Victoria’s Secret Kicks Out Nursing Mother

When a woman at the mall began behaving, well, parental
And she used her breasts to feed her baby boy
Some employees of a store that features breasts as ornamental
Tried to force her to behave a bit more coy

When they lavish them with laces, or with padding supplemental,
It’s no Secret that Victoria loves breasts
Thus it’s foolish and ironic that they’re acting so judgmental:
Nursing mothers being seen as second-bests

Now, it’s possible—not likely—that the slight was accidental
Though it really wasn’t handled with aplomb
If you’re known for lace and spandex, it behooves you to be gentle
And you never want to pick a fight with Mom.

Store policy is to allow nursing. Texas law allows breastfeeding in public. And Victoria’s Secret has made a fortune exposing more breast in their catalog pics than a nursing mother does (well, given that babies are rarely as sheer as fabric, and are, while nursing, kinda sorta blocking the breast from public view). This should have been a no-brainer.

Employees at a Victoria’s Secret in Texas banned a mother from breastfeeding in the store, even though nursing is allowed under company policy, reported.

A store employee in Austin last week told a mother to take her crying son into the alley outside of the store to breastfeed him after she requested a private changing room to nurse, she told a local TV station. Ashley Clawson, a 27-year-old mother of two, had just finished shopping and spent $150 at the store at the time of the request.

I’m sure the employees quickly realized their mistake…

She filed two complaints before the company told her she’d receive a response in the mail. Clawson received an official apology and a $150 store gift card after her interview with the local Fox affiliate, reported.

Any bets as to whether their apology gets bigger before it goes away?


  1. rikitiki says

    Well, we really think it best
    That you dare not bare your breast
    Though you may be here in Austin
    We’ll be prudish, just like Boston
    And decry requests you want to be parental
    Yeah, you bought our lacy gear
    But a bare breast, that we fear
    Even if we advertise ’em
    Customers would recognise some
    In the flesh, so we’ll get up all judgemental

  2. says

    It is slightly unclear though whether it was the breastfeeding in the store or the request to take over a changing room that was the issue. If the store had limited facilities and lots of customers, I can imagine a store clerk (especially if on commission) being unwilling to put a changing room out of customers’ use. I’m not saying it’d be the right call even then, mind. And mostly I think dickspringer has the right of it… But I thought it a little odd that the article talks only about a request to be given a private changing room, not actually sitting down in the store itself. A policy of allowing breastfeeding is not the same as a policy of providing private facilities.

  3. Cuttlefish says

    Heh, panouteast–

    When Cuttlespouse and I were raising the Cuttlekids, often an attempt at public breastfeeding was quickly met with an offer of a secluded changing room, for the comfort of mother, child, and shoppers. I strongly suspect that this mother’s request for a private changing room was made in that interest–with the best interests of everyone in mind, rather than with selfish intent. Given that she had just spent $150 in the store, it’s not like she was coming in out of the mall just to look to take over a changing room; she was clearly a client.

    I wonder if, in her shopping, she had used a changing room earlier… just curious.

  4. says

    You’re probably right. Where I live, public breastfeeding is entirely unremarkable – though it’s been known to make teenagers stammer, and there are those who dislike it (there are those who’ll dislike anything, after all). It’d be a request for special treatment that would be greeted with hostility. But it’s half a world away…

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