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Victoria's Secret model defends breastfeeding, shuts down critics on Instagram

A Victoria's Secret supermodel wonders why she never felt shamed for going topless before she began breastfeeding her baby.
/ Source: TODAY Contributor

In a blunt post on her Instagram account, Victoria's Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel is pointing out double standards surrounding women and breastfeeding and letting critics of public breastfeeding know she will have none of it.

South African Swanepoel, 27, gave birth to her first child, baby boy Anacã, in October.

In her post, which accompanies a picture of Anacã on her breast, Swanepoel noted that she has been treated much differently for breastfeeding her baby than she has for modeling topless: "Many women today are shamed for breastfeeding in public, or even kicked out of public places for feeding their children. I have been made to feel the need to cover up and somewhat shy to feed my baby in public places but strangely feel nothing for the topless editorials I've done in the name of art...?" she wrote.

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Though the public seems desensitized to the sexualization of breasts and to violence in the media, Swanepoel observed, there is still a stigma against breastfeeding, especially in public. "Breastfeeding is not sexual, it's natural — Those who feel it is wrong to feed your child in public need to get educated on the benefits breastfeeding has on mother and child and [in turn] on society as a whole," Swanepoel wrote.

Swanepoel's post has garnered over 464,000 likes on Instagram and 6,880 comments — a mix of supportive and not, and many complimenting the baby's latch or thanking or applauding Swanepoel for standing up for other breastfeeding mothers. "Go, mama, go!" said one commenter. "So much love in this," said another.