Disney may have a sparkling reputation for the magical dreams that come to life for both children and adults, but if you breastfeed, well, it's not all sunshine and rainbows for you! Because earlier this month at Disneyland Paris, a mother was shockingly told off by the park officials for publicly breastfeeding her child.
Twitter user @Marieastier posted a photo of a mom sitting on a park bench at the French amusement park breastfeeding her child.
Translated, the tweet read: "Yesterday your security agents prevented a mother from breastfeeding her 2-month-old baby on the grounds that it shocked foreign customers! In France, in July 2021! Breastfeeding obstruction offense, where are we?"
@DisneylandParis Hier vos agents de sécurité ont empêché une maman d'allaiter son bébé de 2 mois au motif que cela choquait la clientèle étrangère ! En France, en juillet 2021 !
Délit d'entrave à l'allaitement on en est où ?@FionaLazaar @MarleneSchiappa pic.twitter.com/rhRT8HHgwq
— marieastier (@marieastier) July 4, 2021
The tweet gained 2.1k likes and 1.3k retweets with people furious on behalf of the mom just trying to feed her child.
The mom, who was later identified as Laura, confirmed to the AFP that she was accosted by 3 park officials.
"I had my daughter to my breast with 3 people around me berating me to stop something I consider a completely natural and normal part of life," Laura explained to local media. "I felt completely vulnerable, totally intimidated, and quite afraid."
The guards insisted that Laura moves to a mother/child zone, adamant that she should cover her chest so as not to be seen by any of the other park guests who walk by.
"I asked what was the reason for this kind of request and they basically said it was for the other guests of the park who are here from other cultures and religions," the mom explained.
Disneyland Paris began receiving a lot of backlash on social media but in trying to calm down the outrage, Disneyland's attempt to defend their decision couldn't have gone any worse.
Bonjour, Disneyland Paris met à disposition des mamans, le BABY CARE CENTER avec du matériel adapté et confortable comme notamment des sièges spécial allaitement.
— Disneyland Paris (@DisneylandParis) July 5, 2021
One woman commented: "Shameful. In France, a mother must be able to feed her baby anywhere. May those who are shocked to stay in their country with their medieval customs that a maximum of mothers meet at Disneyland to breastfeed."
"Hello, Disneyland Paris provides mothers with the BABY CARE CENTER with suitable and comfortable equipment such as special breastfeeding seats," Disneyland Paris said in defense of their actions.
But as expected, many people were very unhappy with this response, including the French Politician Fiona Lazaar, who sat down to write a letter to the president of Disneyland Paris about her concerns regarding Laura's treatment and how they might want to change their mind on the issue at hand.
Lazaar tweeted to her followers: "If this situation is confirmed, it is serious."
"Following this report, my letter today to the president @Disneyland Paris If this situation is confirmed, it is serious. Every woman should be able to feed her child as and where she wants This is the meaning of the bill I tabled."
⚠️Suite à ce signalement, mon courrier aujourd'hui à la présidente @DisneylandParis
Si cette situation est confirmée, c'est grave. Chaque femme doit pouvoir nourrir son enfant, comme elle le souhaite et où elle le souhaite
C'est le sens de la proposition de loi que j'ai déposée pic.twitter.com/pwnGR3SFby
— Fiona Lazaar (@FionaLazaar) July 5, 2021
France's junior interior minister, Marlene Schiappa also said while it was indeed a good thing that Disney had designated breastfeeding stations, that nobody ever knows exactly where and when a baby will need to eat.
Gaining heat from all angles, Disneyland Paris quickly apologized.
The statement reads "We deeply regret this situation and once again offer our sincere apologies to the mother concerned. The request made of it is not in line with our internal regulations and our values. There is no restriction on breastfeeding at Disneyland Paris."
But people simply didn't accept the apology: "A mother can breastfeed her baby whenever and wherever she wants," Twitter user @ECarusoCunha said. "What an absurd episode!"
It seems as if the amusement park has made its bed... and now it has to lay in it. Let's hope the park soon comes to its senses and will allow moms to feed their children without being shamed and stigmatized.