Melanie Dudley is a stay-at-home mom from Austin, Texas, with three kids. She’s also a natural when it comes to comedic timing.
While vacationing in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, with her entire family, one of whom is a 4-month-old baby she was nursing, Dudley says a man asked her to “cover” herself.
Without missing a beat, she asked her husband to toss her a blanket—and proceeded to throw it over her face.
“I’m usually discreet, but we were seated in the back of the restaurant,” she told Yahoo Lifestyle.
Her witty retort was caught on film by her quick-thinking husband and later shared on Facebook by a friend of her mother-in-law.
“A friend’s daughter-in-law was told to ‘cover up’ while feeding her baby, so she did!” wrote Carol Lockwood on Facebook. “I’ve never met her, but I think she’s AWESOME!!! (Please share! With permission, I’ve made this post public—I’m so over people shaming women for nursing!”
She added a clause to her post to protect Dudley from social media trolls who might misinterpret the image.
“P.S.: To reduce speculation: It was a man who asked her to cover up,” wrote Lockwood. “It was also 90 degrees and extremely humid, and, no, she wasn’t in a Muslim country disrespecting traditions.”
The post, which has now been shared more than 199,000 times (and growing), brought in supporters by the droves.
With more than 16,000 comments so far, it is impossible to narrow down the best of the bunch, but below are a few examples of women—from all walks of life—who have rallied in support of breastfeeding moms.
“Men walk around shirtless all the time,” one woman wrote. “Just because there’s an actual function to women’s nipples, we have to cover them? Forget that! If I’m subjected to a summer of man boobs, y’all can shush about breastfeeding!”
Another commenter wrote, “I don’t have kids but this is absolutely the same type of smartass response I would have had. Put a blanket over my head, not my feeding child. Awesome mother. Cheers!”
Despite the legalization of public breastfeeding in all 50 states (because feeding babies the natural way was frowned upon), Dudley said her photo has still received negative responses from some.
“Breastfeeding is hard enough,” she told Yahoo. “This is another layer we don’t need to deal with.”
Thankfully, many of her online supporters agree, including one woman who re-shared the most brilliant message of all.
“Unless you’re spraying milk in my face, while singing ‘My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard’ whilst I am enjoying my sausage and egg McMuffin it’s not gross, wrong, disgusting, immoral, perverted or obscene.
“It’s just a fucking baby having something to eat.”