Daniela Guerrero Bustos, a Venezuelan married mother of two who sells essential oils in Leicester, N.C., on Tuesday posted the black-and-white image on Instagram, which depicts her lying down and breastfeeding her 18-month-old daughter, Naia, while her 4-year-old son, Noah, touches her stomach.
Bustos captioned the shot, “Life can’t get anymore perfect than this. This was happening and I intended to take this picture to somehow explain myself and explain why this is beautiful. But no, this is plain perfect, no need to explain why. Noah was playing with my belly, and he never said, ‘What’s wrong with your belly?’ Because there’s nothing wrong with it, simple. I’m very honored that I get to raise a gentleman that can see true beauty beyond society’s expectations. This is perfect and I couldn’t feel any luckier.”
Her Instagram was flooded with supportive comments. “I think too many mothers hide their bodies after pregnancy,” one wrote. “And I believe that causes their children to lack confidence in their own bodies. I think it’s important to show what real bodies look like instead of covering up. It should be empowering, not embarrassing. Thank you for this.”
Others simply called the mother “beautiful,” and many thanked Bustos for her bravery.
Similar images have gotten attention for their honest portrayal of post-baby bodies. In October, a blogger and mother of three named Aliesha Watson posted an Instagram photo of her “tummy flab” while adding, “I feel very confident in my skin after this baby…I have that tummy flab, cellulite through the roof and I still can’t wear any of my jeans. But I feel good about my appearance. I have no intention of doing anything about anything for quite a while.”
And a blogger named January Harshe launched an Instagram account called Take Back Postpartum, devoted to raw and candid images of new moms — scars, rolls, cellulite, and all.
“We need to see these types of photos more often because they are real,” body image expert Robyn Silverman tells Yahoo Beauty. “Remember that many images are Photoshopped, retouched, puffed up, slimmed down, and hidden until suitable to be shown to the world. Real images promote positive body image, while doctored images spread a toxic message that no woman’s body is ever good enough.”
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Joy-Anna Duggar Shocks Fans With Her Weight-Loss Photo
- Mayim Bialik’s Breastfeeding Post Raises Ire on Facebook
- Breastfeeding Mom Asked to Leave Bathroom at Department Store