A Bay Shore author and women’s advocate has just released her fifth book this January.
In her The Big Letdown: How Medicine, Big Business, and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding, Queens native Kimberly Seals Allers delves into the multifaceted topic of public breastfeeding.
Allers’ book discusses how corporations degrade natural breastfeeding because of the money to be made through formula.
The result, she says, has caused a dramatic impact on child health.
“We use breasts to sell chicken wings and beer, but when people see an infant feeding they feel uncomfortable.” said Allers. “Now what we are seeing is our infant health is lagging behind lesser-developed countries.”
Allers, a longtime, award-winning journalist for Fortune Magazine and ESSENCE, wasn’t always interested in writing books. During the prime of her journalistic career, she decided to leave her lucrative job to do something more with her life: Be a voice for women.
“I’ve been a journalist for many years, living my dream.” said Allers. “But then I became a mom and everything shifted for me.”
Allers, a mother of two, uses her life experiences as an African-American mother to talk about her personal parental struggles to convey messages to her readers.
“Why are women struggling with things that should be so basic?” was a rhetorical question that launched Allers’ new path.
At the time of her career change, Allers was going through a divorce, and was heavily advised to stay in her career in journalism. She ignored her peers to spearhead a new passion that tackles mothership-related issues.
She has since written about many topics, from pregnancy to different socio-cultural environments of motherhood.
“I’ve always used writing as my platform,” said Allers. “And the challenges that I write about are not about me —they are things going on all over the country.”
The Bay Shore resident doesn’t just write; she also travels across the states to talk about her experiences and beliefs. She’s spoken to audiences that range from college students at University of California, Berkeley to those at top companies like Google.
Allers says the response she’s received from her books and speaking engagements has motivated her to continue on her journey.
“I still get e-mails and phone calls from my first book in 2006,” said Allers. “Even at events I’ve held at the Bay Shore library people come up to me and tell me how my books helped them.”
Top Photo: Kimberly Seals Allers with her two children Michael-Jaden and Kayla.