#brelfie is an online social media trend that seeks to normalize public breastfeeding through exposure. “Brelfies” are “breastfeeding selfies”—in which a mother uploads an image of herself breastfeeding to social media. It is controversial even within the trend itself, as women disagree on how it potentially pressures women to perform motherhood. Much of Western culture views the female breast as a sexual organ, and thus creates norms about how breasts should be functioned and displayed in public. Yet, many others would argue that breastfeeding is the only legitimate use of the female breast and is therefore permissibly exhibited in public. In fact, images of breastfeeding have been around for centuries, and so #brelfies are merely one small piece in a wider puzzle concerning motherhood and body politics. This discourse analysis takes a sample of social media posts drawn using Radian6 analytics software, and analyzes these posts for descriptive themes. These themes relate to the culturally-situated functionality of breasts, the online arena of activism, and appreciate discourse as medium for self-empowerment, and as a means for constructing taboo/s.
"The Embodiment and Discourses of a Taboo: #brelfie,"
Kaleidoscope: A Graduate Journal of Qualitative Communication Research: Vol. 16, Article 4.
Available at: https://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/kaleidoscope/vol16/iss1/4