A young mother has hit back after she was forced to remove a photo from social media in which she is breastfeeding her baby boy.
Aliya Shagieva, who is the 20-year-old daughter of the president of Kyrgyztan, can be seen in the April snap looking down at her son, Tagir, while cradling him and breastfeeding.
It appears that she is wearing a strapless dress in the photo. But she was trolled online by Internet warriors, who said it was “immoral” of her to share the image with her followers.
“I will feed my child whenever and wherever he needs to be fed,” the original photo was captioned on Aliya’s Instagram page.
Now she’s hit back, claiming there was nothing “vulgar” about the photo and blaming society for over-sexualizing women.
“This body … is functional; its purpose is to fulfill the physiological needs of my baby, not to be sexualized,” she told the BBC.
Kyrgyzstan has a strong Muslim community, and women are usually expected to cover up when they are breastfeeding.
Even Aliya’s father, President Almazbek Atambayev, wasn’t impressed with his artist daughter’s choice of social media photos.
“They really didn’t like it,” Aliya said about her parents, claiming her mother received a torrent of messages from her friends about the snap.
“And it is understandable because the younger generation is less conservative than their parents,” she continued.
Aliya is known for bucking traditions in the country: She gave birth to her son six months after her marriage to her Russian husband, she maintains a vegetarian diet in the predominantly meat-eating country, and she reportedly has no interest in following her father into politics.
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