Friend of breastfeeding runway model reveals the true story behind the whole thing

Last Sunday, model Mara Martin made headlines after she walked a Sports Illustrated fashion show while breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter.

Martin was one of 16 women picked to take part in the show, which was organised as part of Miami Swim Week. She hit the runway with other extraordinary women, including a cancer survivor, a 2x Paralympic gold medalist, and a woman entering boot camp. However, despite the incredible stories of the other women, it was Martin who made the headlines due to her powerful statement.

Taking to Instagram afterwards to discuss the event, Mara expressed her excitement and determination, writing:

"Wow! WHAT A NIGHT! Words can’t even describe how amazing I feel after being picked to walk the runway for @si_swimsuit. Anyone who knows me, knows it has been a life long dream of mine. I can’t believe I am waking up to headlines with me and my daughter in them for doing something I do every day. It is truly so humbling and unreal to say the least. I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalise breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL! [sic]"

Understandably, many people were quick to praise Martin, with plenty of people praising her bravery and the fact that she is trying to make breastfeeding - something which is perfectly normal and natural - less of a taboo subject in society.

Despite this, Martin's statement did also draw a lot of criticism.

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Thankfully, however, Martin's best friend, Samantha Montroy Purcell, stepped up to defend the much talked about mother. Firstly, Purcell explained what actually happened before Martin took to the runway.

To the people with negative comments:

"Mara is my best friend in real life. She spent 12 hours during the casting IN HEELS holding her 20 pound baby during each day of the elimination process.

"The crew loved her baby and had even suggested she do one of her walks with her during the show.

"When it came time to walk, right before the show started, the baby was nursing. The editor suggested she just go for it and take the baby with her. It wasn't planned; she actually texted me freaking out right afterwards to tell me what had happened. There is nothing wrong with it. The baby was hungry. End of story."

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Then she decided to shut down the arguments put forward by the haters and internet trolls.

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"Is it "necessary" to have a woman with a prosthetic leg on the runway? No, but they did it, and that was beautiful too.

"The whole point of SI doing an open casting was to celebrate all types of women, including moms. And they made it clear where they stand: that moms should be able to feed [their] babies WHENEVER, WHEREVER, and HOWEVER they want to, without taking crap from a bunch of busybody keyboard warriors with nothing better to do than trash someone they know nothing about.

"Mara is an amazing mother, woman, and friend. She deserves nothing but support."

As the old saying goes: If you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.