Mall bans breastfeeding moms from Mother's Day photo contest

Rules state that the mall reserves the right to not post a photo if they deem the photo “inappropriate.” <em>(Photo Left: Facebook/Right: Getty)</em>
Rules state that the mall reserves the right to not post a photo if they deem the photo “inappropriate.” (Photo Left: Facebook/Right: Getty)

A popular mall in Clarksville, Tenn., is catching heat over photo guidelines for their annual Mother’s Day Photo contest.

Contest rules state that moms can private message Governor’s Square Mall their mall photos on Facebook. The mall then posts these photos to their Facebook album as they receive them. A panel of judges select three out of 10 photos with the most Facebook likes to receive $100 mall gift cards.

Simple, right? Except the rules state that the mall reserves the right to not post a photo “if there is a situation out of their control” or if they deem the photo “inappropriate.”

Apparently some “inappropriate” photos of women breastfeeding were being submitted, but not posted. The mall commented in a recent Facebook status:

“Here at Governor’s Square Mall, we warmly welcome nursing moms and encourage them to breastfeed their babies wherever they feel comfortable. For some mothers, that may be the food court. Others may prefer the privacy of the nursing station. Either choice, or even some other location, is fine.”

The statement continues that they strive to be a “family-friendly mall” but not everyone has the same idea of what that means.

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“A passing glimpse in the mall is very different than the intention that comes with posting photos on our social channels. Many people may find such photos beautiful but others may not so we choose to take a conservative approach. For that reason, we’re opting to not include some photos in the Mother’s Day album. Please don’t take offense, nursing moms. We love, respect and welcome what you do. It’s just a matter of striking a balance that is considerate of everyone.”

The post received a ton of backlash, with many questioning who exactly is offended:

One commenter wrote: “This makes no sense because you’re siding with the small percentage of people offended by babies eating. You are keeping the stigma alive that it’s inappropriate and unnatural to breastfeed. Instead, it should be out there to show normalcy.”

Another woman posted a photo of a woman breastfeeding: “I’ve breast fed 4 children and won’t let someone who is worrying about pleasing a small majority of ignorant people keep me from trying to normalize breastfeeding. Nor will I sit back and allow you to judge a photo on your level of ‘tastefulness,’ because all breastfeeding photos are tasteful because it is natural, whole breast out or with a cover.”

“If my photos be on my social media account or yours. It is normal. Let me repeat that, IT IS NORMAL! You, Governors Square Mall are in the wrong,” she wrote, ending her post with the hashtag #normalizebreastfeeding.

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One comment stated: ‘It’s the law they can breastfeed wherever they want. Stop acting like it’s by your grace they are allowed.”<em> (Photo: Getty)</em>
One comment stated: ‘It’s the law they can breastfeed wherever they want. Stop acting like it’s by your grace they are allowed.” (Photo: Getty)

“Governor’s Mall…it’s the law they can breastfeed wherever they want. Stop acting like it’s by your grace they are allowed. Conservative approach a.k.a this is the South and we don’t want to piss off the backward hillbillies. So you side with the minority than the majority,” another mom wrote.

Ouch, the power of moms. The post is quickly going viral; it was posted Thursday morning and has received hundreds of shares and comments from irate moms.

What are your thoughts — should the mall allow all breastfeeding photos?

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