It was Mother’s Day in the UK on March 31. It did not pass unnoticed by anyone in London. Five giant inflatable breasts appeared in London’s skyline.
The boobs were, in fact, a statement about breastfeeding, not Mother’s Day, but the timing was ideal. They are part of a campaign, #FreeTheFeed, by Mother London and technology for women company, Elvie, to fight the stigma around breastfeeding and pumping in public.
The five boobs vary in size, with the smallest standing at 3m and the largest at 6m tall, representing the range of women’s breasts. Each one was positioned at a key location around the city – Grind Shoreditch, in the heart of Old Street; Village Underground alongside their iconic tube carriages; Neutral on Colombia Road; Ely’s Yard and Huntington Estate in east London. They stayed there all Sunday and Monday.
The UK has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in Europe. #FreeTheFeed wants women to feel safe and comfortable breastfeeding or pumping anytime, anywhere and is encouraging the British public to support them.
In research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Elvie in July 2018 with over 1,000 UK female respondents aged 18 – 80 years, almost half (45%*) said that everyday life situations, such as office meetings, prevent them from breastfeeding or pumping due to common perceptions of nudity in public.
Tania Boler, chief executive officer of Elvie commented, “The #FreetheFeed campaign is an invitation to everyone to stand with all those women that have felt shamed or confined when breastfeeding or pumping. We know the giant boobs will raise a few eyebrows, but we want to make sure no one overlooks the way that this stigma has been used to repress women.”
This is the second time this year that giant boobs have made a statement for women in Europe: