She’s A Pageant Finalist Who Breastfeeds In The MRT
Even those blissfully unaware of the latest news may recall the recent cause célèbre over a lady openly breastfeeding in Singapore’s MRT.
It’s just been revealed that she’s also a beauty pageant finalist — but so what?
In March, stay-at-home mother Cheryl Lee’s photo was circulated on Stomp for breastfeeding her baby girl in public.
The netizens’ many reactions were divided into three categories: disgust, wholehearted support, and typically, indifference.
People that MustShareNews talked to were mostly supportive of her.
She bravely responded on Facebook, saying she’s not too bothered about the controversy:
Beauty Pageant Finalist
Still, after a month of online debate, The New Paper revealed on Monday (April 17) that the #proudbreastfeedingmama is also a beauty pageant finalist.
It turns out that Ms Lee, 25, is a contestant for the Mrs Singapore & Classic Mrs Singapore pageants, and juggles these while taking care of her two-year-old girl.
While it may be interesting to know more about how Ms Lee manages to look good amid the mental and physical stress of taking care of a young child, we’re not sure whether the people who click on this story would have that exact intention, based on the headline and this photo of Ms Lee in the pageant.
We think that TNP’s headline for its online story (the headline in print was “Mum in breastfeeding saga stands by her cause”) may be a bit oversimplistic, and plays to those people who make snap judgements based on the little information they are given.
What judgements would these people make, apart from the fact that she’s an attractive woman?
Not A Publicity Stunt
In their article, TNP reported that Ms Lee was accused of trying to gain publicity for her pageant participation through the supposed “publicity stunt” of breastfeeding in public.
Yup, breastfeeding can actually be taken by people not to be a way of feeding one’s hungry child, but a publicity stunt. What next, going to the toilet as a publicity stunt?
In fact, for Ms Lee it was the other way round — she says her pageant appearance is meant to “raise awareness” over breastfeeding in public.
TNP highlighted a point conveniently forgotten by her detractors: She says she has been breastfeeding in public ever since she had her first child, who is now seven — that’s even before she took part in pageants.
Ms Lee was also quoted by TNP as saying:
“If I win Mrs Singapore, I would love to use my title to promote breastfeeding in public (with or without covering). I feel that we need to normalise it.”
The Curse Of Beauty
However, Ms Lee’s participation in a beauty pageant, something that only attractive people would join, unfortunately ties in to an opinion that some have expressed that the only reason her breastfeeding on the MRT was considered inappropriate in the first place is because of Ms Lee’s attractiveness — in other words, there are creeps out there who would be turned on by the sight of her doing that.
Ergo, she knows she’s attractive, that’s why she joined a beauty pageant, just like she knows that people created a hoo-ha over her public breastfeeding because she’s attractive.
But there’s nothing wrong with being beautiful and knowing it — just like there’s nothing wrong with breastfeeding in public.
Those who slam her for it may just be falling prey to jealousy.
Don’t Hate Her Because She’s Beautiful
This whole saga reminds us of the need to remain objective and stray from indulging in double standards.
After all, there are other women who breastfeed their babies in public. Just because a potential beauty queen does it, doesn’t mean it suddenly deserves attention.
We admire Ms Lee’s courage in being so open about the issue and her willingness to champion it against all dem haters.