We are raising funds for a graffiti mural of a woman breastfeeding her child after the same stunning image was turned down on the Facebook and Instagram advertising platforms as "sexually provocative adult content".
Advertising has a huge responsibility towards us all and must become a force for good. It must show heathy, honest, positive messages and imagery.
Let's lead the way!
Please note that any money raised is donated to Human Milk CIC, even if the total target is not reached. Should that happen, we will adapt what we're able to do in this campaign to the amount we have raised and keep you in the loop.
WE ARE HUMAN MILK.
We are Human Milk, an award winning non-profit Clothing brand and global Education Movement that communicate the remarkable science of human milk in support of the lives and health of women and future generations.
In March 2022, our Human Milk Clothing brand launched a collaboration with British Artist Chloe Trayhurn, producing scarves of her paintings. Her body of work is a stunning reflection on womanhood and motherhood.
This is Sun Bloom, one of Chloe’s incredible paintings that we turned into scarves:
But we can’t advertise the image or the scarf on Facebook or Instagram because they have confirmed upon "detailed review" that they believe this image constitutes “sexually suggestive or provocative adult content”.
Clicking the link to 'Adult Content' leads to this:
We appealed several times. We offered insights into the problems this causes for girls and women. We suggested reviewing the policy with them, offering to include other organisations in the conversation for perspective... To no avail.
And it’s their platform after all. But this verdict on women’s bodies and the damaging message it sends out to girls and women all over the world is this:
You are being sexually provocative *no matter what you’re doing*.
This opinion is firmly in the eye of the beholder and is the same mindset that puts the blame squarely on girls and women for any physical or psychological abuse they face; What was she wearing? Why was she out that late? Why did she walk home alone? What did she say?
To assign anything sexually suggestive to images of women feeding their babies is warped.
It's time to turn the lens away from women and focus it back on the eye of the beholder.
This is not an anti-facebook campaign. It's a bigger problem. Unfortunately, Facebook's take on this image is a symptom of the wider issue of how breastfeeding and women’s bodies are perceived; commodified, targeted and censored all over the globe.
It's time to invest in positive, empowering images and advertising messages for girls and women.
While advertising platforms are censoring images of women breastfeeding their children, the top 6 formula milk production companies spend 5 Billion Pounds per year on advertising. That's £36 per baby born everywhere on the planet each year.
We respect every woman's choice. We are not here to tell women what to do with their bodies. What we want is a level playing field in how we all arrive at those choices.
We founded Human Milk to support mothers who do want to breastfeed because:
Every year, over 823,000 infants die globally because they are not breast-fed and protected by the components in human milk, alongside 20,000 women who would survive breast cancer if breastfeeding rates were higher.
You'll get a fair idea of why by looking at what's in human milk on our website.
From the planet's perspective, in the UK alone, carbon emission savings gained by supporting mothers who want to breastfeed to succeed would equate to taking between 50,000 and 77,500 cars off the road each year.
Breastfeeding is now appropriately being positioned as both a global public health and climate justice issue.
The last available figures in the UK state that 85% of new mothers set out to breastfeed. But 50% of those mothers stop within 6 weeks, with up to 90% reporting that they didn’t want to stop but couldn’t find the help they needed to make it work.
Even healthcare professionals often don't have the training to know why it matters that these women receive immediate qualified help.
In China, only 21% of infants are exclusively breastfed for 6 months and these figures are associated with economic losses of US$66 billion per year, driven by costs associated with lower cognitive capacity and maternal and child deaths.
Mothers everywhere who do reach out to their community are often told breastfeeding doesn't matter, that they are over-reacting, being a martyr, and handed a bottle as the solution.
This can lead to post-natal depression and trauma as well as the physical health issues for the baby and the mother, no matter where in the world.
Body shame, fear of people’s judgement and simply not knowing our own biology because it isn't considered important or profitable are major contributing factors for women in deciding whether or not to breastfeed - as in many other decisions as well - and on whether or not we reach our goals if we do go for it.
Women are never fair game. We are not an afterthought. We are brilliant.
THE BIT WHERE IT GETS GOOD:
So… We decided to take Sun Bloom out into the world and find a SPACE where she can be seen by everyone in all her beauty and grace, opening up UNCENSORED conversations about our bodies and signposting to mothers and women everywhere that they are brilliant, that they are not alone, and that there is welcoming community and empowering knowledge available right here for them. On the mural, there will be a QR code that leads to our website and the incredible science of human milk.
And we’ve been given a three storey high wall in central Bristol, home to Banksy and world famous for its groundbreaking Street Art...
