A Sports Illustrated model who went viral in 2018 for breastfeeding on the catwalk will return to the catwalk, this time despite being eight months pregnant.
Mara Martin told DailyMail.com that she decided to take part in Thursday’s show for the Lain Snow swimwear line during Miami Swim Week on Thursday night because she wanted to empower her five-year-old daughter, Aria.
The wife of star golfer Brooks Koepka, Jena Sims, also announced last month that she was expecting the couple’s first child.
In 2018, Martin was hit with a barrage of criticism for breastfeeding Aria on the track – with critics telling her she was ‘rude’ and that it was ‘not appropriate’ for her to ‘s ‘display’ feeding her child on a track meant for ‘hot models.’
“I remember saying in 2018, I hope these aren’t conversations when [my children] are that age, they’re kind of just a normal thing [to talk about]” Martin told DailyMail.com this week.
“I know the more we do it, the more we see it, the more we kind of open the door, open the way for our future, that’s what we have to do and I’m happy to do it. I hope when she’s my age, or in her twenties, that it’s just a normal thing and that’s what we do, we celebrate women.
Thursday night, Martin and his daughter Aria at the Lain Snow fashion show in bright blue swimsuits and cowboy boots
Mara Martin, 37, of Miami Beach, found herself entangled in the web of controversy after walking the catwalk in 2018 while breastfeeding her daughter Aria, now five. She was confronted by those who said it was ‘rude’ and ‘inappropriate’ for the new mum to ‘show up’ feeding her child on a track aimed at ‘hot models’.
The Sports Illustrated model, who has been in the industry for over a decade, first approached Lain Snow owner Becca Ingle to do something with Aria because she had seen the brand frequently feature children.
“It was really for Aria, it wasn’t for me,” Martin, who is now 33 weeks pregnant with her second, told DailyMail.com. “Aria really likes the spotlight.”
Martine said she also wanted to scroll the show to prove that pregnant women in swimsuits on the catwalk were no longer taboo.
‘[We should] really show all women at different stages, whether pregnant or 50, at all levels. I think it’s a really good change to see, because women – and men – want to see themselves there.
In 2018, Martin walked the runway while breastfeeding because she had no other choice. She and Aria had been there for hours and the model didn’t – and still doesn’t – employ a babysitter and her daughter was hungry.
Golfer Brooks Koepka’s wife Jena Sims (pictured) also got pregnant for the OneOne shows at Miami Swim Week
Heartbroken Sims announced her pregnancy last month
“Because I’m a stay-at-home mom, I didn’t have a babysitter. So I just took her with me to the casting and they wanted to do a ‘mommy and me’ thing – a little bikini for her and one for me,’ Martin said at the time.
“Backstage, she got hungry because the show kept slipping back. Then the magazine’s editor came over and said, “If you want to take her there while you’re breastfeeding, I support that.”
On Tuesday, the soon-to-be mother-of-two told DailyMail.com: ‘After that walk on the catwalk, especially after becoming a mother, I started to realize how truly self-sufficient we really are as creatures. It’s crazy because I was still working and doing everything, but after having my daughter Aria, everything really changed for me.
Martin is 33 weeks pregnant and walks on the show to change women’s taboos. “I remember saying in 2018, I hope these aren’t conversations when [my children] are that age, they’re kind of just a normal thing [to talk about]” Martin told DailyMail.com on Tuesday. “I hope when she’s my age, or in her twenties, it’s just a normal thing and that’s what we do, we celebrate women”
She will walk for Lain Snow, which is owned by Becca Ingle (left) and named after her daughter. Ingle started the brand because big companies told him a kid-friendly market “wouldn’t sell”. She now features moms, kids and families from all walks of life in her shows and commercials.
“My whole view of everything we can do as women has changed dramatically. And that moment really showed everyone that we can do whatever we want, whether it’s a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, everything in between,” she continued. “So I think that’s kind of where we’re headed in this world.”
Ingle, 34, from Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, also agreed that it was important to show women the way they are, especially after giving birth.
“I think it’s good for normal women to see normal moms rocking the mark!” Not everyone is a model and we have to be realistic with what postpartum swimwear really looks like,’ she told DailyMail.com. “I want normal people to take part in fashion shows and present real families in the brand.”
In 2018, Martin walked the runway while breastfeeding because she had no other choice. She and Aria had been there for hours and the model didn’t – and still doesn’t – employ a babysitter and her daughter was hungry
Martin and his daughter walked the runway together on Thursday night for Lain Snow – a family-friendly, family-friendly swimwear brand – five years after their first runway debut together
The future mother-of-two (pictured backstage on Thursday) told DailyMail.com on Tuesday: ‘After this track  walking, especially after becoming a mother, I began to realize how empowered we are as creatures. It’s crazy because I was still working and doing everything, but after having my daughter Aria, everything really changed for me.
The duo did the show for Aria, who Martin says “really loves the spotlight.” The model said, “It was really for Aria, it wasn’t for me”
“I’ve blogged about travel for a decade and worn everyone’s brand of swimwear on our travels!” I tried to partner with bigger brands and was told the kids market wouldn’t sell. I decided to create my own mommy and me line that was functional and fashionable for being active with the kids, while giving you that spandex feel,’ she told DailyMail.com.
Martin and his daughter are longtime fans of the brand and said Ingle’s company is a “great representation” of what real families and working moms look like.
“It’s really amazing that I can walk for her,” Martin told DailyMail.com.
As Ingle’s goal is to empower women, Martin reflected on how she felt now compared to 2018.
“I think at the time I was a little naive in that sense. I didn’t even really know what I was doing…it wasn’t a planned moment at all, so I didn’t appreciate my body and all it could do because I was a new mum and I was really surviving,’ she said.
Martin wants to inspire his daughter Aria to be whoever she wants and show that women can have it all
Martin and his daughter (pictured with husband Ryan) will hit the runway together for the second time on Thursday during Miami Swim Week
“Now that this is my second child, I appreciate women and women’s bodies even more. And so this time around feels even more empowering, to be honest with you, because I actually more experienced motherhood.
“And bringing my second child, it was a really magical moment. So I’m excited to enjoy the moment this time around and realize how empowering it is for women.