The Meme Every Breastfeeding Mom Will Relate To

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock these last few weeks, you’re sure to have stumbled across the #10YearChallenge hashtag: the social media trend pairing two photos of the same individual, spaced ten years apart.

Across the globe, friends are collectively praising one another’s ageing, all the while skeptics are questioning whether the hashtag is an evil cog in the Zuckerberg empire...after all, what better way to develop facial recognition technology (for free) than to collect millions of side-by-side snapshots of the real-life ageing process?

The problem, though, even for a well-oiled machine like Facebook, is that people are mostly posting their ‘best’ pictures...and by ‘best’, I mean filtered.

We are seeing airbrushed photographs set against beautiful backdrops, with more than a single helping of ‘forgiving’ lighting.  We aren’t exactly seeing reality, as even if the smiles are real, the shots are hand-picked for supposed perfection.

Introducing...drum roll please...the #10YearChallenge meme that every breastfeeding mom will relate to:

Do you see what I see?
 Yup...reality, in illustrated form.

And isn’t it bloody brilliant?

I had a feeling this post would cause ripples when I posted it before, but i wasn’t expecting it to reach half a million people in just 24 hours.  It turns out that moms everywhere can relate to this particular version of ageing.

Though it hasn’t been immune to criticism.  One commentator, for instance, asked:

Are you a man???  This is not the kind of humor for loving woman.  Very bad joke.

Here’s the deal.  What we see, as women, (yes, I am a woman) in this meme is representative of the way in which we’ve each been conditioned to view the female body and the ageing process.

For some, that may well be cruel humour at a ‘lesser’ version of beauty.  Sisters, it’s time to burn the patriarchy behind that mentality to the ground.

Because for me - and for many, many others - this meme represents a simple truth: time and motherhood change us.  Bodies grow older.  Breasts sag and dimple and crease.

And it is magnificent.

Because it means we’re still here.  We’re still raising our daughters up while we’re tearing old standards down.  We’re still creating, birthing, nourishing and nurturing life...actual freakin’ life...with these ever-ageing, wrinkling bodies.

For me, the unfiltered, reality-stricken meme is a breath of fresh air within a world smothered in BS. It is a certificate of achievement and an illustrated documentation of a road well-trodden.

Just know one thing, whether you smile, gasp or cackle at the post...there are thousands of others doing the same right there beside you.

You’ve got this, mama.

Related article: Yes, I Breastfeed My Baby To Sleep