... and the internationally renowned, fiercely talented graffiti artist Hazard One has teamed up with us to paint Sun Bloom on the wall.
Haz and one of her latest projects in Bristol.
THE SUN BLOOM CONVERSATIONS
We're accompanying the mural with a series of conversations inspired by the image and its censorship.
See The Sun Bloom Conversations on our YouTube channel (Trailers at the bottom of this page!).
With interviewees from all around the world, we're exploring what motherhood, breastfeeding and censorship mean to us and how we're working to make life a whole lot better for new and experienced mothers, as well as for our next generations.
WE NEED YOUR HELP.
We can't do this without you. We need to raise £5,000 if we are to achieve the painted mural and connect her uplifting message to mothers around the world.
Your purchases on our Human Milk Clothing & Accessories shop help too. Including our stunning Chloe Trayhurn x Human milk scarves. In fact, they contribute to supporting our work around the world all year round!
Our Sourcing and Production Director Katherine Wright and our Founder Claire Tchaikowski volunteer their time in the start-up as we build the brand. All our suppliers are paid and profits go towards overheads, stock and into our Education Movement projects like this one and global outreach projects in 35 countries and 20 languages.
Other donations that will work hand in hand with yours:
- Human Milk will donate upwards of £7000 in volunteered project management, event management, PR and social media.
- Photography: Photographer Jennie Corcoran is donating £3,000 of her time to document the mural being painted over the course of 4 days.
- Consultancy, Project & Event management: Coach & Educator on Birth, Womanhood & Parenthood and Event Manager Charlotte Gouyette is donating her time worth £3,000.
- Interviewees: We have people flying themselves in from Canada and Portugal to witness the paint and be interviewed, women joining us online from Paraguay to Indonesia including Professor Amy Brown, Dr Natalie Shenker and author Danielle Facey.
- You! We'll be hosting an event around the painting of the mural and inviting you to join us for any part of the 4 days in Bristol. If you have anything you want to say on camera/iPhone too, so much the better.
If we raise an extra £2000, bringing the total to £7000, we can organise a proper party at the paint site or near it, inviting all of you to join us. This also gives us more leeway to invest time into PR, inviting journalists to come along as well and spreading the word further afield.
A wealth of knowledge, community and wisdom coming together to re-write the script that girls and women are reading.
We will not be censoring anyone.
Just another quick reminder that whatever money raised is donated to Human Milk CIC, even if the target is not reached. If that happens, we will adapt what we can do in this campaign to the amount we have raised, but how amazing would it be to go all the way...
Please help us. Messaging about - and attitudes towards - women's bodies have to change all over the world.
Women must be free to navigate motherhood, feed their children and walk the world - whether they are mothers or not - with dignity, respect, support and in safety.
We’re all responsible for this.
Please feel free to connect with us with questions and ideas: [email protected]
Thank you so much from all of us!
The first of our Sun Bloom Conversations series is up! A series of zoom conversations inspired by Sun Bloom, giving space to our film interviewees to go into more depth about their thoughts.
It's with pride and a dodgy internet connection that our Founder Claire talks with Charlotte Gouyette, Founder of Positiva about why we're doing this together, why now, and what we're hoping to achieve.
Our next conversation is with Dr Emma Noble, Canada. Trailer - Dr Emma Noble is a family physician in Victoria, Canada, a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. https://thebreastfeedingcommunity.com
During this conversation, we talk about the need for more breastfeeding knowledge in healthcare settings and about the power of both individual stories and big scale thinking when it comes to supporting new mothers and their families.
Up next, Danielle Facey. Danielle is the Author of 'Self Care, The breastfeeding Edition' and has a strong following of both new breastfeeding mothers and mother breastfeeding beyond infancy as The Breastfeeding Mentor on Instagram.
In this conversation, Danielle and Human Milk Founder Claire talk openly about our raw and remarkably similar motherhood journeys, and about our passion for giving the next generations of mothers the tools we really wish we’d had.
Our latest conversation is with Pushpa Panadam (La Leche League Leader) and Claudia Duarte, a teacher and mother of a 1 year old daughter, born premature whilst Claudia was ill with Covid.
They both join us from Paraguay, South America. In this conversation, Pushpa and Claudia talk about their breastfeeding experiences 30 years apart in Malaysia and Paraguay, revealing remarkable similarities in the breastfeeding myths mothers are still being taught around the world.
If you've ever felt alone with your breastfeeding journey, let Claudia and Pushpa inspire you and journey with you. Their stories and strength are really powerful.
See you out there! Thank you!