The Motherhood Mural
A three storey mural of an image censored on the Facebook and Instagram advertising platforms as "sexually provocative adult content".
A project to honour motherhood & breastfeeding, Summer/Autumn 2022.
By UK Artist Chloe Trayhurn
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”.
Facebook have famously been censoring breastfeeding images on their platform for years, whether or not, god forbid, a nipple is showing.
Luna by Chloe Trayhun. Also cannot be boosted or advertised for breaking the "adult content" policy.
We appealed several times, offered insights into the problems this causes for girls and women. We suggested reviewing the policy with them and 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
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?...
To assign anything sexually suggestive to images of women feeding their babies is warped and perverted. It's time to turn that lens away from women and focus it back on the eye of the beholder.
Unfortunately, it's also symptomatic of the wider issue of how women’s bodies are perceived, commodified and censored all over the globe; essentially pointless unless they are buying or selling something.
Laura modelling for Human milk. Also cannot be boosted or advertised for breaking the "adult content" policy.
And while social media platforms are censoring images of women feeding their children...
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.
We respect every woman's choice.
We are not here to tell women what to do with their bodies. We are here to support mothers who do want to breastfeed.
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.
The UK government has been cutting funding for breastfeeding support year after year and despite dedicated non-profit organisations working overtime to support new mothers, many are falling through the cracks, sometimes not even knowing where to begin looking for help.
Those who do reach out to their immediate 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 physical health issues for the baby and the mother, no matter where in the world.
Body shame and fear of people’s judgement is a major contributing factor for women in deciding whether or not to breastfeed - as in many other decisions as well - and on whether or not they reach their goals if they do go for it.
Women are never fair game and we are not an afterthought.
What we need is a cultural revolution...
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.
And we’ve been given a three storey high wall in central Bristol, home to Banksy and world famous for its groundbreaking Street Art...
Greta Thunberg by Jody Thomas
Queen Bowie by Bansky
Well Hung Lover by Banksy
7 storey building by Hazard One
Seagull by Irony & Boy
Flowers by Hazard One
Internationally renowned, fiercely talented graffiti artist Hazard One has teamed up with us to paint Sun Bloom on the wall.
HazardOne is recognised as one of the Top 5 female graffiti artists in the UK (The Guardian) and the Top 25 female street artists worldwide (The Huffington Post)
But we need your help.
Chloe Trayhurn is a contemporary British artist, capturing moments of human connection and vulnerability. Her work specialises in representing women through pregnancy, postpartum & the journey of motherhood.
Chloe has never been able to advertise any of her work on Facebook.