A model breastfed her baby on the catwalk and mums everywhere are loving it

16th Jul 18 | Beauty

Mara Martin wasn't about to stop feeding her daughter when she had a fashion show to walk in, reports Katie Wright.

Miami Swim Week

Not that long ago it was virtually unthinkable that Sports Illustrated – the magazine famous for its annual Swimsuit Issue, which features a bevy of bikini-clad beauties – could become a bastion of diversity. But recently the publication has become just that, championing plus-size models on its cover and female photographers behind the lens.

The latest move that’s got women singing the praises of the American brand didn’t actually happen in the magazine, but on the catwalk of the Sports Illustrated Swim Search fashion show.

Mara Martin, who was one of 16 finalists in the model casting competition, took to the runway in Miami while breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter and was greeted by cheers and applause from the audience.

Sports Illustrated shared a video of Martin’s walk on Instagram, which has now been watched more than 250,000 times, with hundreds of users praising the mum for normalising breastfeeding at work – whatever your job happens to be.

“What a beautiful role model for moms/women!” said Christinebocciaphotography. “We can do and or be anything we put our power into!”

Farra118 wrote: “This is seriously so amazing! If you don’t understand why, we can’t explain this to you. You won’t get it. Any chance to empower women to breastfeed in public is a win. Too many women are shamed for doing so. This is beautiful.”

Anzh_el said “Love this!!! I was breastfeeding my daughter while lecturing once.”

Of course, this being the internet, there were some people who just had to disagree. Some argued it was unnecessary to bring the baby (who was wearing ear defenders) onto the catwalk.

“I support breastfeeding in public. But this is done for a social statement and as an accessory for her modelling.” wrote Itsjusttimmy.

But many stepped in to defend Martin, as did her husband Ryan John in a series of comments.

He wrote: “If you do not support this that is fine. I truly believe everyone has a right to their opinion. But before you send negativity into a world that has too much of it these days already, please don’t judge a book by its cover. I was with Mara and the baby right until she walked out. You aren’t aware of our situation.

“This event was Mara’s dream since childhood. She shouldn’t fulfil it or miss a part of it because of something every mom does everyday? I have never been so proud. Thank you to all the incredible women at SI and the other models who have been so incredible to our little family. The SI family epitomises strength and beauty inside and out.

“People say unnecessary? Lol. You don’t know our child and her needs. I’m sure there are 20 million moms out there that would like to have a word with you.”

Judging by the hugely positive reaction to this mum’s courageous catwalk appearance we think he’s absolutely right.

© Press Association 2018