Model-Slash-Mom Mara Martin Proudly Breastfeeds Baby on the Runway

Mara Martin gives being a multi-faceted mom new meaning

The show must go on for 32-year-old model Mara Martin. The former U.S. Volleyball player walked down the runway in a one-shouldered gold bikini with her 5-month-old daughter in tow for a Sports Illustrated fashion show in Miami, Florida last weekend.

Breastfeeding in Public

Although the U.S. gives legal protection to moms who breastfeed in public, a lot of people are still squeamish upon seeing it, with a vocal minority that insists on demanding mothers to cover up while breastfeeding.

Skeptics online slammed the model’s act. However, the model’s gratitude to her supporters as well as other folks who appreciated her normalization of a natural part of motherhood overshadowed the critics.

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 (@shauntness), 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

Empowering Women Everywhere

It’s funny when women’s breasts are called ‘beautiful’ when seen in sexy magazines and pictures. Yet, labelled as gross and racy if it lives up to a better purpose like feeding a hungry infant.

Mara’s brave act, which fulfills her child’s basic need, comes off as a joke for some people. But for mothers all over the world, her act on the runway is a bigger sign of empowerment and pride.