The Truth About That ‘Breastfeeding’ Catwalk Model

Multitasking? The catwalk that sparked a breastfeeding debate [Photo: Instagram/Diandraforrest]

Last week Diandra Forrest made headlines as she took to the runway at New York Fashion Week holding her 7-week-old daughter, Rain. But it wasn’t the appearance of a baby on the catwalk that whipped up the frenzy, it was the fact that some people in the audience assumed she was breastfeeding. Cue outrage!

Now the model is speaking about her surprise at the fuss, particularly as she wasn’t actually breastfeeding at the time.  

“I was so shocked when people were shocked by it,” Diandra told The Telegraph explaining that she’d already ensured her daughter had been fed backstage beforehand. And that she would have found walking the catwalk while nursing way too tricky to pull off.  

“It’s hard to breastfeed in that position, so it would have been a little impossible on a runway,” she explained. “Because she’s so small — if she could hold her head up that would be easier, but you can’t really walk and breastfeed.”

Diandra appeared first with her bump and then her baby on the Gypsy Sport catwalk [Photo: Instagram/Diandraforrest]

It’s not the first time Diandra has upped the anti on catwalk modeling. Last September she walked the same show for Gypsy Sport while she was pregnant with Rain. And according to the new mum, the idea to walk with her newborn started as a joke.

“It was funny because a few weeks after she was born I knew fashion week was coming and me and my agent were joking like ‘we should do the Gypsy Sport show again, breastfeeding or just walking with the baby down the runway.’ We were just joking,“ she explains. "The next week the designer called us and asked us if it’s something we’d be interested in. We took it and ran with it.”

Diandra with her daughter Rain [Photo: Instagram/Diandraforrest]

But just because Diandra wasn’t actually breastfeeding doesn’t mean she’s not frustrated with the bad rep nursing in public is getting.

“It’s a natural thing,” she explains. "People are more used to seeing naked bodies in more of a sexual way than a motherly way. I’m not against that at all, I’ve done nude pictures and I’m very proud of my body, but it’s OK to show your body in that way. If you’re pulling out your breasts to feed your child, that should be even more so OK. How did people feed their children back in the day when there wasn’t formula? So when she’s hungry, I feed her.“

The model has a message for breastfeeding shakers [Photo: Instagram/diandraforrest]

Speaking of an incident where she was made to feel uncomfortable by a male passenger while nursing her tot on a train, she has something to say to breastfeeding shamers.  

"You need to get real, it’s really just a boob. … [Breastfeeding] is something we should be proud of and women should do more if they can. People are ridiculous.”

What do you think about breastfeeding in public? Join the debate @YahooStyleUK.

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