This Mom Made Her Own "Breastfeeding Barbie"
In an effort to erase some of the stigma surrounding breastfeeding, one Australian mom took it upon herself to challenge public misconceptions and depict a real side of motherhood: by creating her own breastfeeding doll.
The "Mamas Worldwide Barbie," as creator Betty Strachan calls it, was inspired by both Strachan's own experiences as a mother and those of her peers in a local mother's group in Brisbane, Australia, where she lives with her two sons, ages three and five. She told the Huffington Post that she's been painting dolls for about four years, selling them on Etsy, and posting her creations to Instagram to show off her skills.
"I'm a member of a mothers’ group that’s comprised of very lovely and supportive women," she said. "I remember one day, I was drawing the new face on a Barbie doll, and she just seemed to be the embodiment of the entire group."
The "Breastfeeding Barbie" has no official affiliation with the Mattel brand, but according to Strachan, mothers and children alike have enjoyed the doll. "After that, I received a few requests to make more, and I realized that it was really something that should be available," she said, "because, like most things that society deems unacceptable, educating children is the way to erase the stigma behind it."
In addition to the Mama's Worldwide doll, Stratchan does beautiful renderings of people from all walks of life — including women of color, freckle-faced teens, and more "realistic" depictions of men.
You can view all of Strachan's custom, hand-painted doll creations at her Etsy store, here.
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Photo Credit: Betty Strachan / Instagram