There's no denying that the general public has "a breastfeeding problem." Even a brief perusal of social media will yield new mothers' horror stories of being shamed or mistreated in public for trying to feed their infants.
The stigma surrounding women's bodies (in a context for anything other an ogling) seems to make a large number of people exceedingly uncomfortable — and moms are ready to take on their critics and educate people on the age-old, entirely natural, and often necessary practice of breastfeeding
That's why Betty Strachan, a mother of two from Brisbane, Australia, decided to make her own breastfeeding Barbie, appropriately called "Mamas Worldwide Barbie."
The doll-maker has two boys (ages three and five) and wanted to use her artistic talents to end the ever-increasing public fear of breastfeeding. Addressing this fear, she believes, can start with children and their toys.
"Children learn a lot of behaviours through play and other stimuli," Strachan said in a Facebook message. "The dolls offer a tool to use to emulate what they see at home and bring normalcy to the process."
Strachan's inspiration for the doll originally came from a mothers' group where she found support.
"The decision to make a breastfeeding doll didn’t come consciously," she told The Huffington Post. "I'm a member of a mothers' group that's comprised of very lovely and supportive women. 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."
From there, the doll just came to be. "I mimicked the positioning of a latched baby with an old figurine I had and called her the 'Mamas Worldwide Barbie,'" she said.
Strachan's breastfeeding dolls sold out almost immediately on her Etsy shop "All The Little Dolls."
Allegedly, shoppers could even customize the accompanying baby doll's diaper color.
This isn't the first time Strachan has given Barbies a "mommy makeover" of sorts — All The Little Dolls sells a pregnant barbie (with actual pregnant person proportions).