Mara Martin was the center of attention during the Paraiso x Sports Illustrated Swimsuit fashion show at the W Hotel South Beach during Miami Swim Week over the weekend, strutting her stuff down the runway while simultaneously breastfeeding her 5-month-old daughter, Aria.
The bronzed beauty wore a sparkly gold bikini, while she dressed her baby girl in a pair of green swimsuit bottoms over a diaper with headphones to cancel out the loud music.
And apparently, none of this was planned!
“Mara was holding her baby and was nursing her,” MJ Day, editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, told Today. “I was like, ‘Do you just want to nurse while you walk down the runway?’ And she was like, ‘I would love to do that.'”
“It was her dinnertime because the show kept getting pushed back,” Martin added. “Honestly, I didn’t even think twice about it because I do it every single day.”
Following the event, Martin took to Instagram to marvel over her incredibly memorable night.
“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. “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. I’m so grateful to be able to share this message and hopefully normalize breastfeeding and also show others that women CAN DO IT ALL!”
“But to be honest, the real reason I can’t believe it is a headline is because it shouldn’t be a headline!!!” she continued. “My story of being a mother and feeding her while walking is just that. Last night there are far more deserving headlines that our world should see. One woman is going to boot camp in two weeks to serve our country, one woman had a mastectomy (@allynrose), and another is a cancer survivor, 2x paralympic gold medalist, as well as a mother herself (@bren_hucks you rock) Those are the stories that our world should be discussing!!!!”
She completed her post by giving “the most thanks” to MJ Day for supporting the last-minute decision.
“Without her support this wouldn’t even be discussed!!!!” Martin explained. “She and the entire Sports Illustrated family are the most amazing and incredible team to have worked with. THANK YOU for letting all 16 of us be our true selves, strong beautiful women!!! Because of you, my daughter is going to grow up in a better world, where she will always feel this way!!!!!! Lastly, to every single woman that rocked that runway with me. Be proud. I know I am of you! You all have inspired me in ways unimaginable. I love you all!!!”
The Michigan native was one of 16 ladies selected to walk in the show, which also featured Brenna Huckaby, a two-time Paralympic gold medalist snowboarder, and Allyn Rose, a model who recently underwent a double mastectomy.