"Some people here [in the US] think they don't have to breastfeed, and I think 'Are you going to give chemical food to your child when they are so little?' I think there should be a worldwide law, in my opinion, that mothers should breastfeed their babies for six months."And...cue the uproar! It seems that with that one short soundbite Gisele managed to incite the rage of all womankind. When I first read about her statement, on Celebrity Baby Blog, I was shocked by the tenor of the reader's comments, which ranged from eye-popping rage to over-the-top hostility. Here is a small sampling of the negativity spewing from that one blog (countless other sites I've looked at since have comment treads running in a similar vein):
"CHILL OUT GISELE, YOU JUDGEMENTAL B!@$#"
"Never in my life have I posted on something like this before…but boy did she compel me to do so. All I can say is I do not like her or her comments. She really needs to THINK before she makes stupid remarks."
"So let me get this straight. She gave birth at home and it was pain free. She was modelling 6 weeks later and now she tells us that we should breast feed “by law” for 6 months. How full of shit is she."
"Cracks me up when women who have one infant think they are parenting experts and know just how every other mother should parent their children."
"I hope for her sake that she doesn’t have to experience what it’s like to not be able to have a natural birth or not be able to breastfeed in the future, but if she does have to go through it then maybe she’ll gain a bit more compassion for the rest of us. Until then maybe she should keep her unenlightened comments to herself."
"Gisele has had one baby for a few months and she is no expert. I find her to be very know it all and she needs to quit doing interviews."
"Why stop at six months, Gisele? Make it 12 months, at least. And put some force behind your law. Let’s take these babies from their moms. And lock the moms up. I don’t know why I read this stuff. Gisele sounds really impressed with herself and incredibly insufferable and ignorant. Breastfeeding is great, why not just leave it at that? Or find ways to support women who are able to breastfeed? Here is a better idea. How about a law against stupid celebrities."
"She’s just a pretty face that needs to keep her big fat mouth shut.... She should stick to modeling and stop giving parenting advice. It’s not like she knows what it’s like in the real world anyway!!!"
"This woman is ignorant and arrogant. New mothers around the world experience enough guilt, shame and pressure without having this nitwit preach on about something she clearly doesn’t understand well enough. Stop making it worse for new mothers!"
"My intention in making a comment about the importance of breastfeeding has nothing to do with the law. It comes from my passion and beliefs about children. Becoming a new mom has brought a lot of questions, I feel like I am in a constant search for answers on what might be the best for my child. It’s unfortunate that in an interview sometimes things can seem so black and white. I am sure if I would just be sitting talking about my experiences with other mothers, we would just be sharing opinions. I understand that everyone has their own experience and opinions and I am not here to judge. I believe that bringing a life into this world is the single most important thing a person can undertake and it can also be the most challenging. I think as mothers we are all just trying our best."
"Gisele has always been extremely passionate about a variety of issues – environmental preservation, mental and physical health and motherhood. And now it seems we can add breastfeeding to that list.
The bit that outraged the mummy brigade was where she said it should be “a law” for mothers to breastfeed for at least six months. “How dare someone so beautiful and rich make us feel bad about ourselves?”, they shrieked.
I can understand why. Gisele has bounced back to her pre-motherhood weight, but that surely is just a freak of genetics. She finds breastfeeding to be easy. But we all know mothers who don’t, despite their best efforts, and thus have to rely on formula. In America, where maternity leave lasts all of five minutes and employers think they are being incredibly kind to provide office “lactation rooms”, six months is an impossible length of time. Which is exactly what Gisele is trying to highlight. Gisele knows only too well that not every mother can enjoy the freedoms she does. And she is not a politician. So hold on a sec: the Gisele Breastfeeding Rule is not waiting to be signed into law. She is just a passionate new mother with an opinion.
I found her to be warm, maternal, energetic, nurturing and passionate – quite the opposite to the steely glamour queen we see swaggering down the runway and gracing the world’s press today…
The resulting outcry shows just how passionately women feel about the issues Gisele has raised. So let’s celebrate the fact that she’s made us talk about the pros and cons of breastfeeding, and not hang the supermodel out to dry."