Actress Rachel McAdams turned heads when she posed in Bulgari diamonds and Versace clothing while breast pumping for a Girls. Girls. Girls. magazine photo shoot. The 40-year-old “Mean Girls” star gave birth to a baby boy in February with her screenwriter boyfriend Jamie Linden, though she concealed the pregnancy to the press.
Magazine founder and editor Claire Rothstein photographed McAdams for a new cover earlier this week and the glamorized motherhood shot quickly went viral, sparking reactions from across the spectrum. Critics thought the photo was out of touch, projecting an impossible standard for average mothers without personal trainers, Versace get-ups, and Bulgari diamonds to live up to, while others framed the photo as “empowering for women” and a true example of “having it all.”
In a social media post captioning the photo, Rothstein said she hoped the image would change people’s perspective on breastfeeding. “Breastfeeding is the most normal thing in the world and I can’t for the life of me imagine why or how it is ever frowned upon or scared of,” she wrote. “I don’t even think it needs explaining but just wanted to put this out there, as if it even changes one person’s perception of something so natural, so normal, so amazing then that’s great.”
“Besides she’s wearing Versace and [Bulgari] diamonds and is just f***ing major. Big shout out to all the girls,” Rothstein added. “Side note: I did not look anywhere near as fabulous as this when feeding/pumping. And that’s ok too.”
McAdams only recently revealed that she had a child to The Sunday Times U.K. during a November interview.
“It’s the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, hands down,” the actress gushed. “[People say] your life is not your own any more. But I had 39 years of me, I was sick of me, I was so happy to put the focus on some other person.”
McAdams said she pushed back motherhood until she was nearly 40 because she “didn’t want to do it before it was the right time.”
“I’m having more fun being a mum than I’ve ever had. Everything about it is interesting and exciting and inspiring to me,” she said, adding, “Even the tough days. There’s something delightful about them.”
Shireen Qudosi, an influential Muslim reformer and Clarion Project national correspondent, criticized the idea that the photo was somehow a “power statement,” as some on social media shared.
“It’s also not a power statement,” she wrote. “It’s more unattainable ridiculous version of sexuality that strips what it actually takes to do this. This is basically some delusional fantasy, one that literally has young women having babies for insta content.”
Another woman on Twitter wrote, “I pumped 8X/day for 2 1/2 years for my child with a feeding tube, while nursing her twin and her toddler sister. And donated over 1000 oz to the Denver Milk Bank. And never once wore Versace.”
Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro was unimpressed. “My wife pumped in a closet between hospital shifts, so whatever,” he said. “As you may have heard, she is a doctor. Which is also slightly more impressive than being an actress. Sorry, not sorry.”
Alternatively, the McAdams photo was praised as “working mom goals” and a vision of “having it all.”
“For one day, can I just look as badass as Rachel McAdams does while pumping? #workingmomgoals #restingpumpface,” wrote former Delaware-area journalist Sarah Goldfarb.
Salon reporter Shira Tarlo wrote, “This photo of rachel mcadams [sic] breast feeding while wearing versace [sic] and dripped in bulgari diamonds is proof that yes, actually, women really can have it all.”
“As someone who is currently breastfeeding/pumping. This shot @clairerothstein took of #rachelmcadams just makes me squeal with delight. Hells yeah. This is all the vibes,” said actress Troian Bellisario.
“Diamonds and breast pumping. Yassssss, woman. Beautiful. The story behind this immediately iconic, incredibly important image of Rachel McAdams,” activist Erin Schrode said.
Ironically, the feminists praising McAdams’ shoot are acknowledging that womanhood is undeniably tied to motherhood; women’s ability to carry life for nine months and nurture an infant with their own body. Womanhood is not merely tossing on a pair of pumps and wearing mascara, as the feminist movement relentlessly communicates when they deny basic biological realities and push the far-left transgender agenda. Women face different challenges and obstacles than men face and live many different realities than men because, gasp, women and men are not the same. It’s good to celebrate those differences, as this photo, at least in one sense, does, not deny their existence.