2 nights ago, while BREASTfeeding my 3-week-old son, I came across an article on Facebook about Dove that seemed to have caused a stir within the mom community – especially amongst breastfeeding moms worldwide. After reading the article and the comments, I really wanted to publish this post. I did, however, hold back because I knew that it would open up a can of worms…
However, after reading about all the drama that has happened this week on social media – Miss South Africa being in the spotlight for doing something good yet soooo “bad” that people felt the need to call her a racist and of course the whole Rob Kardashian saga. It made me think…
It’s so easy to judge something or someone on social media without even thinking twice about it.
We sit behind a screen and can start a fire with one match that can spread like a wildfire and damage someone’s reputation in a minute. We tend to judge too quickly on social media platforms.
If you are confused… let me fill you in.
Dove UK created a few campaign images that have a strong controversial message.
Now if you know the brand DOVE well enough, you would know that they love adding unique messages to their marketing – especially when launching new products. Remember the Real Beauty campaign?
Baby Dove recently launched worldwide and the campaign message for this launch was “Trust your way”. Dove believes that there is no RIGHT way, there is only YOUR way. And you should trust your way because you are the expert with regards to your child. It’s ultimately what works for you and your baby that matters the most.
Let’s be real, parenthood can be scary – especially for first-time moms! You are always bombarded with information and sometimes you have to make tough decisions that many people won’t like, including your own mother. The worst part of parenting in today’s world is that people – even strangers will criticize you for how you choose to parent. Everyone has an opinion on the RIGHT way to parent – whether it’s on breastfeeding, co-sleeping, or whether to use feeding as a form of comfort whenever they cry. Those opinions can put a lot of pressure on you and make first-time moms feel even more nervous and uncertain about their new role.
I remember an incident that happened a few years back at a restaurant – The owner swore at me for breastfeeding my baby in her restaurant. (I was all covered-up but she acted as if I was violating some ethical code). Her comment made me cry that day! Afterward, I felt so scared to breastfeed anywhere in public because I was scared that I would have to encounter another incident like that – but I pulled myself together and breastfed because my baby cried in hunger… This was MY way of parenting. I wasn’t going to let someone else tell me how to mother my child.
The Baby Dove advert says “75% say breastfeeding in public is fine, 25% say put them away. What’s your way?”
Now to me, these stats are taken from moms whom the brand interviewed and was based on research in the UK. It means that 25% of moms say that they are not comfortable breastfeeding in public places or that they don’t like seeing moms breastfeeding in public.
Whether we like it or not, that is someone’s opinion and we can’t change it. Why should we make moms feel scared to voice their opinion?! Not everyone likes breastfeeding in public and that is okay because it is their way of parenting.
I formula feed my 2-year-old but I also breastfeed him. It’s MY way.
To be honest, I don’t see anything wrong with the campaign however, a few moms found this statement inappropriate. I’m not going to judge you if you are one of those that found it offensive. It’s your opinion and you have a right to it.
I honestly don’t think that the brand is against breastfeeding moms and no they are not out to get you or humiliate you. They are sharing the stats and creating awareness about how people feel. They want to know what you want to do. They want you to think about it. How many people are offended if they eat a burger when they are hungry? Why should your child be deprived? If the ad said: ” 75% say eating in public is fine, 25% say put your food away. What’s your way?” Would it change something?
The brand isn’t expressing an opinion, but rather demonstrating that people have very strong opinions about these topics.
Secondly, I want to emphasize on the “What’s your way” statement because the truth is that we all have our OWN way!
Some moms choose to not breastfeed and instead with rather formula feed their babies.
Many moms don’t feel comfortable sleep training their kids while a few moms swear by it and promote it.
Does that make both moms bad?!
Am I a terrible mother for formula feeding my son?
Because if you have a problem with these stats, you are basically saying that there is only ONE way of mothering – a statement which I believe is totally not true.
Let’s rather respect each other’s opinions and let moms mother their own way.
I am honestly tired of mom shaming… What happened to sticking together as a tribe?
I just want to make it clear – I am not sponsored by the brand but I have worked with them however that has nothing to do with my opinion here.