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Salma Breastfeeds Someone Else's Baby

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Not only is Salma Hayek gorgeous AND a talented actress -- she also breastfeeds starving babies in Africa.

On a recent trip to Sierra Leone, Salma Hayek (a spokesperson for UNICEF) was kind enough to offer up her breasts, and her one-year-old daughter's milk, to a malnourished baby. Coincidentally, the baby was born on the same day as her daughter Valentina, which made Salma feel even more bonded to him.

"I actually think that my baby would be very proud to be able to share her milk, and when she grows up, I'm going to make sure she continues to be a caring, generous person," says Hayek.

Salma says she isn't the first in her family to offer her breast milk to a starving child -- her great-grandmother did the same exact thing years ago in Mexico.

We asked Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz to weigh in on a custom that seems unusual to Americans, but is commonplace in impoverished countries.

"When I first heard the news that the beautiful and talented star Salma Hayek had breastfed another woman's baby while promoting infant immunizations and health on a trip to Sierra Leone, I have to admit, I thought, 'Not another wacky celebrity escapade!' But as I learned more about what actually happened and why it happened, the phrase 'You go, girl!' is what entered my mind.

Infant mortality remains high in much of Africa and apparently a social stigma attached to prolonged breast feeding is preventing many women in Sierra Leone from doing what comes naturally, free, always the right temperature and chock full of nutrients, breast milk is the best known food for babies. This 'event' has caused quite a stir and brings up so many interesting issues:

  • Empowerment of women to feed, if at all possible, their babies what is best;
  • The right to show a boob and put that boob into a baby's mouth for sustenance; and
  • De-sexualizing a favorite body part. Salma Hayek made a powerful statement about all of the above.
For centuries, poor, working class women and slaves served as wet nurses for generations of well-off frequently, white babies. These babies' own mothers were constrained by the social norms of their own times that discouraged breast feeding. How ironic that in the new millennium, the shocker is that the well off white woman would breast feed a poor African baby. Will guerrilla breast feeding become the next step in feminism's evolution?"

next: Just Say "No" to Valentine's Day
31 comments so far | Post a comment now
micika February 14, 2009, 12:54 PM

She is too good and unselfish…

Rin February 14, 2009, 5:02 PM

I’m happy.. well more than happy to see that the whole of human society is not a complete waste of carbon and oxygen. It’s the small and selfless acts of kindness like this that make me believe that there is still some good out there, nomatter how small. Thank you Salma, not just for feeding a hungry child, but to giving a middle finger to society and doing what was right :)

Ju February 26, 2009, 2:23 AM

This is beautiful. It’s sad that there’s such a stigma on such a natural thing. It’s really stupid when you think about it. The breast is much too sexualized and it’s natural function seems to be forgotten by a lot of people.

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