We’ve always loved Gap clothing for its signature, comfy style and basics that come in a rainbow of colours. Well, now we love the company for a whole other reason, and it has everything to do with its latest accidental ad campaign.
Love by Gap Body is the newest line to hit retailers, and in order to promote it the company organized a photo shoot with model Adaora Akubilo and her 20-month-old son Arinze. The duo were modelling a Gap nightshirt with a comfy neckline when Akubilo needed to stop and nurse her babe. So she began nursing him right then and there, and the photographer asked if they could snap a few shots. What resulted became the campaign itself.
“Love your forever favourite,” Gap wrote on Instagram, sharing two intimate photos of mother and son, the second of which is her breastfeeding.
Immediately, the campaign went viral, with many people applauding the company for helping to normalize breastfeeding. (Because apparently something the human body was meant to do needs normalizing.) People began sharing the photos using the #NormalizeBreastfeeding hashtag, noting how beautiful and simple this captured moment actually is.
These Gap breastfeeding ads are maybe the most beautifully intimate shots I’ve ever seen in the realm of advertising. So pure and innocent. Yet so capitalistic 😂. For the record I do love them. #adguy pic.twitter.com/dTNqJWwoyl
— Craig Brimm ↗ (@Kissmyblackads) February 26, 2018
What’s even more heartwarming about these photos is the fact that the baby isn’t an infant — he’s a bit older. Usually mothers face even more questions and comments when they breastfeed an older baby, despite Canadian recommendations to breastfeed (if possible) for the first two years of a child’s life. And we know many women who have gone on even longer than that. After all, breastmilk is liquid gold — it helps heal, it provides plenty of nutrients and it passes on important antibodies. And if you’ve ever had a toddler, you know they could use all the antibodies they can get.
@Gap damn boo, you have the most comfy pj’s AND you’re normalizing breastfeeding?! 🆗🆗🆗🆗🆗
— sara C.L🖖🏻 (@sarasarafofara) February 26, 2018
The other great thing about the photo is that it’s of a black mother and son, a group that faces even more controversy when it comes to the topic of nursing. For Nigerian-American model Akubilo, becoming the face of such a campaign has been a blessing.
“I was so happy,” she told the Chicago Tribune. “I felt it was affirming.”
— Everything Birth (@EverythingBirth) March 1, 2018
.@Gap has a new ad with a woman breastfeeding … and it’s a black woman and a black baby! Yes to all of this! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
— Neeks (@somecallmeking) February 27, 2018
She’s not the only one happy to see breastfeeding promoted in such a way. As a proud mama myself, I may or may not have been breastfeeding while writing this article. See? Totally normal. Now excuse me while I go and order this nightshirt.