This Supermodel Walked the Runway While Breastfeeding—Photos

Mara Martin's move caused quite a stir on social media.

On Sunday, Mara Martin, one of sixteen finalists chosen for Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit show, caused quite the stir for choosing to walk the runway in Miami while breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter.

Whether or not it's "appropriate" for a woman to breastfeed in public has been a heated debate among Americans for many years, and Martin's decision took a defiant stand.

"I can't believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day," Martin wrote on Instagram. "It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least. I'm so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL!"

She added that, while flattered, her decision "shouldn't be a headline" because her "story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that." She then went on to mention other stories that she feels were more noteworthy, such as that of a woman going into bootcamp in two weeks to serve her country, and thanked "the entire Sports Illustrated family" for supporting her in the show.

"Because of you, my daughter is going to grow up in a better world, where she will always feel this way!!!!!! Lastly, to every single woman that rocked that runway with me. Be proud. I know I am of you! You all have inspired me in ways unimaginable. I love you all!!!"

Many people praised her for bravely trying to normalize breastfeeding.

However, others slammed her for what they felt was an obvious publicity stunt.

Whichever side of the debate you're on, one thing is certain: she looked amazing.

Having a model walk the runway while breastfeeding her baby is the latest in a series of moves by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit to elevate the annual issue from a catalogue of sexy beach bodies into a serious discussion on women's rights and body inclusivity. Back in February, the swimsuit edition stirred up controversy over a photo-shoot of nude models who had words written on their bodies that describe the positive ways in which they see themselves. Prior to that, it made waves thanks to a sexy spread of golf star Paige Spiranac that some detractors claimed was "sexualizing women's golf."

For more behind-the-scenes SI stories, check out This Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Just Posted Some Jaw-Dropping Photos.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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