Sports Illustrated featured the mother of a 5-month-old girl on the final night of its annual swimsuit fashion show in Miami on Sunday. The magazine, which has been taking a more inclusive tack in recent years, held an open casting call and model Mara Martin was one of the 16 finalists who strutted the runway in the show’s closing night
However, Martin didn’t just hit the catwalk in a bikini — she did it while breastfeeding her daughter Aria, who was sporting some blue noise-canceling earphones to protect her baby ears from the loud music.
On Monday, Martin, 30, took to Instagram and said walking the runway with Aria and the response has been surreal. “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,” she said in her post, adding, “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.”
The response to Martin, who hails from Michigan, appearing on the runway while breastfeeding her tot has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Many chimed in on her Instagram pages saying things like, “That was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen,” and “This is so powerful” and “You’re amazing.” One commenter also praised Martin for walking the runway and representing “real” women.
“I noticed a very real body to go with that. We need more non-lipsuctioned winners,” the social media user observed.
Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated post a shot video clip of Martin and Aria on the runway. Not surprisingly, at least one person left a critical comment, saying, “Go to the bathroom and not a runway where thousands of STRANGERS can watch…Geez stop being so dense! Not everything needs to be put on display for the world to see! Get a grip on reality!” Who knows — may that person is related to this guy.
Below, watch the clip of Martin on the runway. The show also featured a plurality of body types, including Paralympian snowboarder Brenna Huckaby.
Read the full story at The New York Post.