Kasey Jones is an artist, an educator and a mom, and she's using her talent and creativity to make a big statement about the demands of motherhood on women - working women in particular, and especially those who live in the United States. A couple of years ago, Jones created a photographic series entitled Working Mother Suit that featured herself in various photos and locations wearing an outfit made entirely out of breast milk bags.
According to Jones, she created this series - which showcases her posing at a desk, standing in the office holding a pot of coffee, and yes, even on the toilet pumping - to bring awareness to the "harsh realities" of being a working mother of a young baby.
After the birth of her second child, Jones admitted that she struggled both physically and emotionally to transition back into the workforce.
"In the wee hours of the morning as I would pump, sleep deprived, preparing to teach to over 100 students, I felt alone,” she said. She added that she created this series as a way of communicating the challenges many women and families face not only after the birth of a baby but also when it comes time to return to work.
Ultimately, Jones wants her series to reflect and acknowledge the hard work that women put into feeding their children (in this case, through pumping) while also working outside of the home. After all, there is tremendous pressure for many women to stop nursing once they return to work, and she hopes to change that.
Jones also believes that the current system in the United States is broken. The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave, and she feels that it does not adequately support new mothers or families during this critical period.
"It was my duty as a social artist to shed light on how taxing it is on our physical and mental health," she writes on her website. "I began to question our values as a society. How we treat mothers and women in our society reflects what we value the most and what we value the least."