Why this breastfeeding ad has got us SO mad

Nursing twins in a halterneck evening gown and diamond drop earrings? Oh – and the model here isn't actually a mum

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Gym brand Equinox is causing a bit of a storm on social media right now with a series of ads – and this one in particular – of a woman breastfeeding her twins at a restaurant.

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The ad in question shows a model – 31-year-old heiress Lydia Hearst – appearing to boldly breastfeed twins in what looks like very opulent dining surroundings with the strap line “Commit to something” across the image.

It’s been widely reported in the papers that Hearst herself isn’t actually a mum and that the babies aren’t actually real but are dummies. Here at MFM we were not only disappointed by the brand’s choice (it would have been nice to have an actual mum of twins, right?), we were shocked by the words that accompany the image.

So what message is this ad giving out? Is it saying that if you don’t “commit” to breastfeeding then you’re a failure? 

For lots of mums, breastfeeding is a tough call – and it can be even harder with two (and yes, we have a twin mum on the team). Is using the word “commit” in this way helpful – we think not. 

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Other ads shows a very thin woman standing in crop top and pants in a kitchen, another depicts a pretty hot evening in with friends. One commentator on the ads had this to say:

“I love the idea to committing to something bigger than a workout or a gym membership, health and fitness is so much more than the one hour you spend in the gym, but I’m confused by some of the images as to what they’re committing too [sic].

“Commit to being anorexic and alone? Commit to orgies? Also none of these people look like they work out. Skinny? Yes. Healthy and fit…not so much.”

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Explaining the creative ideas behind the campaign, the brand says the images, like the one of “a young mother unapologetically breastfeeding in public… are a virtuous expression of taking deliberate action, of going ‘all in.’ 

“This campaign addresses today’s issues and social commentaries, which is a powerful approach instead of portraying people as superficial objects with no narrative.”

We kind of get what they’re saying and it’s good to see their fingers sort of on the pulse. But seriously, when was the last time you saw someone breastfeeding decked out in diamonds and a designer halterneck? Get real.

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