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January 23, 2017 08:48 AM

Breastfeeding her 7-month-old son Bowie during the Women’s March wasn’t part of the plan, but Tess Holliday says she would absolutely do it again — regardless of the backlash on social media.

“I didn’t feel uncomfortable or weird — people didn’t even look at me,” the model, 31, tells PEOPLE, of breastfeeding Bowie. “People were just oblivious to it because it’s a Women’s March.”

But Holliday is dealing with criticism from her Instagram followers for breastfeeding Bowie in public during the Los Angeles outpost of the worldwide march — and for bringing him at all — after sharing a photo from the moment.

“I just think the comments are stupid, just because of where I’m at and because I’m protected under the law in California and most other states to breastfeed,” she says. I didn’t mean to make a statement, but when I saw the photo I realized how powerful it was, especially with them cutting funding to so many programs that support women and mothers.”

Holliday says that she never expected the turnout to be as large as it was, but Bowie was in no danger. While organizers planned for around 80,000 marchers in L.A., the estimated total was close to 750,000.

“To be honest, I didn’t think there would be as many people as there were,” Holliday, says. “And I really wanted to take Bowie because it was history, and I wanted him to be a part of it. He wasn’t in danger at any point. It was safe, it was peaceful, I never felt scared.”

Really, Holliday says, Bowie was a hit with the crowd.

“I kid you not, Bowie was like the star of what ever area we were in. People were saying, ‘Oh my god, baby’s first protest!’ I think I heard that a hundred times. People were saying, ‘Oh it’s so great that you brought him!’ There were women there in their 60s saying, ‘We did this for Roe v. Wade like 40 years ago.’ It was really cool.”

“Everyone was so supportive, and when people saw Bowie their faces lit up. I would do it again and I would do the same thing again.”

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