Breastfeeding Elle Cover Model Stirs Controversy

Australia’s Elle Magazine has drawn the ire of subscribers and users on social media for making its June edition, which features an intimate image of a supermodel breast-feeding her child, unavailable in stores.

The version that hit the stands this week shows the same model Nicole Trunfio holding her son, only in the publicly available version, she is fully clothed.

Readers caught on after model Trunfio posted the original version to her Instagram page Thursday with a message to her more than 100,000 fans.

With the image, she posted, “There is nothing more powerful and beautiful than motherhood. The last thing I want to do is be controversial, so please take this for what it is, let us normalize breast-feeding.”

She also wrote:

There is nothing worse than a mother judged for feeding her hungry child in public. We are only human… I’m so proud of this cover and for what it stands for. I obviously don’t look like this while I am breast-feeding but this stands for all women out there, whether you breastfeed or not, we gave birth, we are women, we are mothers.

Many are now saying the magazine is detracting from sending a potentially powerful message about breastfeeding, by being selective with its audience.

Some critics also said actions by Elle perpetuate negative attitudes towards breast-feeding in public, per The Daily Mail.

“Yes, men will surely be offended by the photo, but 1) they don’t buy your magazine and 2) THIS ATTITUDE IS WHAT WE NEED TO ELIMINATE IN SOCIETY!” wrote one outraged reader.

“You’re sending an incredibly negative message about the suitability of breastfeeding in public by choosing this image as a cover, yet only making it available to subscribers (ie women),” wrote another.

Editor-in-chief of Elle Australia Justine Cullen has come out to say the image was not planned, and that it is just a “beautiful bonus” for its loyal audience.

“Outside of normalizing breastfeeding, it’s about not judging women,” she explained.” Whether it’s for breastfeeding in public, or for not breastfeeding, or not being able to breast-feed.”


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