Alyssa Milano recently spoke out about Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine cover, writing that while Kardashian looked fabulous, people were more outraged over her breastfeeding selfie. I’m pretty sure Milano jumped the gun, because people were outraged about Kim Kardashian West’s nudity and how “she’s a mom”, therefore she should wear a mumu at all times. The problem I have with Milano’s outrage is that it’s misplaced. She tweeted:
“Wait! I don’t get it. No disrespect to Kim but…people are offended by my breastfeeding selfies & are fine with her (amazing) booty cover?”
Uh, what planet have you been on Milano? People are not fine with it. They’re shaming Kim Kardashian West for being “a mom” and setting a “bad example” for her choice to pose nude.
But people should be fine with it. And they should be fine with Milano’s photo, too.
We seem to be living in some weird time in history where the term “feminist” has been twisted into “act this way, or you’re not being a good example for women”. Posing nude and choosing to stay at home with your children, while very, very different decisions, are both on the “how dare you” spectrum of pop-culture feminism. Women who don’t cover up, hate men, and bleed corporate are considered anti-feminist. But, that’s not true. Feminism is all about empowering women to make their own choices, no matter how different their choice might be from yours. If Alyssa Milano wants to take a breastfeeding selfie, she should be allowed to share it and display it as she sees fit. It’s her body, her mind, her choice. People have the choice whether or not they want to look at the photos, but there’s nothing obscene about Milano’s breastfeeding selfie. It’s something she feels good about and wanted to share. The same goes for Kim Kardashian West. She wanted to pose nude in Paper Magazine, so she did it. Her decision has nothing to do with what kind of mother she is; she’s an adult, free to make her own choices about her body.
We have to stop picking apart what we think is an acceptable choice for women. The acceptable choice is always the choice a woman makes for herself. Whether she’s famous or the girl next door, it’s her prerogative to do what she wants with her adult life. If you’re a homemaker and you enjoy it, great. That’s your right and choice to make. If you want to work outside the home, fantastic. You go climb that corporate ladder. If you want to take your clothes off for a magazine after you’ve left your kids with the nanny, awesome. Don’t apologize for it. Great moms come in all shapes and sizes, and they raise fabulous people who grow up and become an interesting, diverse group of adults. We’re not all vanilla, but if you’re vanilla, that’s okay, too.
The point is: neither Milano, Kardashian, or any other woman should be shamed for the choice she makes about her own body. If you don’t like it, turn the other cheek.