This amazing photo captured a very candid moment, and it’s now gone viral for good reasons.
Right there, nestled between standard photos of striped pajamas and lacey bras, there’s a post on Gap’s Instagram feed that has thousands of moms cheering and rushing to click “place order.” It’s not the faded, rumpled, navy blue sleep shirt that they find so thrilling—after all, you probably have a dozen similar stretchy T-shirts in your pajama drawer right now. It’s what is going on in the photo: The mom is oh-so-nonchalantly breastfeeding her toddler, and it’s the most beautiful and natural thing you may ever see in a mainstream, corporate clothing ad.
You'll have to click through to the second image on the Instagram post above to see the photo that everyone is raving about, in which that adorable little boy is nursing while staring sleepily at the camera. But regardless of the semi-hidden status of the post, readers are loving the message it sends: Breastfeeding a toddler is as natural and cozy as a pima cotton, soft-washed tee.
In just four days, the post has racked up more than 35,000 likes, with readers posting Hallelujah hands and applause, and comments such as this one from arikdeer: “Oh my stars. I love love love love this. It is beautiful and they both look so at ease. Thank you Gap for #normalizingbreastfeeding.Wonderful work!”
Numerous commenters tagged #normalizebreastfeeding and #blackwomendobreastfeed, both hashtags representing movements to increase acceptance of breastfeeding by spreading positive images of nursing moms of all races. (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black moms breastfeed their babies at significantly lower rates than white moms.)
And as it turns out, the photo wasn’t staged. According to an interview in the Chicago Tribune, model Adaora Akubilo was booked for the shoot with her son, and asked the photographer to pause for a moment mid-shoot while she nursed him. Not only was the photographer happy to accommodate the model/mom, but he asked if he could capture some shots.
He did, and the rest is Instagram history.