To be honest the biggest question I have about the new Channel 7 reality show Yummy Mummies is – what took them so long? We’ve had every possible permutation of relationship and dating shows: so a car-crash series about insufferable cashed-up bogans reproducing seems like a complete no-brainer.
But others have a much more considered question about the program, which follows four pregnant Adelaide mums - Maria DiGeronimo, Lorinska Merrington, Jane Scandizzo and Rachel Watts – through their tacky, megaluxe pregnancies and lives. In particular the Australian Breastfeeding Project has asked why the show is going ahead at all when one of its stars, Maria DiGeronimo, called breastfeeding in public ‘illegal’ in a trailer that hit social media over the weekend. “Oh my god, she is breastfeeding,” she gasps after spotting another mum feeding her infant in a cafe. “Breastfeeding in public is illegal.”
Watch it here:
The Australian Breastfeeding Project (ABP) has even started a petition calling for the show to be shut down, claiming the inclusion of the line breaches of the Television Industry Code of Practice and could distress new mothers. “This statement made by your actors is incorrect and discrimination against breastfeeding mothers,” the petition, which has already attracted 20,000 signatures, reads.
“New mums need POSITIVE breastfeeding messages, not this ridiculous garbage!” reads a typical message on the change.org petition.
“Breastfeeding IS NOT ILLEGAL ANYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA and the comments…are completely misleading and completely false,” is another.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association has also taken to Twitter to remind women that they have the right to breastfeed "anytime, anywhere".
They’re right of course – breastfeeding is perfectly legal absolutely everywhere and the line is stupid. But you don’t get rid of stupid by censoring it. You get rid of stupid by shining a light on it and countering it with facts. And this is what the ABP, and others, are being given the space to do.
You also won’t shut down a show that feeds on scandal and outrage by being scandalised and outraged about it.
No one has seriously banned breastfeeding, or is suggesting it in any way. No one will watch this show and genuinely think that breastfeeding in public is something that Australian mothers can’t do. In fact it’s quite possible that everything these unbearable women do – such as another scene from the trailer which shows one of the Yummy Mummies showing off the matching Burberry outfits she’s bought for herself, her husband her baby and her dog – will spark a reaction in the opposite direction.
Nothing about these women looks aspirational or admirable.
Women of Australia, no one is infringing your right to get your nursing boobs out wherever you see fit. And if the day ever comes when you’re turning to a reality show for life lessons, it might be time to reassess whether you’re really ready to have children in the first place.