She just wanted to let her child enjoy the ride while being calm, well-fed and relaxed but people on the internet thought the opposite.
Breasts are a part of the body that every human being on this planet is born with. Feeding is what keeps every human being alive on this planet. Combine the two and it simply means a part of the body that can provide food for the survival of the tiny little beings born to take the world forward. However, it seems that the natural process of breastfeeding is still offensive and uncomfortable to people. Recently, a mother visited the Disney World theme park’s EPCOT center and chose to breastfeed her one-year-old while on a “totally safe” ride.
The mom of two, Meredith Barnyak, went on the “Frozen Ever After Ride,” which has been described on Disney’s website as “appropriate for all ages” and “any height” because it’s a slow, chill water ride with just “small drops.” A photograph captured by the on-ride cameras shows Barnyak smiling wide and breastfeeding her baby. After taking Barnyak’s consent, her cousin, Joanna Goddard—who goes by @cupofjo on Instagram—posted the photo with the caption, “My cousin being an absolute MOM on this Disney ride” and the internet just couldn’t keep calm because of the discomfort of having to see “breasts.”
The comment section was flooded with people labeling the act as “rude,” “attention seeking” and “not cool.” @smokeyjoe1008 even pointed out that the mother had ruined the photograph for the rest of the riders because “why would I want someone I don’t know breastfeeding.” Also, they added, “It ruined the photo for others to buy for a memory who may not have another chance to go to Disney.”
While the internet may be all for trolling the woman who was merely feeding her baby, Barnyak spoke to TODAY and shared some laughs on the whole matter. She said, “As soon as I saw the flash, I was like, 'Oh no, I think all these people have a picture of (me) breastfeeding my baby on this ride.’” She explained that she chose that moment to feed her daughter Poppy because the little one was pulling on her shirt and she thought, “OK, it’s dark out. We’re all humans. We’re all honestly going to enjoy the ride a lot better and you’ll be happier being fed.”
She also shared that she’s always been very comfortable feeding Poppy wherever she wants and whenever she needs to. She said, “I am a pretty big proponent of any way you can feed your baby you should be able to do it—in any place.” When asked whether her photograph circulating on social media bothered her, she confidently said, “I thought it was a great picture and our family was laughing about it. And so I was more than happy for Joanna to post it.”
When people on the internet expressed safety concerns for the baby, Barnyak had her two cents to add to it, “I guess if you look at this picture, it might look like it’s an intense ride. However, it’s a boat ride. There are no seatbelts. It’s a very nice relaxing ride, except that there is a drop that you don’t see coming because it’s dark. And that’s what that photo was taken.”
She also explained that she felt “secure” feeding her baby on the ride because she was “in one place” and otherwise she would have to “juggle” her around. She also clarified the obvious that she “wouldn’t have breastfed” her child if the same was a “roller coaster” ride. She concluded with a laugh, “It was a lot of fun, but that’s probably one of the most exhausting vacations I’ve ever been on. Maybe we’ll go back when Poppy’s three or four to see her experience with it.”
Sometimes, the internet becomes a scary, trolling place for women choosing to do what they want. Besides receiving trolling comments, many people came in solidarity and support for Barnyak. @jenniferelisabeth19 said, “I nursed babies on many rides in Disney World. Any ride without a seatbelt is safe.” @katiekayy_ commented, “Yes, Mama! Feed that baby anywhere, anytime!”
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