When her baby got fussy, 25-year-old Kalesha Thurman did what many moms would do: She breastfed her. But she also happened to be at her college graduation and took a picture—one that has now gone viral, causing quite the uproar among people who have strong opinions on breastfeeding. Some people applaud her, while others are outraged. Thurman, though, says she doesn’t really care.
“I was proud of the fact that not only did I graduate but that I got to share the moment with the one person who is the most important to me, and that is my daughter,” Karlesha Thurman told Today.
Thurman, who graduated with her accounting degree from California State University, Long Beach posted the photo of her breastfeeding her 3-month-old daughter, Aaliyah, on the Facebook page, “Black Women Do Breastfeed,” to show support for a woman who wrote about getting dirty looks for breastfeeding in public. Little did she know that she would soon be the center of the controversy, with people from both ends having a say on how they felt about her photo. Some went as far as to call Thurman “weird” for breastfeeding her child at her college graduation. Thurman, however, couldn’t disagree more.
“I did it to show it’s natural, it’s normal, there’s nothing wrong with it,” Thurman said.
I didn’t even know there was a big controversy about breastfeeding in public until all of this happened.”
Black Women Do Breastfeed reposted Thurman’s photo to show its full support and encouragement, with the caption reading: “Congratulations, mama!!!! Giving her daughter more gifts than one! Isn’t this beautiful?! #normalizebreastfeeding,”
Many other women soon took to the page posting their words of support and addressing the backlash Thurman received for her picture.
“People in this country we have it so easy, we invent things to be upset about. Like natural stuff such as breastfeeding,” one Facebook user commented on the photo.
This is a non-issue in other countries. Maybe we need to focus on real problems such as hunger, poverty and violence instead on wasting our time criticizing a woman for feeding her child. Hello! Wake up America!”