, sexual suggestive pictures on myspace, but a breastfeeding picture is offensive?

What would it take for MySpace to make this right?
Gina Bean: I think that myspace needs to either stop deleting pictures of nursing mothers and apologize to us as a whole, or be as vigilant in going after the overtly sexual pictures and profiles that are all over myspace and delete those as well.
Kimmy: Stop deleting breastfeeding pics and focus they're attention and the pictures that are actually sexually suggestive and offensive.
Betsy: Myspace, like the rest of America, needs to realise that breastfeeding is natural and completely unsexual. What would make this right would be for Myspace to quit deleting breastfeeding at all; I feel it would be a big step toward normalizing it. I also think, that if they're so bent on deleting sexually inappropriate material they need to delete sexually inappropriate material, NOT BREASTFEEDING.
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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.
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As AOL continues to grow and evolve we are taking necessary actions to ensure our efforts and resources are
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