While we were sitting around the dinner table on Christmas Eve, we got onto the topic of my blog. My siblings have read it and commented occasionally, but I don’t think my mom has ever read my blog. When I had asked her why not, she made comments like, “I don’t like blogs.” But that evening, she told me the real reason why she hasn’t read it—she thinks that the pictures I posted are inappropriate. She is ashamed that I have made them public and refuses to look at my blog because she can’t stand the thought of others seeing things that should be “private and sacred.” Another person at the table remarked that “anyone could take those pictures and put them on a porn site.”
Those pictures. What are they referring to, anyway? I they assume mean the picture of me and Zari immediately after the birth, and the three nursing pictures I have posted.
I agree that birth is a very private, sacred event. That’s exactly why I chose to give birth with no one but my husband in attendance, and even he remained in the other room until I called him in at the very end. But sharing my experiences does not detract from the beauty of the experience. I want others to read my story and know why I chose this path.
In addition, I find the picture of me holding my freshly-born daughter incredibly beautiful and inspiring. Whenever I look at it, I feel the elation and joy all over again. To say that this picture is degrading—simply because there is nudity—is like equating Michelangelo’s “David” or Mary Cassatt’s “Mother and Child” with an x-rated video or centerfold. Nudity does not pornography make.
For being completely naked, I expose remarkably little in that picture. All you can really see is one breast, camouflaged by blood smears. Everything else is covered by the baby or in shadow.
And don’t even get me started on breastfeeding being considered objectionable!
I am sad that my mom cannot see beyond the images. I don’t think she has ever read my birth story, and I wonder if she ever will. This blog contains intimate, heartfelt posts about things that are the most important to me--things that are part of my core identity as a woman and a mother.
So, dear readers, would you be ashamed if your own daughter posted similar pictures? Please share your thoughts.